In this first-ever Design Research project, I would focus on child insomnia and the use of sleep diaries to aid in diagnosing insomnia in children.
For our research, we created a cultural probe: a booklet with assignments based on storytelling, which we sent out to parents with young children. We analysed the returned data by comparing the filled-in probes across time of day, gender and age differences. In the end, we concluded that children within our target group had a concept of sleep and sleepiness and that they could express this quite coherently. We concluded our research by creating an informed design in the form of a plush that guides the children in storytelling about their sleep context as well as emotions. We documented the entire process, the findings of our probe, and the following informed design in a research paper.
The core focus of this project was learning to conduct proper design research, after having learned the theoretical methods for this during Design <> Research. To this end, I learned how to do literature research, how to create a probe without priming participants (and thus learn to ask the right questions), and how to analyse large numbers of data to find patterns. While I didn’t think much of the different research methods at the time, I now look back and am amazed that I ever did design projects without incorporating research and rigid user testing.
– Cover Photo | by Zeno Kapitein
– Figure 1 | by Zeno Kapitein
– Figure 2 | by Zeno Kapitein
– Figure 3 | Design by Zeno Kapitein | Icon from Freepik.com
– Figure 4 | Design by Zeno Kapitein | Icon from Freepik.com
– Figure 5 | Design by Zeno Kapitein | Icon from Freepik.com