• Pernille Lepianka
  • Ulla Victoria Bulwan
4. Term, Information Architecture, Master (Master Programme)
Every year, thousands get amputated due to numerous causes of trauma and other conditions. People with acquired amputations and congenital limb absence are most likely to experience great trauma as a result of losing a leg or an arm, which creates challenges in their everyday life. Ampu-tees often experience depressive core symptoms such as blame and depressive accompanying symptoms such as low self-esteem. These people incur serious disabilities, and therefore have a high risk of experiencing serious loss of life quality and happiness.
In this master thesis we present ideas and reflections regarding the use of social networks as a mean to facilitate amputees using prostheses in their daily lives. We combine perspectives from Persuasive Technology with the principles used to motivate patients with prosthesis to complete their rehabilitation.
Prosthesis carriers experience several challenges in their everyday life, such as change in appearance and movement and feeling different or alone. Having a strong collective identity helps them feel like they belong in a group. Furthermore a collective identity can provide a profound sense of fellowship with other people and thus help to satisfy a basic human need to experience themselves as part of a social community. By gathering the prosthesis carriers, the risk of feeling different or excluded reduces remarkably in such an environment, which may strengthen their quality of life. The idea is therefore to design a persuasive technology that supports, helps and motivates these prosthesis carriers to deal and comprehend with, not only their psychological issues and worries, but also some of the more fatal consequences there are if they stop using their prosthesis. We thereby hope that the prosthesis carriers can benefit from each other through support, advice, reward and motivate each other through interaction, recognition and self-monitoring.
An important motivation factor is independence and natural movement with the prosthesis. Adapting a mechanical body part is likely to be a challenge because of the reduced mobility. By exercising or playing sports the prosthesis carriers will be able to focus on opportunities rather than limitations, and they may get a positive experience and feel of their bodies.
This master thesis concludes with a design proposal, which outlines a ranch of features and persuasive principles in order to formulate a persuasive social network for prosthesis carriers. Since communication is fundamental for the social network features as likes, chat and posting comments are considered elementary. Also features as uploading photos, videos and audio are being considered of great importance for the prosthesis carriers. They can shall also be able to share goals, distances, etc. and hereby interact and compete, independent of time and space.
It can be concluded that the main page shall consist of the individual users profile in order to create overview and clarity as well as easy navigation. The main page shall additionally contain well known, popular and some of the most used features and functions that the prosthesis carriers know from other social networking sites – such as Facebook.
Furthermore it is of great importance that the prosthesis carriers are able to interact and communi-cate with other peers whenever they want, this by creating an application for smart phones – similar to the Facebook application. By strengthening the prosthesis carriers’ collective identity they hopefully will gain acceptance of own identity- and body image.
Publication date31 May 2012
Number of pages121
ID: 63373287