I'm new to this forum so Hello! I'm Katie and I'm a MSc Product Design student based in Dundee, Scotland.
I'm currently working on a project researching autism, the area I'm looking at specifically is "processing time."
This is based on research that people with autism often need longer to process information, especially in demanding social situations.
I've designed a prototype "buffering badge."
The idea behind this is to make this process visible, therefore making 'processing time' something that can be tangible to an audience.
At the moment this is only a prototype, ideally I would love to make this smaller and more wearer friendly.
This version requires the user to press it, and the buffering displays for 10-12 seconds.
I would love for some feedback on this idea, would this be something that you could see being useful in social situations?
If even just to start a conversation around processing time and breaking the ice.
I realise this is not something that would work the same way for everyone, especially children who may want to use it more like a toy.
But any feedback would be appreciated. For example would a noise sensor be a better trigger, removing the user from pressing a button and making the badge work on its own in busy crowds/multiple voices in a conversation? Or would something more subtle like a badge that has the logo but doesn't have lights/electronics be something that might be more likely to be worn? In which case, how would users feel about using the buffering logo as a symbol that's linked to autism awareness?
Please let me know!
I should also mention, this is not research work! Nothing commented here is for anything other than an open discussion. I have a volunteer group to trial these once they are refined, I'm not looking for "data," and the stage that I am at comes from my research thus far. I just don't want this to exist only in an academic bubble. I think this is worthwhile sharing and having a conversation about.
All best wishes,
I love the idea of this.
I could do with one at work, where I am always asking people to wait while I empty my mind and focus. For me I would love to have it activated by voice, and buffer until I say a specific phrase. Or preferrably I would have a wireless clicker I could click to stop the buffering (Which would also be therapeutic as I like clicking things)
This would be great in a crowd as it would almost always be buffering, signaling I am not ready to engage until I am ready.
I also like the idea of the logo representing awareness, as it supports the NAS 'too much information' program.
If you need a test subject I would be happy to help!
There is already an autism logo - the coloured jigsaw pieces that are used in a lot of places such the autism awareness ribbon.
One issue might be that it draws attention to people who don't handle attention well. It is likely to generate questions that a person with autism may not like, or be able, to answer comfortably.
Hello recombinantsocks! Just incase there was any miscommunications, I wasn't implying that this or any other logo should replace existing autism awareness ribbons/symbols. But rather act in addition to these. And thank you for your feedback! I agree the lights/flashing may draw unwanted attention and cause distress. What do you think about the logo just as a static pin badge? That would draw less attention than lights perhaps. Or do you dislike the buffering metaphor itself?
I feel a bit as though I will just be raining on your parade with my comments. As an inventor you will have to get used to having lots of ideas from which only a very few will turn into something useful. I like the idea of the animated badge but I suspect that it might work in some circumstances - for example it might help in autism awareness classes - I attended one of these after diagnosis and experienced how chaotic it was because some us were particularly hopeless at taking turns and noticing what other people were thinking. Have you heard of the "talking spoon"? such devices can help bring structure to the chaos and I think that your device might work in that environment.
The buffering idea is fine but the people one meets have zero idea about what autism is or what problems one has. By zero I mean that almost nobody that I have talked to outside of this forum and the nhs services I have used has any clue about autism. You won't get your button concept recognised where it needs to work - on the bus, in the street, in a workplace. There was a badge scheme to encourage people on the london underground to talk to each other. It was a nice idea but it comprehensively failed to grasp how ordinary people think and behave.
Keep inventing though, inventing is good :-)
I agree with recombinantsocks' comments about people having 'zero idea about autism'.
Having said that, my other quick thoughts follow.
I found the speed of the lights to be too quick for my comfort. Putting my comfort aside, the speed of the lights may give people the wrong idea (e.g. fast lights equal fast thinking).
I also found the lights too bright (and I have the brightness of my monitor turned down low). Having said that, if the device is also for outdoor use then they have to be fairly bright.