Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Applying Positive Emotions to Technology

Relax at Camp Cozy
A wonderful story of how the people at GE realized that their technology was being used by people in hospital often in difficult circumstances and with a lot of intimidation and fear about the unknown. This is especially true of the children in the children's hospital at Pittsburgh under going repeated treatment. The question was why does something that can help you have to be so clinical and scary?

The insight was to make the treatment more like an adventure for the kids. This was a wonderful approach to taking something that is highly scientific and necessary, down to a level that works for the people that have to use it. The results are stunning and a great example of how design can reach beyond the function of technology to create something very emotional and touching for those involved.

"The focus of the Adventure Series is to provide successful distraction therapy that will appeal to all five senses. Three-dimensional decorative elements were created for an enhanced viewing effect, and lights, sounds, and aromatherapy were added to create a one-of-a kind experience for each and every patient. "

Doug Dietz, Principal Designer, GE Global Design and one of the originators of the Adventure Series says.

“We did simple things that get overlooked,” he says. “I mean, some of the most effective insights we got came from kneeling down and looking at rooms from the height of a child.”

“Our first design session was actually in a daycare,” says Dietz. “We knew we had to come at this from a different perspective.”

Kathleen Kapsin, director of the Pediatric Radiology Department at Children’s Hospital, agrees.
“All of our equipment is very high-tech,” she says. “We can get you great images, but we can’t get them if the child isn’t laying still and feeling well enough to go through the scan.”
“We now have an elaborate way of almost pulling off a theme park,” she says, referring to the outfitted rooms.

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