Brainstorming possibilities for preventing from being sedentary.

Blog post 8. Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

Written by Hyunjoung You

After finished mapping and further research for my specific issue, I found that sedentary work could cause diverse disease such obesity, physical and mental problem. In week 6’s tutorial, we started to brainstorm the possibilities for a design response to our issue. Our tutor let us brainstorm via 5‘W’ at first to analyze the problem and draw problem statement.

5’W’ Analyzing problem

The problem : Sedentary work linked to physical and mental health such as obesity, backache and depression.

1. WHO does the problem affect?

People who do sedentary work such as office worker, designer, driver and students are affected by this problem. They usually work using computers and need to sit down for a while.

2. WHAT are the boundaries of the problem?

  • Lack of willpower 

In fact, people are aware of how sedentary lifestyle affects their health negatively. However, it is really difficult to change their lifestyle since they used to live sedentary lifestyle. People are already exposed to comfortable lifestyle; thus, they began to prefer driving car rather than taking walk or riding bicycles; using lifts or elevators rather than climbing stairs. Therefore, people need more reminders to act by themselves for their health.

  • Work Environment

The employees do not really move their body at workplaces because they are able to work sitting down on the chairs. Most workers might move when they have lunch times. Moreover, most offices have lifts or elevators, so the workers do not have chances to even a short walk. The companies have responsibilities for their employees’ health because working hours are not short.

3. WHEN does the problem occur?

When people do not do physical activities at all, the problem occurs.

– Constantly sitting down

4. WHERE does the problem occur?

Companies / Home / School / University

5. WHY is it important? Why we have to look at it, and why we have to design for it?

Healthy living is one of important things to improve people’s life quality. It does not mean not only physically healthy, also mentally healthy. However, being sedentary affect both of physical and mental health negatively that is why we should look at this issue, and design for it.


5 ‘W’, one of brainstorming exercise, helped me to drew the problem statement.

Problem Statement

How do we make / motivate people being active from sedentary ?


Five Possibilities

I divided into three sections. They are service design, generative system, and data visualisation to come up with five possible designs are based on the problem statement.

  1. Physical activities programs and products (Service design)

Company can provide their employees with some physical activities programs such as morning yoga and after-work team sports. Also, they can offer the products that prevent the employees from being sedentary during work: standing desk, massage chair or running machine with desk.

  1. Exhibition (Generative system)

To give awareness how being sedentary lifestyle is harmful, we can hold small exhibition in public / open space. The exhibition would display photography or art works that are caused by a sedentary lifestyle such as the illustration of obesity, photography of person who suffers lower back pain, or express anxiety. The last piece at the exhibition shows sedentary lifestyle: constantly sitting, lying on the bed, and watching TV, etc. People will realize that sedentary lifestyle brings about lots of problem not only physical problems, also mental problems; therefore, it will help them to remind of it.

  1. Postcard in magazine (Service design + generative system + data visualization)

Government or organizations that are related to public health provide the companies with lifestyle magazine to inform how bad sedentary work is and obtain the data from the survey. We can create infographic design to explain about the problems of sedentary work on one page or more. Moreover, we need to put the postcard in the back, which includes the survey is asking about their daily routine. One of the questions would be ‘how long they are sedentary per day?’ Thus, we can use the results of the survey to create data visualization as a further possibility.

  1. App (Service design)

The function of this application is asking the employees to do some physical activities and care about their health. Company can install the application in their employees’ computers to motivate them to move.

  1. Short video (Service design)

We can create the video to promote physical activities. The video shows how to do simple exercise that office workers can do at their workplaces. The length of video is be about 5 minutes, and it plays before quitting time. Therefore, the office workers can refresh by simple work out before leaving the offices, and feel better.


I am still considering between exhibition and app as my final design response at the moment. However, I already explained more detail about exhibition, so I would like to talk about the application.

Through 5 ‘W’, I analyzed that people have already recognized about the negative effects of being sedentary. However, one of the barriers to not being sedentary was the lack of willpower. Especially, the office workers do not have time to do some physical activities. They used to live sedentary lifestyle, so it would be difficult to change their lifestyle immediately. I found that the better way to motivate them being active during work or after work is reminding them of being active.

Draft Proposal

Sedentary lifestyle brings about diverse physical and mental problems such as obesity, lower back pain, and depression. However, some people need to be sedentary, especially, if they do sedentary work.

My issue is “How do we prevent the office workers from being sedentary?” I aim to encourage the office workers to do some physical actions during work or after work via my proposal. The design type is application (service design). Companies can install this application on their employees’ computers. The application will pop up the text in a window, which is asking to do some physical actions for the workers’ health by periods. The text will have friendly tone, so it might give little fun in their tired and repeated working lifestyle.






POST 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

By Jansie Vo

After the past six weeks of researching and brainstorming, I finally jump to the important stage of developing our proposal into three types of design practice: data visualisation, service design and generative system. During the class’s tutorials, collaborative group work has played a significant role in the discovery and expanding of my deep understanding into the mental health issue. Although it’s been long progress and ambiguous journey to get to this point cause of the misunderstood of an issue and mindblock sometimes, after the help from an extra workshop and group mind-mapping, I am excited to think about how I could visualise my specific issue and develop my initial proposal. Below there are the five cues that help me articulate my issue statement:

1. Who does the problem affect?
Everyone can be afftected by mental illness in all ages group including people who have never experienced in mental health. Also mental illnesses sometimes run in families, suggesting that people who have a family member with a mental illness may be somewhat more likely to develop one themselves. Susceptibility is passed on in families through genes

2. What are the boundaries of the issue?
There is lack of awareness, support and recognition of mental health problem.

3.4. When/where does the problem occur?
Anywhere, anytime. We can all be “sad” or “blue” at times in our lives. We have all seen movies about the madman and his crime spree, with the underlying cause of mental illness. We sometimes even make jokes about people being crazy or nuts, even though we know that we shouldn’t. Many of our preconceptions are incorrect. A mental illness can be occured as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three) and that causes the person distress.

5. Why is it important?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Giving the support, raising the awareness is the significant things to avoid the levels of suicide affected by mental illness.

For my draft design proposal, from five cues I mentioned above, my initial idea is to create interactive design/ campain in order to effectively approach this issue and to support someone with a mental health problem.

  • Generative design: organizing an event where people can share their story, make friend, entertain with many games that help people who suffer in mental illness avoiding to be sad or lonely. The volunteers can ask them how they’re feeling every once in a while to let them know they can open up. Find out about the small things can do to support mental health people and make a pledge to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.
  • Service design: an interactive app on smartphone or display in public space to educate people and provide people a deep understanding of how creepy when they use derogatory language to describe people with mental health problems, emphasise the feeling and be raising awareness. Experiencing in the position and perspectives of people in mental illness.
  • Data visualisation: By using data visualisation to educate people, a poster with simple photograph can effectively communicate the message of what the mental health issue presents today, allowing people be awareness and accept the issue, be open up and become friendly with those people in mental health problem.

Post 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response / online privacy

by Jiahui Li (nancy)

After the past six weeks research and brainstorming, my issue study has been brought into the important stage. We finally introduced our proposal into three types of design practice: data visualisation, service design and generative system. We start with the IDEO brainstorming section to generate our ideas for a proposal. Below are the five cues that help me articulate my problem statement:

1. Who does the problem affect?

The key stakeholders in this issue are 18 – 25 years old teenagers who do need Internet and don’t know how to control the seriousness of online privacy issue. Most young teenagers have a large demand of Internet and low level of privacy understanding; although they afraid of online privacy leaking sometimes, they are not strong enough to control the problem.

2. What are the boundaries of the issue?

The boundary of the issue is representational; it shows the most common online privacy problem that exists in online commercial development. Based on the previous research, I explored the online privacy issue that specific to “online commercial use of personal information”. When business use information in ways that user does not like, users quickly know about it, and the firms are forced to stop. Because of  business keeps ask and use user’s personal information without their consent, the balance between online commercial development and user privacy has lost.

3. When does the problem occur?

Problems usually happened when you are registering a new website and browsing the illegal websites. More and more website ask to sign up before you browsing, when you sign up a new website, users are required to provide a large amount of personal information include interest, email, gender, address, phone number, even more, privacy questions.

4. Where does the problem occur?

The major place that the problem happened is in your email system, mobile phone message and a phone call. For example, thousand of promotion email keep annoying you every day, phone fraud and message fraud made you afraid and don’t know what’s the truth is.

5. Why is it important that the problem is fixed?

The problem is too common to exist in the online society, the invasion of personal privacy had a great influence on people’s life and the development of the network industry. So the seriousness of the problem can’t be ignored. People need to have a healthy network environment, as well as can protect their personal privacy not  be violated. Especially for young teenagers, they can’t live without Internet, so we need to fix the relationship between website and user privacy.

In class brainstorming

Once we have our problem statement done, we start brainstorming in our group. We develop ideas around online privacy, what’s possible to change, and what our ideas to direct a proposal. Below are the 5 point summary of our possibility findings:

  • In order to educate people and provide people a deep understanding of how creepy when you exposed your personal information public, I generated the idea around data visualisation, which will be present through an interactive design; emphasise the feeling that lost data.
  • Improve the possibility of finding where you lost your data, and be aware of how to protect your data successfully from specific website/online network.
  • A data trust system can help people build the trust between user and website
  • App / program for user to input locations of risk-build a database
  • Improve the understanding of online privacy with info graphic poster, promote and educating people online privacy knowledge


Based on what I got from the five-point summary of the possibilities, I’m going to work on the third idea. As a designer, I decided to build a service design system reflect on a Third Party Platform (TPF) involved in a data trust system,  which aims to help people protect their personal information not be used from commercial website.

According to the old blog post, I have interested in how design project visualise social issue and how can it help people realise the importance of the social issue that happened today. The service design system are designed specific for when you register a new website, it’s replace the function of sign up with personal information. You can scan QR code and sing up without submitting any personal information.

After scanning, the tips will pop out to ask you “whether you want use TPF to manage the website”, you can chose yes or not. If yes, all the information from the website will directly go into the TPF inbox, and you can check all the message here. On the other hand, a data trust system is embed in the TPF, it will help you analysis your data and check where your data has lost.

On the one side, online business still can get the information of users (email, and name), on other side, users can have a safety internet environment. So the project has balanced the relationship between users and companies, as well as help young teenager’s protect their personal privacy.