Post 9 – Searching for the Silver Lining in a Brainstorm

Lily Partridge

Surce A: A refined map based upon the brainstorming process in class around the topic of single-sex rights groups on the internet.

Above is a refined version of the mapping exercise that I undertook with my group of 4 in our tutorial last week. This process of developing a problem statement and brainstorming lead to a variety of possible design propositions explored in my most recent post. Initially my problem statement was too broad and wouldn’t have allowed for in depth insights and refined solutions, and so for the first half of the exercise we were brainstorming different elements of the solutions, for example the language, angle, tone, ideal outcome and how to elaborate upon previous research that had been undertaken.

About half way through the process we began developing possible solutions to the problem statement and on the map these can be seen 2-3 components away from the centre. I was really interested in the idea of analysing language and tone as I’d recently undertaken the data scraping task for blog 6 and was fascinated by the way that single-sex rights and liberation groups on Reddit spoke about the other gender, with an ingrained sense of contempt and casual use of derogatory language that appeared to be permissible amongst these communities. A barrier of the brainstorming here was that no one in our group had experience with or understanding of how to quantify tone or whether there were any bots or algorithms that have the capability to register tone and language to this extent. I think I will continue down this kind of path for my final proposal, whether it is more generative or visualisation-driven, as we were able to come up with some really interesting options to take further.

A benefit to undertaking this task extended beyond just my own brainstorming period; helping others develop their proposals gave me a glimpse into different areas of the board topic of gender equality that I hadn’t investigated myself. For some reason I felt that my own concept development was stronger when working with the other topic areas, so whether I’m currently blinkered in my own approach or I’ve exhausted all solutions in a narrow area I’m not sure, but it was a little disheartening to not feel as confident with my own brainstorm. In hindsight, I feel that this process would have been much more effective if I had been able to completely clear my mental slate and approach the topic without ideas already in my head. This will be something to consider for next brainstorm I think!   


BLOG 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

After bouncing back from being 2 and a half weeks behind on the tasks, I had collected a bunch of resources and information that support my focus. Through this research, I came to realise my own thoughts and feelings about the issue, and why I have come to trust so many stories and views, where there’s a new spectrum that most don’t seem to realise.

During my semester break, I took the opportunity to visit the House of Welcome, a refugee supports centre that undertakes full recognition of dignity, equality and human rights. They are a centre that facilitates and house many people that are in such an event. I found this to be a very insightful visit, as I gained the opportunity to experience the lifestyle and stories that these neglected group of individuals experience on an everyday basis. It brought me to the understanding of producing a proposal that allows the public to also realise these circumstances. As I kept this at the back of my mind, I reworked the tasks accordingly, not only to reframe my analysis, but to add more support to my proposal.

Defining the problem statement:
In relation to this, I decided to allow my focus to span across all affects of perception briefly, where I still maintain the framing of a new perception. I used a series of questions to frame this analysis:

Essentially, the problem that I’m faced with is primarily affecting both refugees and the general public. With multiple factors affecting the relation between the two demographics, it rapidly shifts our thoughts and feelings about refugees as the media updates their information. Secondly, it affects the government, mainly their policies, and reputation. As government conflict and change arise, so does the aims and tasks of the media, thus shaping multiple viewpoints. Finally, it affects the reputation of Australia on a global level and how the perception of Australia as a government is constantly tarnished.


The boundaries of public perception and government relations is forever changing, and is networked to an extent where its tangled. The structural implications of the government and their policies towards refugees and asylum seekers is the main focus of this boundary.

The more change that the government internally experience, the less chance that the policies against refugees will be improved, or even altered at all. The organisation of this structure fails to comply on an international level, as well as improving Australia as a nation. How this is viewed to the public is essentially corruption. As part of Australia’s humanitarian programme, we agreed to accept 12,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq who had recently been internally displaced. While this agreement took place in November 2015, by March 2016, it was reported that 9,000 refugees were interviewed, 1,600 were granted Visa’s, and only as many as 29 were officially resettled.

How this ‘progressive’ agreement affects the Australian public is more sensitive. Does it give us faith that the government have these policies under control? Are they allowing such policies to go through the system without systematically working on how to patrol them? Without a formal structure in our government system, the information the media deliver to us is filtered. Moreover, the more we ponder and accept what the media is filtering through, more and more negative judgements are dumped upon refugees and asylum seekers respectively. Therefore the perception is altered.

Hypothetically, what would happen if this system of information distribution and government programmes was solved and/or remained unsolved? If it was fixed, the public opinion would be shaped for the better, allowing more positive awareness and a stronger emphasis on third party organisations that deal with this issue daily. Australia would be seen as a more reliable and organised country. The volume of outrage is set to increase if Australia as a government and as the people if we remain consistently inconsistent. Detention camps will continue to develop in congestion and the level of understanding these people will become bleak.

As the public is continually exposed to this nature of information through the media and political announcements, it’s quite evident that this problem is occurring everyday, and even if this problem was fixed, the perception will always be present. The people of Australia are still reliant on their opinions about the issue, as they are never exposed to another conflicting opinion.

The media is linked to a whole network of information that is shared around the world. While there is a constant problem of this crucial information being filtered, the realities of it are very different. The government are treating this problem in a way to send their information through to remain relevant, no to sustain trust from the public.

The public needs to be constantly provided with the realities of refugee / asylum seeker lifestyle and allow them to address the situation truthfully. There are so many conflicting negative opinions on this issue, when the focus should be on the information that the people of Australia aren’t ever aware of. Allowing an unfiltered display of information allows for a more controlled and confronting opinion that makes sense, as well as an organised government that prevents internal arguments and progresses on making this issue more relevant in today’s society.

Summary of Possibilities:
1. A visualisation highlighting the future of Refugees and Asylum Seekers:
The negative public perception of this group of people can be improved, or even altered if there was more recognition of the real problems that they face daily. A first hand experience or confrontation that attacks this view and shines light on the way these people are seen can change the way we perceive them in the future.

2. A visualisation on refugee and asylum seeker treatment on an international level:
Allowing to show the comparison of Australia on an international level will portray why unfair treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is a continual thing. Expressing the facts can allow for this change.

3. A visualisation of immediate living standards as a confrontation between media information and reality:
Creating a chance for the public to experience what it’s like to be a refugee, without having the need to go out of their way. Making this in the pure context of emotion and instant feeling, it’s a way to be critical of what Australia is faced with on a daily basis.

4. An installation of confinement:
While metaphorically placing objects that has instant connection with the user, the idea of this installation is to physically experience the living conditions of refugees, ultimately exemplifying their persistence with government systems. While trauma and desperation are two leading descriptions of these standards, one can only imagine until they’ve experienced it.

5. An installation of confinement (2):
Essentially tearing down the installation where there are only lines marked to represent the intersection of walls and placement of objects. Every user’s reaction will be either different or confronted by the fact that the media’s access to information should be the same as the information that’s reported to the public.

Draft Proposal: Installation of Confinement:

Each year there is a conflict between the arrival to Australia on an asylum seeker boat, and the government enforcement that is placed upon these people seeking asylum. Because of their seemingly illegal attempt to flee their home country in search for asylum, Australia is currently in a position where they need to manage accordingly to the numbers. Moreover, the lack of substantial and pure information through social media networks and media news has allowed the public to shift their perception to information that is ready to be outsourced.

To increase the awareness and acceptance of this demographic, I plan to set up a represented installation of the living conditions the refugees are dealt with in time of migration. With this installation, the general public have the option to interact with this installation to show their support and respect for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as sending their own message across as the general public unit.

As this proposal mainly relies on a strength in numbers, the ability to send a message across to a wide audience has never been easier. Why aren’t we utilising these resources?

With this plan, the achievement is split up into three entities, which relies heavily on resources and space: Awareness, interaction, acceptance.

Peter Andreacchio (11768381)

BLOG POST 6: Scraping the web for data

‘Lexicons + The Internet Language’

The history and context of language are always changing and developing. As the emergence of technology and the Integration of the Internet changes the way we consume media. Our linguistics and vocabulary also expand. Social Media in its own platform is a major contributor in the ways we communicate visually and audibly. The format and structure of social media influences writing styles as well as content. Twitter is a new form of media that delivers its messages in a 140 character limit. This restriction creates a succinct, creative and empowering conversation that users are easily able to engage and scroll through.

Lexicons are a linguistic resource that we use to understand the vocabulary of a person in association to words of sentimental value (emotions). Whether they’re positive, negative or neutral. I.e. ‘NO!’ and ‘no’ conveys a different tone of voice and with the slight alterations in its composition, It delivers a different message. Twitter is a primary social media platform that deals with languages of informal expressions. Generally a collation of data and colloquial expressions. Such as acronyms, the use of incorrect spelling/ terms and abbreviations. Due to the vast majority of language expressions and variable factors, It is difficult to determine whether the responses are of sentimental value (positive, negative or neutral) therefore the use of emoticons are applied.

Emoticons are a highly recognised attribute to the Internet language. The use of visual expression displays a greater range of sentimental values and is a language technique globally practised. Emoticons are considered to be opinion lexicons and are stable for sentimental classification, unlike literal words.

The default Twitter search allows users to add emoticons to the search to find positive/ negative tweets. The majority of tweets does not contain emoticons which impact the search and statistics by DTA: 25th Australasian Database conference shows that only 9.40% of tweets in 2011 contain at least one emoticon. 7.37% of that is positive and 2.03% negative. (Mohammad, S, A. Wang, H. 2014). Due to these results, It shows a decline and insufficient use of lexicons and emoticon limitations.



Twitter features using # syntax as a mean of collating tweets into categories and as a new form of internet language. Hashtags are also a form of metadata by collecting words of the same topic giving context to the tweet. For example #idontwanttowritethisblogpostanymore groups tweets with similar concepts. Although topics that are not typical are often more difficult to evaluate and contribute to the global expansion of lexicons, providing better performance to searches and collation of material.


Sharaf, M.A., Wang, H. 2014, ‘Databases Theory and Application: 25th Australasian Database Conference, Springer, Brisbane, viewed 4 September 2016,
Bravo, F. 2016, Lexicon Expansion, viewed 4 September 2016,
Reed, J. 2014, How social media is changing language, blog post, viewed 4 September 2016,


POST 6: Scraping the web for data // Hashtags eveywhere


Social Media

Social media is a large and prevalent force within society. There are various social media platforms that people can use to obtain and share information on current issues in society. They are a simple way for people to interact and communicate their opinions and beliefs with each other on certain issues in the world. Social media is extremely powerful as it can be an agent for change and can heighten awareness on particular concerns in society.


For this research, I have used Twitter to gain further insight into the perspectives of mental health in Australia. Twitter enables registered users on various devices to send, read and share short messages limited to 140-characters. It is a free online social networking service that many people use to share their opinions on issues and receive information on particular topics. Tweets can be commented on, liked or retweeted and contain conversation threads, hashtags to connect to general topics, hyperlinks to relevant websites and tags to other users. Twitter is a public service so users can follow/ be followed by anyone and tweets are permanent and searchable.

Data Scraping Process

The process I used to collect data was the Twitter Archiver add-on in Google Spread Sheet. Once I had connected my Twitter account to my spread sheet, I created a rule to find tweets catered towards my issue. It took me a few attempts to achieve a good set of data. My more specific searches didn’t bring up any tweets so I first searched broadly using the hashtag #mentalhealth in Australia and in my second search I specified the words stigma, mental and health. This brought up lots of results from many different stakeholders. From here, I went back and forth between the spread sheet and exploring Twitter manually for tweets. Using the spread sheet and Twitter directly, I found this method of data collection quite beneficial and discovered more information about mental health.

A rough flow chart of my data scraping process.

Outcome of my data scraping

Below are some tweets that stood out to me in my data collection and analysis:

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A common hashtag within the topic of mental health was #ImEndingStigmaBy which demonstrated the positive attitude towards the issue on social media.
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An example of how a hashtag can manifest in reality to spread awareness and knowledge of mental health issues.
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This tweet is linked to my specific topic of stigma in relation to communication between health professionals and patients.
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This tweet demonstrates the frustration of stigma felt by people and how there is a drive and determination to end stigma and discrimination.
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A stereotype of stigma and mental health is that there is only focus and awareness on particular illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Reading through all these tweets from my data spread sheet made me realise that the view of mental health on Twitter is extremely positive. Having researched mental health continually for the past six weeks, it’s hard to see the positive side of the issue. Negativity and stigma are prevalent forces within the issues of mental health but I was pleasantly surprised to see the positivity and support displayed in these tweets. They mostly speak of increasing awareness of mental health issues, boosting positivity and helping spread the word for particular mental health illnesses and campaigns. This data demonstrates the power that social media has today in increasing awareness for particular issues.

Various stakeholders can also be identified through this data. Stakeholders on Twitter vary from people suffering and/or affected by mental health problems, bloggers about mental health and wellbeing, doctors and health professionals and also organisations such as SANE Australia. A lot of opinionated data can be collected from these individual profiles to gain a greater insight into the issues of mental health and how these stakeholders play a part within the issue.

Through my analysis of my data and further research, I have also identified some main hashtags used in relation to mental health which I have categorised into a mind-map (yes, another mind-map) below. Main hashtags that I discovered included:

  • #mentalhealth
  • #stopthestigma
  • #stigma
  • #depression
  • #anxiety
  • #wellbeing
  • #mindfulness

Other hashtags that were quite prevalent in my searches include:

  • #ImEndingStigmaBy
  • #22pushupchallenge
  • #imnotashamed.
  • #EndTheStigma
  • #SickNotWeak


Main hashtags related to mental health colour coded into positive, neutral and negative.

Hashtags demonstrate what is trending and provides an overview of particular topic, in this case, mental health. Again, it is interesting and enlightening to see that most of the hashtags used are positive and forward thinking.

After wading through all that data, I have created a five point summary about my experience of data scrapping and my view of Twitter:

  1. Positivity stood out amongst the negativity.
  2. Hashtags are annoying, yet helpful for data purposes.
  3. Social media has a great power to boost awareness of issues.
  4. Opinionated data offers a greater insight into various issues.
  5. Use Twitter wisely; anyone can see it.


Visual Design Responses

It is still hard to say at this stage what design responses I could use to visualise this data as the information I have collected is still quite broad and abundant. A possible visual design response for this data on the issues within mental health could manifest as an interactive installation outlining the stakeholders involved and emotions experiences. I believe emotions and empathy is a key factor in understanding mental health issues. An engaging design like an installation would make the issue real to the audience. I would also like to explore the disconnect experienced when articulating ones mental state and how this can be perceived as attention seeking. Again, I could use emotions and feelings experienced by people to perhaps create a generative design response.

Post Six: #NigerianPrinceScam

This post will explore the use of Twitter as a web scraper. Twitter was founded in 2006 by a small team of people (Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass) and is an online social media platform for built for users to create messages of 140 characters or less as well as read them from other users on a timeline; this makes Twitter a great platform for news highlights. Twitter has been made into a very responsive website and app which can be viewed and used on all technological platforms; computers, iPads/tablets, smartphones and the Apple watch. Twitter users can only interact with other twitter users but the platform works well for images shared seamlessly from Instagram to Twitter. The main features of a tweet are outlined below.

[Sydney Morning Herald 2016] Example of a tweet incorporating a news headline and link to external article

Twitter’s re-tweet function, whereby users are able to share another users’ tweet on their own timeline, is one of the main functions available aside from actually tweeting. Similar to many other popular social media sites, Twitter incorporates a like or favourite button as well as a trending sidebar which lists the hashtags or topics that are being tweeted about the most. Direct messaging is another function on Twitter whereby instead of tweeting publicly, one can send a tweet or message privately to another user. In terms of unique qualities, Twitter was the first social media platform to incorporate the use of the now incredibly popular hashtags; by way of searching for topics and interacting with other users tweeting about that same topic. Another unique quality is Twitter’s Moments panel which provides the latest or most shared information in categories such as ‘today’, ‘news’, ‘sports’, ‘entertainment’ and ‘fun’. After a while, these moment’s articles become tailored to the individual user and the topics they interact with the most. Although Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters or less, many users live tweet or create a tweet thread with their thoughts by replying to one tweet over again to create a thread of messages.

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[Twitter 2016] Twitter’s Moments page displaying the latest in daily news

Twitter has a very wide audience, mainly younger generations who are more frequent on social media sites, and can be accessed by anyone who can reach the site through mobile or online technology. As mentioned above, due to the character limit per tweet, many news platforms have taken to Twitter to share stories as the tweet length is perfect for news headlines for those without time to read the full story. These headlines entice people in to continue to read the rest of the story through the provided link. It is through these news stories that hashtags are generated and users continue to discuss the events often providing their own opinion. Tweets can range from news headlines to personal thoughts and inspirational quotes to including imagery such as memes, selfies, general photography and fashion – thus, almost everything can be tweeted about by almost everyone.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 7.41.31 PM
[Common White Girl 2016] Example of a tweet incorporating an image or meme
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[Kinsella 2016] Example of a tweet using a trending hashtag
Other than the main purpose of tweeting, Twitter can also be used to generate large amounts of information on particular topics. By a simple word search the archiver can pull hundreds to thousands of tweets from Twitter and categorise them in a spreadsheet. Using this web scraper, I decided to inquire about the common Nigerian Prince email scam that many people receive. I firstly did a broad search on Twitter using the general search button and received the results below.

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[Twitter 2016] Initial Twitter search of ‘nigerian prince scam’

Although the initial Twitter search of the phrase ‘nigerian prince scam’ did generate many tweets on the topic, I decided to investigate further using the Twitter Archiver to ascertain if the results would be starkly different. A flow chart of the main steps is pictured below.


The search dialogue box is pictured below and the main phrase was used as well as additional words (‘email’, ‘fake’ and ‘money’) to further refine the search results. I also decided for the results to only include tweets in English as I would be unable to make sense of them in any other language.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 6.14.02 PM
Creating a search rule through the Twitter Archiver using additional terms of ‘email’, ‘fake’ and ‘money’

After creating the search rule, the Twitter Archiver began to generate the results and plot them in the spreadsheet opened. Although the actual tweets in the spreadsheet were the same as those I found in the initial Twitter search, the layout of the information was majorly different. Information such as each users’ screen name, full name, tweet, the app they tweeted on were displayed as well as that users’ Twitter bio, location of the tweet and basic statistics (number of followers/follows, retweets, favourites) as shown below.

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Twitter Archiver’s search results displaying in a spreadsheet with added information about the tweet and Twitter user

The most recent (and the majority of) tweets using this Twitter Archiver appeared to show tweets from the USA in response to a news article regarding Donald Trump and due to these in-depth results, it was then interesting to look at the Twitter bios of these people to possibly determine why they are tweeting about the topic (e.g is it a topic they are involved in in some way as many of these users were) and this led me to pinpoint two of these tweeters, and investigate their initial tweets – one of the great features of the Twitter Archiver.

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[(((AG))) 2016] Tweet referencing the ‘nigerian prince scam’ but in relation to the recent USA Presidential campaign
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[¡Ay, yi No me gusta! 2016] Tweet using the ‘nigerian prince scam’ but in relation to online fraud through dating websites

Other than visualising this information in a spreadsheet, it would be very interesting to see how these tweets look on a world map. This would display where in the world each user tweeted from and in doing this one could then determine why some countries appear to discuss the issue more or less than others. Another visualisation is to display the dates of each tweet on an actual timeline as there could be many months where no-one would tweet about the topic, and some with an influx of tweets. This could be a result of government activity (as seen with the Trump tweets above) or even if there is a large amount of online email fraud occurring at one particular time.


  1. The Twitter archiver displays the same search results as using the basic Twitter search but the layout of the information is much more in-depth (displays users’ screen name, full name, tweet, the app they tweeted on were displayed as well as that users’ Twitter bio, location of the tweet and basic statistics).
  2. There are a variety of different ways to display the search results from the Twitter archiver including in a basic spreadsheet, on a world map (pin-pointing the location of each tweet), and displaying the tweets on a timeline (showing the when the topic was most discussed). 
  3. It was interesting to see that the majority of the tweets mentioning ‘Nigerian prince scam’ did not use the phrase in a hashtag.
  4. Many of the tweets displayed in the results were sent as a reply to a main tweet, creating and continuing the conversation which meant the tweets were mostly in response to the same single topic. Easy to see different points of view and watch the conversation move in different directions to gauge a common public opinion.
  5. The Twitter archiver does not enable the user to easily see and click on images/links. After completing the same search on Twitter itself, I found that the majority of tweets using this phrase did not actually include images but for the few that did, it would have been great to see them incorporated into the spreadsheet to easily map the results.


(((AG))) 2016, ‘Trumpkins are the people who send money to a Nigerian Prince, then get mad at you for pointing out it’s a scam.’, Twitter post, 30 August, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

¡Ay, yi No me gusta! 2016, ‘Nigerian prince scam IRL: fraudsters are infiltrating dating sites to fleece people out of their savings’, Twitter post, 1 September, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

Common White Girl 2016, ‘I already lost the headphones just by lookin at the pic’, Twitter post, 3 September, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

Kinsella, C. 2016, ‘#HowToConfuseAMillennial Destroy the housing market, Replace grad jobs with unpaid internships, Tell them to buy a house’, Twitter post, 4 September, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

Sydney Morning Herald 2016, ‘‘Significant breach’: ANZ to return $28.8m to customers’, Twitter post, 5 September, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

Twitter 2016, Twitter, viewed 5 September 2016, <>.

Header image
Business Insider 2016, Donald Trump cast a gigantic shadow over the Fox News debate, viewed 5 September 2016, <;.

By Chloe Schumacher

Post 6: #BringThemHere

By Olivia Tseu-Tjoa

Activism on social media has often been criticised as ‘hashtag activism’ or a form of ‘slacktivism’, defined as the support of social causes through the internet but are considered to involve little effort or time and have no real tangible effect. While browsing through well known hashtags such as #RefugeesWelcome, #LetThemStay, #BringThemHere and #CloseTheCamps, I found these tags to be specific to the asylum seeker issue in Australia. Looking at both tweets and images, the stakeholders involved with the issue became apparent. Are we all just “slackers” who loudly proclaim #LetThemStay on our social media platforms or is more being achieved?

Continue reading “Post 6: #BringThemHere”

Post 5: Interviewing, and probing deeper

Molly Grover

In order to gain an understanding of the concerns and perspectives held by the 18-25 year old age bracket surrounding the topic of refugees and asylum seekers, I developed an exercise in design-led ethnography.

With the help of a 23 year old participant, I designed and conducted a semi-structured interview and take-home probe task, with the hope of further contextualizing the chosen issue through the lens of my peers.

Part 1: Interview

Referring to the earlier mapping exercise, I used my previously identified human and non-human participants as a guide for what might concern the 18-25 year old age group.

Using mapping once again, I developed a set of interview questions that drew upon the topics of human rights, media sentiment, cultural assimilation, population, infrastructure and safety.

Mapping the likely concerns of 18-25 year olds regarding the issue of refugees and asylum seekers. Copyright 2106 Molly Grover all rights reserved.

Interview Questions

Finalised list of questions for the semi-structured interview.

After settling on these five questions, I conducted a short interview with a 23 year old peer. The semi-structured nature of the interview allowed the conversation to flow freely, with my lines of questioning being influenced and directed by the responses of the participant’s answers. This resulted in an engaging and interesting dialogue, rather than a rigid and awkward experience.

After recording and transcribing the interview, I used mapping once again to summarise the key ideas communicated by the participant.

Mapping the key results from the semi-structured interview. Copyright 2016 Molly Grover all rights reserved.


Firstly, when asked to explain his opinion regarding the morality of asylum seeker detention, the participant decide to answer the question in two parts, dealing first with the offshore location of detention, and secondly with its indefinite nature.

Referencing the recent leakage of reports from within Nauru, the participant expressed his dissatisfaction with not only the inhumanity of the conditions of detention, but also the offshore placement of the camps, insightfully commenting on the lack of accountability bred by the physical distance and lack of media coverage.

Bringing to my attention the resulting ability of the Australian public to turn a blind eye, the participant then moved to a discussion surrounding the length of detention.

Describing the indefinite nature of current processing as ‘inhumane’, he expressed the need for more rapid decision-making, in order to avoid adding more stress and uncertainty to the already traumatised state of those who have recently fled their country.

Upon discussing his concerns regarding an increased intake and settlement of refugees in Australia, the participant made another interesting point, noting that the coming together of two different cultural groups will always be risky, no matter the social, temporal or geographical context.

Expressing the need to see refugees as individuals, rather than applying categorical assumptions, the participant highlighted the contradictory nature of those in politics who claim that refugees are both inherently lazy, and stealing our jobs.

Interestingly, he did not express concern at the prospect of jobs being taken by refugees, rather stating that if refugees were prepared to work harder than Australians, then perhaps they should very well have our jobs.

Contrasting with the opinions expressed by public figures such as Pauline Hanson and Sonia Kruger, the participant did not agree with the correlation made between Muslim immigration and terrorism, once again stating that no categorical danger could be applied to either all refugees or all Muslims, just as none can be applied to all Australian residents.

Using an interesting metaphor, the participant equated the probability of a terrorist presence within a group of Muslim immigrants to the probability of a presence of LGBTI hate-preachers within a group of Christian immigrants.

He noted that the vast majority of Muslims are not ISIS affiliated, suggesting that terror is caused by anomalous splinter groups, and thus cannot be attached to the religion of Islam as a whole.

When asked about the opinions of his peers, the participant noted that most within his community of friends had at some point expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s current system of dealing with refugee and asylum seeker flows.

Observing that many of his friends want change in the form of an increased refugee intake, he explained that some have even taken political action, attending peaceful protests and campaigns to such an end.

In contrast to his friends however, the participant expressed no future plans to take part in political action, due to his belief that the Australian government is not truly representative of the desires of its people.

He does not see political action as effectual or worthwhile, due to similarity of the both major parties’ policies for refugees and asylum seekers.

However, the participant did express his willingness to support those refugees who have been allowed into Australia, describing his involvement with a church-led campaign to gather and distribute groceries to recently settled refugees in his local community.

Summarising his own sense of responsibility towards the issue, he noted that he felt it was his duty to help those who are already here (in Australia), but not to take political action for those who are not.

When asked for his opinion regarding the media’s representation of the issue, the participant noted that he does not watch television or listen to the radio often, citing his main sources of information as social media and his own online research.

From his exposure to these sources, he noted that whilst the majority supported an increased refugee intake in Australia, there were also many public figures that did not, making the scope of positions expressed by the media extremely varied.

Part 2: Probe

In order to delve further into the experiences and perspectives of the participant, I designed a simple take-home activity to be undertaken over the course of a week.

Aiming to gain insight into the range of sources engaged in by 18-25 year olds, I asked my participant to take note of every time he noticed the issue of refugees or asylum seekers mentioned in a piece of media, using iPhone photography and screenshots to make a record of all such encounters.

The probe task given to the participant. Copyright 2016 Molly Grover all rights reserved.


Upon consulting the participant at the conclusion of the task, I was disappointed to discover that he had not encountered any media sources for the entire week of the probe exercise. As a result, no screenshots, photographs or notes existed for analysis.

Reflecting initially on this result, I concluded that the task was undoubtedly a failure and must have been poorly designed on my part.

Perhaps focusing on a specific media source would have improved the outcome. For example, please spend 2 minutes per day scrolling through your Facebook feed, taking screenshots of any mention of refugees or asylum seekers.

This specific directive would have ruled out the possibility of neglecting to engage with any media and thus not encountering any sentiment surrounding the issue.

Furthermore, the probe could have been improved by sending a few regular (but not intrusive) reminders to the participant to keep their eyes open for mentions of the issue. For an example, a simple Facebook message in the middle of the week could read ‘Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled today!’ or similar.

This would rule out the possibility of forgetting to actually focus on the issue whilst engaging with day-to-day media sources.

On the converse, however, it could be argued that the probe was actually a success in revealing the low level of the participant’s day-to-day exposure to the refugee and asylum seeker issue.

The lack of encounters with the topic in a normal week of undirected media use reflects and reveals the social context of the participant, as well as his own browsing habits.

Aligning with the results of the interview, in which the participant noted that he did not regularly engage with traditional media sources such as television, radio and newspapers, the probe suggests that although the participant has well-formed opinions on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, he is not regularly engaging in a political dialogue regarding the issue.

5 Point Summary

From the results of both the interview and the probe, a few key insights can be drawn:

  1. The participant and his peers share a unanimous position on the inhumanity of indefinite offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers.
  2. The participant believes that the physical distance of the offshore camps has led to a lack of accountability from the Australian government and ignorance amongst the Australian public.
  3. Whilst possibly not being regularly exposed to the issue through traditional media sources, Australians in the 18-25 year old age bracket seem to be educated and passionate about taking action around the issue of offshore detention and asylum.
  4. The participant believes that asylum seekers need to be assessed and viewed as individuals, as the assumption of a categorical danger or threat is inaccurate, unfair and illogical.
  5. Whilst the participant is passionate and well-informed about the issue of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, he is not exposed to regular dialogue or sentiment regarding the issue in his everyday life.

POST 5: Approaches to design for change, design-led ethnography

by Jansie Vo

Adults commonly tell young people that the teenage years are the “best years of your life.” The rosy remembrance highlights happy groups of high school students energetically involved at a dance or sporting event, and a bright-eyed couple holding hands or sipping sodas at a local restaurant. This is only part of the picture. Life for many young people is a painful tug of war filled with mixed messages and conflicting demands from parents, teachers, coaches, employers, friends and oneself. Growing up—negotiating a path between independence and reliance on others—is a tough business. It creates stress, and it can create.

To gain further insights from primary research, the interview, conducted on 16 August 2016, with two young interviewees who are university students doing mental health issue provided information into important factors influencing mental illness, targetting to the prevalence of adolescent stress and depression. The result of interview shows that some of the stressful events related to young people experience, describes how young people deal with stress. The interviewee, she drops some serious knowledge about depression from her personal experience from friends and surrounding. From her understanding, when someone is depressed, she gives them advice. However, she understands they don’t want to listen, just try to be supportive, try to provide love. If they say they want to be left alone, leave them alone, and tell an adult that there is serious darkness going on, because it can be very dangerous to be depressed, they can become suicidal. What helps them throughout their depression is the love and support of us, be by their side throughout the whole process, to help them keep moving forward.

The hardest part in depression is in a dark state where they have no hope, no thoughts of moving forward, only staying in the past and present and dwelling on all of bad decisions and negative thoughts. The biggest way of coming out of depression is inner resolve. She thinks when the feeling super down or having tantrums or not able to participate in any activities, the need is to control themself, encourage to think positively, and move towards the light.

(My mental health day, 2014)
(Daily Naskaban, 2015)

The probe I asked my interviewee is to collect the information on social media in mental health and from this task, I found out most young people become stressed for many reasons. The most common of these are:

  • Break up with boy/girl friend
  • Increased arguments with parents
  • Trouble with brother or sister
  • Increased arguments between parents
  • Change in parents’ financial status
  • Serious illness or injury of family member
  • Trouble with classmates
  • Trouble with parents

These events are centered in the two most important domains of a teenager’s life: home and school. They relate to issues of conflict and loss. Loss can reflect the real or perceived loss of something concrete such as a friend or money, and it can mean the loss of such as self-worth, respect, friendship or love. In addition there are several barriers to integrate healthy lifestyles into the daily life identified is consisted of lack of energy and motivation, abuse drug use, and lack of time and personal views and attitudes towards health promotion as important elements influencing in mental health.

Five points of insight:

  • Personal experience is a significant element to gain insights in mental illness
  • Try to be supportive, try to provide love
  • Listen more and be with them throughout the whole process
  • Social media is more impact on physical activity and mental health benefits in daily life
  • The biggest way of coming out of depression is inner resolve


Hanson, M.2015, Social media can contribute to mental health issues, viewed 29 August 2016, <;

My mental health day, 2014, Maintain Your Mental health as a Social Media User, viewed 29 August 2016, <;


POST 5: Approaches to design for change, design-led ethnography

My interview focused on understanding people’s knowledge of, and responses to online privacy. In both interviews I began by asking my respondents what steps they took to protect their privacy. This simple question highlighted the dichotomy of online privacy; with one user saying they took a number of steps and the other saying they took none. Interestingly the respondent who did nothing simply stated that it was not worth the effort, as they felt their personal data would be collected no matter what. Following on from this, I also asked both interviewees about their opinion of data collection. In this instance both respondents stated that they had never really considered the implications of ubiquitous data collection, with both indicating they were against it in principal but were yet to have any negative experiences with it. The idea that people are generally unaware about their privacy and the information they contribute to digital systems is something I explored further in my probe.

Visitor and resident mapping provides a framework to analyse the myriad of ways that people engage with technology. Unlike other models, V&R mapping does not seek to label people with fundamental identities. Instead, it aims to identify the modes of behaviour and the motivations behind our use of technology (White & Lanclos 2015). To show this, participants are required to plot their online activity on a two dimensional axis. The y-axis provides a space to illustrate the distinctions between public and private activities, while the x-axis proves a space for participants to reflect on the visibility of their actions (White & Lanclos 2015).  Visibility is measured on a scale from resident to visitor. A resident is someone who maintains an active profile within an online platform by creating content and contributing to the discussion. A visitor is someone with little visibility within the platform they are using (University of Hull 2015). Visitors see the web as a tool, and thus only engage with it when a need arises.

Post 5, image 1
One of the V&R maps returned from my probe

Above is an example of an annotated visitor and resident map. In this instance the author has adhered to the common practice of situating social media platforms towards the resident side of the axis. Interestingly, the respondent has placed Twitter closer to the visitor end of the spectrum, annotating that they use it to follow the activity of others, but rarely engage in the conversation themselves. Likewise, YouTube is placed at the visitor end of the scale, with the author stating they watch content, but do not create their own or comment on others. Resident platforms like these are able to occupy a variety of locations due to the differing modes of engagement and motivations of their users. The discrepancies between intended and actual use was something I was interested in, and was able to gather information on using the V&R framework. V&R mapping was useful in this instance as it provided a rigid enough structure to return comparable results, while also allowing for enough freedom to uncover interesting insights. With that being said, it would have been good to get more respondents to complete the activity. Having a larger collection of datasets would allow for better comparisons of the ways that people interact with technology.

  • People are generally either highly aware, or ignorant of how much data is collected about them by digital systems.
  • Most people are unaware of what their personal information is used for.
  • It is hard for even the most careful individuals to avoid having their data collected online.
  • The majority of people do not understand the commercial value of their personal information.
  • Seemingly meaningless data can be quickly and easily assembled to form a detailed picture of an individual.

Reference list

University of Hull 2015, Mapping your own digital world, viewed 24 August 2016, <>.

White, D. & Lanclos, D. 2015, Visitors and residents mapping workshop, viewed 24 August 2016, <>.