Context: Prototyping for Interaction Design, Spring 2020
Timeline: 2 weeks
Prompt: Our instructor allowed us to design our own projects as a means to explore design methods and/or tools that interested us.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I became interested in how quarantine affected peoples' hygiene and grooming habits and more generally, their attitudes surrounding appearance. This project was a good opportunity to explore the question and to gain more experience with user research, data analysis, and data visualization.
I chose to compile my data visualizations into an infographic because I'm interested in digital media and communications design. I was intrigued by the infographic: one of the few stalwart features of the internet landscape that I had never previously experimented with.
I conducted a survey on Google Forms and distributed it via Reddit. I posted it on the following subreddits: r/hygiene, r/samplesize, r/habits, r/beauty, r/beautyaddiction, r/malegrooming, and r/takemysurvey. I also distributed the survey among my peer networks. After collecting 308 responses over the course of one week, I closed the survey. I created the data visualizations using Google Sheets and designed the infographic itself in Adobe Illustrator.
This personal project allowed me to explore a popular media element, the infographic, and to practice communications design. I also had the opportunity to explore a novel aspect of human behavior.
Given the opportunity to do a project like this again, I would seek a more random sample for the survey; the majority of respondents were women in their 20's. I would also dedicate the time to learn more sophisticated data visualization software, like Tableau. Finally, a card sorting activity or similar research method would have helped me to determine more effective categorizations for all of the practices I surveyed— I settled on "hygiene," "beauty," and "grooming," but I am aware that there is room for semantic improvement in some areas.