Directed Research Group with Sean Munson
University of Washington
September 2013 – June 2014
In a directed research group at the University of Washington under the direction of Sean Munson, we researched the concept of Three Good Things.
The concept is that sharing or logging three good things a day will boost one’s overall mood and emotional well-being. This research also involves using this knowledge as a possible treatment for chronic pain patients, being that one of the causes of this particular pain is depression. In the previous year, this research group created a website called Three Good Things for a social media approach to observe and practice this concept.
When I entered the research group, the tasks I needed to take on were to familiarize myself with the concept and site and brainstorm suggestions for improvements and additional features for the site. It was towards the end of the quarter, in fact the last week of the quarter, where I learned how to use Photoshop for the first time; I used this new program to view and create alternative color and design of the site. I made very basic changes, while trying to learn the different commands and tools within the program. My approach to the redesign was to add a more positive and uplifting feel to the site, along with adding a series of empty check-boxes to encourage posting three times a day.
This quarter I also created a short video to quickly explain the concept and goals of the Three Good Things website.
Note: I did not create the images shown in the video. I only assembled the slides together to create a video. These images were created by a previous research group member.
This quarter was all about usability testing. We tested with users throughout the duration of the quarter. We had them user the site for an extended period of time and had them fill out surveys throughout. Being inexperienced with usability testing, I relied on the graduate students in the team to help me learn the different steps and process of usability testing. The process of the usability study included: screening for participants, contacting eligible participants, conducting a pilot test, conducting the studies with a script and survey, analyzing and discussing the results, and reporting the results.
The results of the usability test can be viewed here – 3GT Usability Test
The spring quarter involved splitting into teams the further explore and find solutions to some key features and capabilities of the Three Good Things website. I teamed up with a partner to brainstorm ideas regarding the topic of incentives: what will make the user want to post three times a day?
Additionally, at the end of this quarter, the team proposed new possibilities for future projects that also lie under the topic of technology with health and wellness because the Three Good Things website ended up crashing and we didn’t have any programmers on the team to fix it. We all came up with about 50 ideas as a group in one sitting; afterwards, we each took one of the ideas and flushed it out a bit more and presented it to the team for the following week.
Here is my presentation – Good Feed