Project scope clarification
I'll give you a bit more about the project scope. To be honest I didn't want to add too much information before the project was approved but I think clarification would be helpful.
This is fundamentally and arts/design driven semester long assignment, please keep in mind that my school is highly conceptual. My industrial design classes have a basis in the humanities, sciences and art.
This particular class however, is about co-creative, empathy-based design. We are being taught in this course how to design for people on a personal, needs-based and emotional level. That said it is important to note that this particular assignment is not a formal research project and is not sciences or tech driven. I don't conduct extensive technical research, I draw from existing research, related research, case studies, journals, etc. I do conduct some basic ethnographic research (I study people and their habits through observation, survey, co-creation kits, cultural probe kits, user opinion, user testing, site visits, field interviews and a few other approaches locally.) And I also focus a fair amount of my energies on physical and cognitive ergonomics (usability). This is also not a full product development course; we are not expected to turn out a complete, working product in the 2.5 months we have left of the class (although I'd love to accomplish this for my mom). My mom is why I chose to focus on auto-immune disease in first place...it was the invisible gauntlet that she had to dodge on a daily basis while she tried her best at living a normal life. It really deserves more exploration, awareness and understanding. What I am being asked to do as a student is to invest my creativity, love, thoughts (yes my research) and energies into a presenting a meaningful concept to the medical/assistive community. So what does this accomplish? We are trying to raise awareness of potential new directions in medical design that uses the arts to bridge the gap between the sciences and humanities.
I'm not a programmer, or an app developer. I don't work for a design firm and this is not sponsored by any company. The goal of this assignment is to identify a real need and conceptualize a tool that could make a difference to someone on a personal level. Its about enabling someone to feel better through positive activity or exercise. Its not meant to offer a product, a cure or a remedy. If in any way it reinforced any kind of exclusionary or negative activity, I'd scrap the project myself.
But to clarify the scope, I'm not superwoman... what I am is an insatiably curious, creative person that values out-of-the box thinking. (I research, ideate, explore, sketch, photograph, sculpt, 2D model, 3D model, produce graphic designs & posters and I also do some minor web design). If this project can be of value to the medical community later on, that would be great but I can't promise a fully working app/site. I will likely build a click-able web/app interface and even post parts of it on my website for simple user testing but it will not collect any real data at this point. What I can do is come up with a beautiful, intuitive and meaningful idea, a prototype for someone to hopefully find value in and develop further. I'd love to see the idea prove fruitful or useful to an organization willing to develop it into a full fledged system (hopefully a non-profit one like the Lupus Foundation). If I could continue it as my grad project next year, I'd gladly spend the time to try to make that happen and turn it into a free website, and android/iphone app. But that's thinking a bit big for one student's humble project at this point.
Also I'd like to say that I agree with tgal, in my opinion, this project should exclude no one. I will be welcoming the feedback of anyone interested, as all ideas/input are valuable in empathy based design.
Also, thanks to Steve and Marla for reminding me that any good tech solution works on all tech.. so it makes sense that it would ideally need to be a website and an app :)
This makes more sense also when considering that a user might want it to link to the office of a health care practitioner, in which case it would need to have a web interface.
That just brings up a boat load of new questions that I don't have permission to ask yet lol.
I hope that helps clarify things :)