Hi! I’m Emily, a designer who wants to solve your problems.
With a passion for service design, my goal as a young designer is to help others just like the teachers and health care providers in my family do everyday. Equipped with my creative problem solving, illustration and information design skills I am constantly searching for ways to solve real-world, human-centered problems.
How would you describe your design style?
Clean, colourful and simplistic
What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?
Design for the user’s needs, not the client’s.
Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?
Interior Design, Culinary and Music
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?
“Mermaid blue” because I love turquoise and I am secretly a mermaid.
My thesis project, Focus was inspired by my boyfriends little cousin who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost 4 years ago. Over the years, I have witnessed her and her family manage the chronic disease and I wanted to learn more about it and their coping mechanisms. I learned that Type 1 Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and youth in Canada. It is a disease that is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce the insulin that the body needs to turn food into energy. It requires daily blood glucose monitoring, carb counting and insulin injections.
Parents of young children with the chronic illness are responsible for monitoring their child around the clock, but what happens when the child is at school? Children spend on average 30-35 hours a week at school, therefore support is important for proper management of diabetes. Unfortunately, only 5/13 provinces and territories have a concrete policy for juvenile diabetes management in its schools. This is when I realized that there was a real problem that I wanted to fix.
When a child is diagnosed with a chronic illness such as juvenile diabetes, parents are faced with immediate grief and distress. They must now educate their child’s teacher on the condition because of the lack of school policies. This also means they have to rearrange their work schedule or even quit in order to be there to help their child manage their condition. While speaking with a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I learned that she was greatly concerned about the lack of knowledge her daughters teacher and colleagues had on diabetes. This lead me to this conclusion, how might we reduce parents constant worries and reinstate focus on their daily lives?
Focus is a service design thesis project that reduces the anxieties caregivers of children with chronic illnesses face everyday, as a means to reinstate focus on their daily lives. As an application, focus connects teachers, parents and guardians with their child / student who has a chronic disease that requires attention throughout the day.
The project uses Type 1 Diabetes as its case study. Children with the disease can sync their blood-glucose monitor with the application, providing the caregivers they are connected with, instant access to their blood-glucose levels. Focus also stores this information for you to access at any time, at home or at the doctor’s office.
Research has shown that children with a chronic disease such as Type 1 Diabetes feel hesitant to tell the teacher how they are feeling during the day. Focus allows students to express symptoms of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia such as dizziness, fatigue, headache, shakiness etc. through an interactive symptom wheel that is easy to toggle in a discrete and worry free manner. Once a symptom is selected by the child, their teachers, guardians and parents are notified immediately.
Focus also comes with pre-loaded modules on your child’s condition that are easy for caregivers to access. Parents may also upload resources for caregivers such as teachers to use on the application or website. This feature assures that teachers are provided with all the information they need to know on their student’s condition all at their fingertips, with every new school year.
Focus aims to bridge the communication gaps between parents and their child’s caregivers. It assures them that their child is in good hands throughout the day and provides them with focus on what matters most.