Our class, "Art 484: Advanced Projects in Interaction Design", had been invited by Microsoft Research to participate in the 2007 Microsoft Design Expo to develop interaction design concepts that address how new software and hardware concepts can support health and wellness.
From here, we had free reign to create a concept that either made a marked improvement over an old method of looking after health, or introduce an entirely new system to help improve the daily life, and long term well being of a wide variety of users. This can be anything from promoting wellness and life balance, to addressing difficult health related issues, to addressing healthcare systems and tools.
With the help of Georg Petschnigg, the Microsoft liason, each group came up with a concept that related to health; ours was to help ordinary people to better manage their health records.
We found that people misunderstood their underlying health, which often would lead to disastrous results. The knowledge of their medical records would help them to better understand the current state of their body.
With the assumption that medical records will soon be widely digitized, my group consulted with an expert on personal records:, Gordon Bell, member of Microsoft Research and founder of the MyLifeBits project.
Here we were able to find that the records he had recorded from his doctor visits had aided him tremendously in making health decisions, so we decided to design a 'Quicken for Health' type software.
While brainstorming about how to navigate the entirety of one's health in software, we happened upon a 'tree ring' type of display. From here we explored the various ways this concept could be applied to a database of health information. To aid us in making an easy-to-understand design, we worked with people that we were the target audience. Through interviews and subsequent usability testing of the mockups, we were able to find which parts of the interface resonated with them and which areas needed to be redesigned. Lastly, we revised our designs to address all issues found in the usabilities studies then prepared the documentation for our final design iteration and presented the results at the Microsoft Design Expo.
— Professor, Ph.D. in Cognitive Systems Engineering, Art dept.
— Liaison for this project
— Executive Producer, Microsoft Pioneer Studios
— Advisor for this project
— Professor, Technical Communication
— Graduate student in Technical Communications
— Undergraduate student in Art / Design