Blog 8 – Possible Directions

Based on a lot of the research I’ve done leading up to designing a creative solution related to big data, I’ve determined that something I’d like to address in my work is a clear sense of disengagement from young people in regard to the way that their data is collected and used online. Looking for inspiration in some of the ways that data collection has been used in a positive, progressive way, I want to find a way to have young people connect meaningfully to the concept of big data by showing its use in a real-world, socially effective outcome.

When discussing concept generation with my group, I mentioned the way that medical data can be used to predict illness and disease in an area, and how I’d like to present that information in a way that people can engage with, and that hopefully provides them with a reason to look at the way their data is used differently.


With input from my group, we began conceiving ways that this could be realised through different emergent practices. Data visualisation presented several ideas, including:

  • Referencing the way that the city of Chicago was mapped, apply the same technique to the city of Sydney; showing where hotspots of illness and disease are apparent.
  • Map an area by the type of illnesses found.
  • Look at contributing factors like air quality, food poisoning, etc.
  • Show a comparison of how using the data to predict sickness improves an area over time

When looking at service design as an option, other ideas arose, such as:

  • Using the Chicago ‘smart city’ system, and integrating the same technology into another city (ie. Sydney) to collect data in the same way
  • An app that lets you know if the area you are in is currently prone to sickness

One idea which seemed to combine both data visualisation and service design involved users contributing their medical information through an online form which in return would show them how their own data, along with the data of other people, gives a clearer view of what the state of the health in an area is.

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