By Yu Zhang
In week 3, we briefly did the mapping exercises of stakeholders that engage with mental health, the keywords and categories were still very broad. So in week 4, we tried to collect any of words that’s relate to mental health and used it to develop a map. The map shows lots of contents that’s more specific than the week 3 mapping exercises, and most of words are able to use it in social media to collect useful information about mental health.
During the process, all of our group was voted 5 words that you might use it to research for mental health, and the most popular words includes ‘exhausted’, ‘invisible’,’victim’, ‘judgement’ etc.. Most of the words are relate to emotion and negative behavior and quite popular in social network, which is easy to search the sources from internet.
After that, our group decided to use the chosen 5 words to extend it with different words to make it more specific. During the process, I found it individuals, media, and society suits all of 5 words, which means these words can be the top of category of mental health. However, even some of words are not relevant to some chosen words, but they might relate to word from the category of chosen words. The map is more like a connection system that contacts each other to engage with mental health, which is a huge data if collect them all.
Overall, I think this mapping exercise is really useful. I achieved lots of words that can use for research the issue in different platforms, understand further about mental illness and how to classify words to develop an information system. I can reread this map anytime if I get stuck to research and write a blog, which is really useful and convenient.
In week 5, the mapping exercise requires us to be even more specific. Firstly, our group design to base on ‘Lack of knowledge’ to start mapping. During the discussion of our group, knowledge is related to different fields of mental health, includes medicare, policies, and social media. It might have a potential to provide a map with more depth and clear content that can help our visual design responses individually. The exercise is very intensive during the process, but it’s very useful for me after we developed the map because I have deep understood of the filed of lack of knowledge in mental health.
We also start mapping that involves to controversy. Basically, the main focus of our mapping is history and communication. For example, Past VS Present, Religion VS Culture and Social Status VS Economic Situation. During the discuss, our group considers the issue of mental health is the conflict between economic benefit and humanities progress. I found that the conflict is suitable for most of the controversy of mental health, and that’s why the direction of mapping focused on Needs VS Wants, which can discover that desire is the root to promote the current situation of mental health. It’s very useful for me after developed this map, it guides me to have more hints for my inspiration and understanding of the issue.
Base on what we found from the previous mapping exercises, our group decided to develop further on the controversy of Needs VS Wants. It felt like most of the elements that we found are back to the original mapping exercises. For example, education, family, and media also appear in the first mapping exercises. It looks like the content of mental health is more like a network that all of the content will extend to the beginning. That make me understand that the depth of content for mental health does not exist because the content lives around our life, which means no matter how to refine the content to be more specific, it will still guide you back to the first content that you extend.
I choose ‘Sexual Assault’ as the actor to develop this map. The reason I choose it because this actor can specifically relate to my first three positions, which are awareness, fear, and external factors. Also, it can involve lots of human and non-human stakeholders, includes family, pressure,equality, individual etc. Also, all of these stakeholders are able to connect to each other that might develop a specific proposition for mental health. However, this actor faces a specific crowd, which is women. I believe narrow down the actor to be more specific, I would have a clear idea of the draft proposal and visual style of the design response.
The issue mapping exercises are really intensive but help me to understand much further about mental health. It’s very good to share different opinions in a group that give me a chance to collect the data and communicate the issue with group members. Also, it helps me to achieve different opinions about the issue from group members in the discussion, that’s why I like the process of conversation during develop the maps. I was worry about the depth of content might affect the quality of my design concept, but after the exercises, I understand the issue is more like a net that you just need to choose which position you want to express. Also, the functions of mapping are what I achieved from this workshop, especially mapping with controversy can provide a comprehensive content as the result and able to discover the root of issue. I think this function is very useful for research most of issue, but users need to pick and arrange the sources carefully because the quantity of content from issue mapping is a lot. How to choose the suitable sources and reflect it on graphic style is what I need to consider further. On the other hand, I can use the mapping functions to gain more elements when I get stuck. However, it’s always good to have more sources that I might work on for the theme of issue. I will consider developing a map that base on one theme to develop it further instead of just start mapping the issue because the result come out will be more specific instead of too broad. Also, I will consider developing the map that involves controversy and actors with questions that can gain further information and connection in different but relevant areas in the future.