11:00 - 11:20 amSunday, September 18
Plenary Hall
Empathy as a constant: improving college student health by designing in community
Plenary Hall
Empathy as a constant: improving college student health by designing in community
Mayo Clinic
At the beginning of our weekly group meeting on Monday, I asked Vallari, “How are you doing?” I silently guessed it was a cold, lack of sleep, or an upset in her personal life. Red eyes, less blinking,... Read more

Description

At the beginning of our weekly group meeting on Monday, I asked Vallari, “How are you doing?” I silently guessed it was a cold, lack of sleep, or an upset in her personal life. Red eyes, less blinking, and an exhausted posture were a few clues. It turned out to be a cold layered on top of exam pressure, fairly common at this time of year for college students. Six months prior, when the university was in emotional wake of a student’s death, Vallari began to imagine new ways to bring students together to support each other during difficult times. On Friday, she would test her design of a new “social connectedness” activity with her peers. Vallari is a student design researcher in a collaborative effort by Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI) and Arizona State University (ASU) to improve college student health and success using human-centered design.

Over the past two years, a small team of designers from Mayo Clinic has been embedded on the ASU campus and engaged with over 1500 students in design research and prototyping activities to question, understand, and improve college student health and success. Our efforts have yielded three robust prototypes that are currently being tested in large-scale research studies across campus. At a broader level, the collaboration has also forged a growing sense of shared responsibility in tackling the difficult problems that healthcare and education collectively face.

In the first half of this talk, we’ll introduce the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation’s human-centered design methodology and show how it works in our day-to-day lives within the ASU community, highlighting how long-term, social embeddedness enables the short and long-term emotional and cognitive empathy that can fuel effective design.

In the second half of the talk, we’ll present a set of design principles for student health gleaned from constructive and often contentious discussions with our students over the last two years. Then, we’ll extrapolate on the design principle “make data open, interactive and collaborative” through a case study of student data sets, challenging us as designers and researchers to attend to issues of unconscious bias, structural vulnerabilities and the freedom to create and control our own digital identities.

As our small design team co-exists with students during their everyday college experiences, struggles, victories, emotions, defeats, and ideas, empathy ceases to be a design process or skill but occupies its rightful place as a constant in design, honoring all the complexities that each of us carry as we try to improve the health of ourselves, our families and our communities.

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