Designing assistive devices for task management in physical spaces

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Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Location:
Date
2023
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Taiteen ja median maisteriohjelma
Language
en
Pages
58+15
Series
Abstract
ADHD in adults has been historically underdiagnosed and even with increasing diagnosis rates there is little support outside of medication, if it is even prescribed. Therapies for symptom management and coping strategies exist but are difficult to access and people living with ADHD symptoms are often left to cope on their own, having an impact on their quality of life. This thesis explores the development of a timer device as an assistive technology for ADHD task management in physical spaces. A combination of literature review and personal experience was examined on ADHD, technology addiction, and coping strategies, as a foundation for the design research. Written as an autoethnography, the author details an autobiographical iterative design process and investigates the effectiveness of the device by conducting a self study. Through diary entries and reflection during the four week self study, it was found that the device improved performance of recurring tasks. This resulted in heightened feelings of achievement and an amplified sense of self-reliance, contributing to a noticeable reduction of anxiety and overwhelm for the user. The findings suggest that incorporating innovative technologies into ADHD symptom management can empower individuals to navigate their daily lives with greater confidence and ease. It lays the groundwork for ADHD assistive devices like these to be further developed and studied, and possibly provide additional support outside of other less accessible means.
Description
Supervisor
Niinimäki, Matti
Thesis advisor
Lucero, Andrés
Keywords
assistive technology, ADHD, prototype development, autobiographical design, habit formation, task management
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