Week 17 – Mk1 Prototype Preparation

This week I’ve been sketching form ideas and visual design language concepts a fair bit. There’s something inside me that really wants to make progress in these areas as it will help constrain my thinking at this point in the process. I’ve been looking at various packaging design companies for an idea of what’s really possible. At the end of the day I’m packaging existing therapeutic material in my own way and the form that this package takes will be crucial in stating the products purpose. The designs I currently have in mind have three sections, with each section engaging with one established DBT skill or technique. I cut it into clear sections to provide the user with knowledge of their time commitment before they even open the section. The size of the section informs you how much commitment you will have to give in order to complete it. I wanted to give the user that sense of satisfaction of achieving something after just a small amount of time. People engaged in DBT can often have low motivation levels so I want to avoid overwhelming them and causing them to disengage with the experience too easily.

To reinforce this idea I’m considering packaging relaxing or reward objects in each section, for example a candle with a relaxing fragrance to help you concentrate on the task at hand, or a small snack to keep your energy up. At the end of the day though I think packaging these objects within the product is quite unrealistic as these are objects that people have their own preferences about and are easily available for purchase from other places. I have concerns about the longevity and volume of the product. Even with just three skills the product is already quite large. I’m unhappy with this as it is supposed to be a precious object that has value over time. Everything I’m creating has a finite lifetime and finite space for growth and I’m not happy with that at all. This needs to be considered more in the future.

As for the visual design I’ve been working with a pastel colour scheme of white, purple, blue and pink. I’m concerned this may gender the product more than necessary but in my experience it is not seen that way in the therapy setting. The light and bright pastel colours allow the product to gently attract attention rather than demand it. The majority of times DBT is used to treat BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and current studies show that there is a gender ratio split of 3:1 in preference of females. Although this is not full justification of my choice of colours I have decided that overall this should not be a factor in the final product. I’ve considered some logotypes and will continue to develop them in the future. I want the brand to be just as quiet as the colour scheme, gently attracting interest from the user.