10: “Loops for Breakfast”, not Spirits.

(Davey 2016)

POST 10: Reflection and proposition 

By Rachel Mah


After receiving feedback from my 3 minute presentation in class, I received the following insights:


  • Create a proper probe system to address privacy issues of participants.

My peers and tutor were concerned about sensitive information being disseminated over the internet.

  • Use the main concept of  looped .gifs as an accompaniment to some sort of delivery system/blog/subscription to those needing help. This would make the proposal a combination of service design as well as info visualisation.

Although my initial target was to promote understanding of the issue, I gathered that my peers and tutor understood the concept as something that would benefit those in recovery.

  • Avoid the use of bottles as a visual as they may be a trigger


Taking all the feedback into consideration, I have revised the proposal which will be described below.


‘Loops for Breakfast’


Practice type:

Information Visualisation and Service Design in the form of an animated lock screen intervention to help recovering alcoholics stay positive.


The Issue:

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are due to many interconnected factors, including genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. Being addicted to alcohol can be a very isolating illness that commonly emerges with various other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

The yearning to consume alcohol can often be very difficult to manage as the mind finds many ways to rationalize drinking, even when the consequences are obvious. Because of a lack of true perception and denial, sufferers are often look past their behaviors and the repercussions from alcohol abuse. The presence of denial may also exacerbate alcohol-related problems with work, finances, and relationships (Help Guide 2016).

Whether an alcoholic chooses to go to rehab, rely on self-help programs, or attend therapy, support is crucial for recovery. It allows those on the path to recovery to find a source of encouragement, comfort as well as guidance so that they will not fall back into detrimental patterns during difficult times.


The Possible Change:

Through this project, I intend to ease helplessness and isolation brought on by the disease as well as feelings of confinement, in hopes of providing visual stimulus and positivity to give hope to those in recovery.


The Design Action to Support Change:

This proposal will be informed through findings from my research such as the article about a person’s recovery from anorexia, visual imagery of the helplessness felt by those suffering from mental health issues which I found to be a great narrative and educational tool for empathy.

An integral touch point I have identified are phone lock screens. Staring at the clock on a static lock screen can often trigger feelings of restlessness and anxiety which would not be helpful to those who are in recovery. This proposal seeks to pair the digital clock with imagery that could potentially promote calmness and positivity and to ease the struggle of making it through ‘yet another day’.

The findings, quotes and stories about recovery through probes and/or web scraping will be visually interpreted through daily .gifs that contains animated illustrations based on excerpts. These will depict the various experiences faced by alcoholics in a digital storytelling form as well as draw upon  highlights and raw extracts from the data collected. This extraction is vital in order to avoid cliched ‘inspirational quotes’ as well as to create a true reflection of the recovering community.

The illustrated .gifs will be accompanied with dialogues or captions that may include, as examples, sentences derived from personal recovery stories such as the following from people who have submitted tales of their journey onto the Alcoholics Anonymous Australia (2016) website :

“The rest is now history.”

“The best is yet to come.”

“I turned and faced the world and did the things that were needed.”

“Doing things that I do not want to do. Not doing things that I do want to do.”

These sentences will not include a direct mention of alcohol to avoid trigger words as well as to protect the privacy of app users.

Images will be channeled as phone lock screens via a background app with a fresh .gif appearing every morning. The visuals will take the form of simple, looped animations that have a meditative quality to them.

This proposal differs from other subscription-based support sites as well as text messaging systems due to the fact that it is autonomous and does not require any handling or file opening other than an initial installation and setup.



Alcoholics Anonymous Australia 2016, Personal Stories, viewed 27 September 2017, <http://www.aa.org.au/new-to-aa/personal-stories-first-step.php&gt;.

Davey, R. 2016, Hannes Alfvén, viewed 26 September 2017, <http://robindavey.co.uk/&gt;.

Help Guide 2016, Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, viewed 27 September 2016, <http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm&gt;.

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