SUMMARY

We designed an audience engagement event to mitigate Londoner's loneliness.

MY ROLE

UX research / Prototyping / Event Planning

WORK WITH

R/GA / Yiwei(David) Han / Damul Yang / Sue An / Maria Séves / Rickie Xiong

PERIOD

Febarary to March 2021 (6 Weeks)

BLOG LINK

BRIEF

Design a way to mitigate the effects of loneliness

BACKGROUND

Loneliness as a new global epidemic can harm people’s physical and mental health and behaviour. The outbreak of the epidemic and lockdown cut off normal social interaction and physical contact and exacerbate the growth of loneliness.

Project Goals

Icon-1-1

Attention should be paid to the study of loneliness effects

Icon-2-1

The exploration of various creative or experimental approaches

Icon-3-1

The experimentation with a range of physical materials and digital technologies

Icon-4-1

Not to solve or get rid of loneliness but as a way to mitigate or counterbalance.

Research Method

APPROACH

To gather insights on the current loneliness experience from different people, literature reviews and benchmarket (competitor research), with a focus on both causes and effects of loneliness.

Research Methods

Icon-1-1

Literature Review 

Icon-3-1

Target Audience Interviews

Icon-5b-1

Prototyping

Icon-2-1

Directly Storytelling

Icon-4-1

Benchmarking Analysis

Frame-1-2

Target Group

Over 8 million people live in London, which means 5,701 people per square kilometre. Despite its large population, London has always been considered one of the loneliest cities. Therefore, we targeted our project at the people of London.

555

Key Findings

Literature Review 

1. Creative activities help to alleviate loneliness

2. Doing acts of kindness can help ease loneliness

3. Four main interventions to reduce loneliness (Masi et al., 2010):
I. Improving social skills
II. Enhancing social support
III. Increasing opportunities for social interaction
IV. Addressing abnormal social cognition

Directly Storytelling

The causes and effects of loneliness are diverse and vary from person to person. Lockdown period can increase feelings of loneliness, mainly due to the lack of physical contact and material sensations.

Target Audience Interviews

Loneliness comes mainly from a lack of social connection, bonding and communication. Loneliness can cause anxiety, isolation, low self-esteem, etc.

Benchmark Analysis

As the target group is different, each product will have different features for alleviating loneliness.

Frame-2

Field interviews

Key Focus Areas

How can we raise public awareness of the issue of loneliness and lonely people?

How can we improve the social connection, bonding and communication between the city and its citizens?

What can we externalize the feeling of loneliness?

Lo-fi Prototype 

Key Focus Areas

What is the key to countering loneliness?

How to make it easier for people to engage socially?

Lo-fi prototype feedback

Frame-5

FINAL IDEA

Create social connection by / between / within digital and physical.

I AM INVISIBLE -> I AM IN, VISIBLE

The slogan conveys two main metaphors: “I” can refer to lonely person, who are invisible, but through the intervention of others they will be seen and full of care and positive; “I” can also refer to loneliness itself, which is invisible, but through open activities, it will be seen by more people.

image-13

Result

This is an incredible experience. We succeeded in attracting the attention of more than 100 pedestrians, not only young people, but also old people and children. The clear introduction and simple interaction greatly increased their participation rate. We can directly observe the smile and joy of each participant after throwing the ball, and this behavior and positive will affect and infect the surrounding people.

Also during the interview, we noticed people were reflecting their own stories of loneliness during the experience. Furthermore, people were very pleased to be involved in the experience asking about the next location on Instagram.

This project is far more than just drawing the public’s attention to loneliness, but creating a sharing platform that connects the entire community. This platform will stimulate contagious discussions and reflections. Loneliness should not be confronted by one person, but by the entire community, city and society. 

Frame-4

Learning

1 Simple Option Is Better Than Many

When you're communicating your process and solutions to a user or participant who isn't always the key decision maker, it's important to keep your points clear and concise enough for easy re-communication. Even though this user may appreciate the extra displayed effort, it can muddy the waters when feedback comes back out.

© Yiwei Han 2021