A project with focus on people with dementia and their relatives, using participatory design methods.
This project is based on Markussen & Knutz (2017) description of Social Design and the underlying concept Social Games. A Social Game is a game, where focus is on social relations and how you can work with these via games or activities.The purpose of this project was to examine some of the methods and tools which can be used in a design process, that includes users in a small group of society, and which focuses on the challenges the individuals in the group potentially face. Here the goal is to create something that can have a qualitative positive effect in their lives.The reason behind this purpose of the project is, that I believe it can have a positive effect on society if we focus on the quality of life, and simultaneously remember that needs and values are very different depending on where we are, in both a professional aspect, and in our personal lives.For this project the users are people with dementia and their relatives.
The problem statement for this project was:Why does Participatory Design play a key role in creating a Social Game?
Creating a prototype to a Social Game, using principles from Participatory Design. The prototype was a part of a design exhibition with other students at the university.
Based on theoretical knowledge of people with dementia, sketches were made, exploring design ideas, followed up by making a 3D mockup of the game.
After this the actual prototype was made.
Core user needs
From the theory about people with dementia it was clear, that the main challenge for these users is their memory. Because of this, the game’s content was focused on storytelling, but with a clear focus on keeping the tasks of the game open with the possibility of not using your memory, but instead using your imagination.
The focus in this project was to examine why Participatory Design play a key role when creating a Social Game. Because the users were not included in the design process, this project can be used to see the consequences of not including the users, and simultaneously show how including the users can be done, when further developing the created prototype.
There are different tools for including the user. Because focus in a Social Game is to strengthen the social relations of the players, the user’s own subjective experiences are highly relevant to include.This project show, that if you only include the designer’s predetermined ideas to how the world is, or can be, you risk ending up with a product that you really cannot say will have the desired effect.
Participatory Design can ensure that the end product actually meet the needs of the users by contributing to an educational process. A process, where there is no doubt, that the design can give the user an experience that can create value for them.