Blog post 08 — Defining the problem space and brainstorming possible design responses

Louis Johanson

Reflecting upon the research that I have collated over the past couple of weeks I have identified a number of areas of exploration. Using a series of mindmaps I was able narrow down my findings into a series of questions to frame a problem statement. This approach also allowed me to more accurately articulate key problems to explore.

OCD has become synonymous with words such as organised and tidy, these are usually accompanied by positive association. The confusion arrises with thinking OCD is a quirky personality trait or even a preference. Referring back to my initial Twitter scrape using the word “OCD” it was evident  that through the flippant use of OCD, the issue becomes diluted losing the severity of the disorder.

The truth is OCD is a debilitating psychological disorder that can cause a person to compulse in a desperate manner in an attempt to protect oneself from a wave of anxiety. There are also obsessions that manifests themselves as unwanted thoughts, impulse or images that repeat in a persons mind.

01. Who does the problem affect? Be specific.

Those with living with OCD or those with a pre disposition to the illness.

What are the boundaries?

The boundaries surrounding OCD revolve around the lack of awareness and the publics stigma towards the illness. A lack of empathy is another boundary that needs to be targeted and addressed.

When/where does the problem occur?

Everyday, every minute, anyone with access to the internet. 

Why is it important?

Three in every hundred people will develop OCD at some time in their lives. Which is around 450,000 Australians. It is important to educate those of the complexities and diverse nature of the disorder. Making sure the illness and the victims are not being trivialized. In turn removing the stigma towards the subject in society.

5 Possible Outcomes.

01. Using a twitter bot to find and juxtapose the very real symptoms of an OCD disorder with the mundane tweet. Using the term “OCD” in it’s correct context would help others understand not only the diversity of the disorder but acknowledge its seriousness and complexity. This initiative targets two people, the victims and the perpetrator

02. Creating a service design based on cognitive behavioural therapy. The service would teach new information-processing skills and coping mechanisms in a online format for those suffering from OCD.

03. Service design. Based on a traditional support group, the service would provide those suffering with support. Information is provided, along with self-help and coping strategies. A collaborative space fostering acceptance by the community.

04. Data vis to demonstrate the disorder, intrusive repetitive behaviours. Visualize the characteristics for those who don’t recognise / acknowledge the debilitating effects of OCD.

05. Enable those who stigmatise the issue to acknowledge it’s complexity and real debilitating nature. Give those who use ” OCD ” flippantly to describe mundane activities insight into the reality of the illness.   

I am to explore concept 01. in further depth.

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