User Experience Researcher
Design a transmedia experience that rallies people on urgent social cause where the voices of underrepresented groups are expressed
5 weeks | 02.02 – 09.03.2023
5 people | Cyrus (Xiyuan) Han, Mansi Chottani, Mila Tawil and Sushil Suresh
Initially, there was a misunderstanding in our work relationship with Creative Conscience, our project partner. We promptly addressed the issue and clarified the project’s topic of invisible disabilities during our communication with them.
Through my diplomatic communication and collaborative approach, I managed to clear up misunderstandings with our partner while maintaining a positive relationship. As a result, we secured their continued support in the following stages of the project.
Drawing from my experience as a digital learning champion, I suggested creating a project timetable to ensure that we stayed on top of this lengthy project.
My suggestion for including buffer time before the final presentation did not receive much attention due to concerns about the many moving targets involved in the project. Therefore, I decided to revisit that part of the timeline later in the weeks as we know more details.
It was important to strike a balance between keep iterating the plan and executing the project without using up too many valuable resources solely for updating the plan.
Our project is driven by a strong passion for advocating for people with disabilities who are often excluded and misrepresented in society.
We believe that the current narrative around this issue needs to be reframed and changed.
Our goal is to engage with our audience to envision a future that is inclusive and involves people with disabilities.
At the outset of our project, we faced a decision on the scope of neurodivergent disabilities to focus on, as some were difficult to communicate effectively.
We considered two options: either to be inclusive of all neurodivergent expressions and find a common thread to connect them, or to select only one type.
Ultimately, we settled on a middle ground by selecting the most well-known types of learning disabilities that we had a good understanding of and aiming to represent them effectively in our project.
Upon reviewing the literature, we discovered that there is a significant amount of research conducted on children with neurodivergent conditions, whereas comparatively less work has been done on adults.
This indicates a gap in the support system for neurodivergent individuals as they transition into adulthood, particularly in the workplace, despite the existence of regulations and company policies.
We defined two categories:
The aforementioned campaign categories tend to emphasize individual-level promoting acceptance rather than addressing the need for societal change.
Initially, we found the scope of our project to be too broad, as people with learning disabilities face challenges in many areas of their everyday lives.
Therefore, we narrowed our focus to neurodivergent individuals in school and work settings for practical reasons, as we had contacts within this specific population to conduct primary research on their lived experiences.
After further consideration, we decided to concentrate on the workplace, as we were passionate about exploring the gaps and inadequate support for neurodivergent individuals in this context, which was highlighted in our literature review.
We were drawn to John Conway’s Game of Life due to its representation of how humans live and the interconnectedness of individuals and communities. With that, we aimed to bring forth neurodivergent voices as they are left invisible and let neurotypical people interact with them.
It became clear that my ideas were not aligning with those of Mila. Although I made an effort to incorporate her vision and create a hybrid solution, it felt like we were pulling in different directions.
We never directly discussed the shift in direction, as she was quite committed to her own vision while I had already acknowledged that mine was somewhat detached based on the feedback received. Given the time constraints and the need to move forward, I decided to let her take the lead on the project and follow her vision.
Read the full case study for the project!