Sunday, April 12, 2020

Research Structure and 'Design for Humansic Living' Methodology

Research Structure

Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were applied to this study, which is broken down into 3 phases. Phase 1 focuses on preliminary research processes, studies were carried out using different methods such as surveys, probe kits, interviews and ethnographic observations from varied sources of information to better understand the background of ERSU and inquire research gaps. Phases 2 and 3 take on a more experimental approach, involving experiments using a series of design intervention, a participatory focus group, structured interviews and data collection.

Design for Humansic Living Methodology

A review of the approaches from the Humansic Design process yielded positive results and uncovered a methodology that facilitates meaningful screen-use and enables Humansic Living in the context of Singapore.

The ‘Design for Humansic Living’ Methodology combines (1) Humansic Living Theory (2) Humansic Design Process, (3) Themes for Application Framework and (4) User’s stages of action and has addressed the earlier research questions.

Research Question 1:  What is the definition of meaningful recreational screen-use?
Research Question 2:  What are the factors to be considered in designing for meaningful recreational screen-use and how might we harmonize the constituents?

Research Question 3:  In what ways and approaches, can the design process be explored to make minimizing ERSU meaningful and facilitate mindful recreational screen-use more positively?
This methodology can provide points of design considerations for designers and researchers who are investigating ERSU or projects relating to human sensitivities and digital/life well-being. This research project can also act as a case study to inform professionals and health organisations. Dr Richard Swinbourne, a sleep scientist whom the researcher has collaborated with for this research project, had expressed interest to share the study and findings in his presentations at Sports Singapore, extending impact beyond the design research community.

"The present pilot study offers a significant insight into a potential solution for better sleep in Singapore. There is strong scientific rationale to explain the results observed in this study, and there is merit for further applied research in this space with athletes and non-athletes alike. The present results are significant, they are exciting, and I congratulate Ace on a good scientific job well done!"

Dr Ricco Swinbourne. PhD.
Team Lead Sport Nutrition. Sleep Scientist.
Singapore Sport Institute

Limitations of Study
There may be some possible limitations to this study. Qualitative data collected from test participants were analysed using content analysis techniques such as a coding scheme – the conclusion drawn depended highly on the accuracy of interpretation by the researcher. They are therefore subject to biases. However, potential bias as a result of qualitative analysis was kept to a minimum by utilising data triangulation through interviews, surveys and scientific findings. The sample size for most of the tests were limited as time and resources did not permit for a larger sample size. Longitudinal effects may also limit the findings of this study, as sleep studies require a longer testing period to achieve an in-depth reponse – the pilot test demonstrated positive findings that are worthwhile to run a further study.
Although there was considerable evidence to suggest that Humansic design interventions were effective for majority of the participants and that focus group participants were sustaining efforts for meaningful screen use, a longitudinal study is required for conclusion. Therefore, the nature of this study does not enable its findings to be deemed as conclusive. The insights may, however, inform designers to consider points of suitable application.

Humansic Living is a newly-termed concept that establishes a nascent theory – people are able to flourish and live more meaningfully by harmonising their human intrinsic needs. The ‘Design for Humansic Living’ methodology was specifically tested only for social well-being and sleep in the context of ERSU, so findings may deviate when applied in other health domains. Specific indicators should be listed in methodological development. Positive effects on participants should be quantified in a longitudinal study to be concluded as a definitive approach in other health and well-being context. Ideally, it is hoped that the Humansic Living theory can set out a research agenda for the design research community and its methodology can be further developed and validated.

As the world moves towards higher integration of digital technologies into everyday life, more opportunities should be created for people to slow down, embrace meaningful human activities and appreciate living with mindful recreational screen-use. Change is the only constant (Yuval Noah Harari). Rapid up-skilling will be a norm in the future and we will be constantly needing to adapt to new digital transformations. It is happening now and it will happen more often and more rapidly in the future.

In an era of rapid technological advancements, a Humansic Living approach may be a way to navigate through growing digital distractions and digital fatigue with sanity. There will be a growing need of emotional capacity and taking care of our emotional stamina is also important. Designers can play a part by designing Humansic opportunities to heal digitally drained minds and bodies.

My exegesis is available for reading and can be found here

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