In my previous project about mindfulness I was looking into rituals and routines. I got to know that it is really important to see if a product fits in someone’s routine or ritual, when you do not want to disrupt it. Of course you could also deliberately try to change a ritual or routine, this is more complicated. Rituals and routines give a sense of control, a routine is a series of actions performed to achieve a certain goal and in a ritual it is about the value of the activities. In a ritual the activities to reach the goal are highly valued.
With this elective I wanted to learn more about rituals, because it was still really complicated to understand what the difference is between rituals and routines. Also I found it really interesting to learn how to design a new ritual, instead of adding something to a routine or ritual. In this elective I learned that rituals are very personal, if the actions would be generally established it would be a ceremony. There is a fine line when designing for a ritual, you need to make sure that there is value in the activities, otherwise it will be a routine.
During this course we worked together in a team of nine students. It was a challenge for me to work in such a big group. I noticed that it is really important to define your role in the team and your part in the process. My part in the process was taking care of the clip, for this I had to work closely together with the other groups, a good communication was really important in this process. The clip needed to integrate into the base and also fit with the pouch. These three components together would work together to create the ritual. By trying to achieve this I got in touch with holistic design. In holistic design you focus on all the parts in the ritual, but also the context around it.
During this design process I learned that details are really important in a ritual, and when you change one detail in your design it has a great effect on the use and experience of the design. Making low-fi prototypes is the best way to see how your design is used and how it affects the user in context.
In my many of my projects I focus on dementia, for them having routines and rituals is really important. People with dementia lose recent memory skills, habits are a part of a different memory structure in the brain that tends to remain intact longer. Using routines would help people with dementia keep their independence longer. In future projects I want to apply what I learned here, by seeing how my design would be used. I want to use the principles of holistic design to improve my designs. I think making an annotated system could be really useful. This annotated system is your hypotheses of the design would be used, also showing the subjective value of the design.