TOOLKIT DESIGN for MENTAL HEALTH

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PROJECT DEFINITION

The goal of this group project was to design a digital or physical toolkit to facilitate students with Coping mechanism for graduate school challenges. There are many students that struggle with mental health issues like anxiety, depression or suffer from negative psychological patterns like imposter syndrome. This research aimed to provide students with tools to enhance the quality of their mental health.  

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INVOLVED MEMBERS

Sana Behnam

Yiting Wang
Ceren Korkmaz

RESEARCH METHOD

The research method for this project was co-design and the participants were Young adults between ages 18-35.

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POSSIBLE OPTIONS

There were three possible tracks:

  1. Designing a complete game

  2. Developing a game skeleton

  3. Inviting participants to design from scratch

The best option for the purpose of this research was the second option. Hence, we started designing a basic skeleton of a game and asked participants to design their own toolkit using these basic assets.

DESIGNING CO-DESIGN ASSETS

Multiple reviews of possible options were conducted. As a result, a basic toolkit was designed and prepared for the co-design session. The goal of this toolkit was to provide a flexible context for users to design their own product, service or concept.

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GROUP SESSIONS

During group sessions participants were asked to use the toolkit and design activities, games or systems that would help them with mental pressure of graduate school.

RESEARCH RESULTS

The results of group sessions were reviewed and analyzed. Also, components that were used more frequently by participants were identified. Based on the result components were categorized and patterns were found in their use.

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FINAL TOOLKIT AND PLATFORM

To provide users with a means to overcome challenges of mental pressure and stress, we developed a toolkit that would allow them to build community and ask for support through game design, fun, and discussion.  

Based on the level of their need or interest they can interact with the toolkit in three different layers. The very basic level (The Essentials) would include predesigned assets and towards the third level (The Nirvana) they would be able to design their game from scratch using their creativity.

Also, they would have access to an online platform to share games of their own design and discuss methods would help them to overcome mental health challenges of Grad school.

© 2019 by Sana Behnam

sana.behnam@gmail.com