Since 2013, there has been a 47% increase in number of young adults suffering from major depression. As a design team we hoped to dig deeper into a problem that deeply affects the lives of those around us.



Strategy, Visual Design, Cinematography


Sam Tompkins
Sayena Miljsn

Facing our Fears

Choosing young adults & depression as our research topic was admittedly, quite daunting. 

On the flip side, this was a unique opportunity to dig into a societal problem that directly affects our generation, and generations to come.


After conducting initial secondary research on depression and young adults, we had a few outstanding questions that required follow-up...

What are the impacts of personal technology on the mental health of students with depression?

What are the socio-personal factors that contribute to depression in young adults?

Are there factors which are most impactful in fighting depression in young adults?

What methods do students employ to fight depression?


Our research process included seven interviews, two with experts in the field of depression and young adults, and five with young adults who have dealt with or currently deal with depression

What we found really gave a face to what we had heard/assumed about depression. It shattered some concepts, but strengthened some as well.


" I thought about it [deep depression] as a hole that your stuck in... sometimes I'm scraping, scraping, scraping, trying to get out, but then I just fall back in "


" I would say that building that self esteem, was the turning point to my depression "


" I believe that people have to want to change, I don't think I can make anybody change. "



Creating Insights

We unpacked these participants' rich experiences meticulously and we distilled our findings down to some key insights. These insights became the data centric benchmarks by which we measured our concept's adherence to truth.

Depression is a battle to establish self worth. People aren't able to help themselves if they don't consider themselves worth helping.

Self awareness is the first step toward recognizing depression, and the first step toward dealing with it.

Relationships can be both hurtful and helpful, but deep connections with others can be markedly beneficial to those who suffer from depression.

Further, we created a journey map with related user personas to describe the ways in which people deal with their depression.


Setting Goals

From these insights we formed two main goals that we wanted to accomplish with our concept.

Encourage self awareness

Being aware that you are "not feeling right" is the first step to taking action about your one's depression. Without recognition there can be no action.

Challenge our relationships with technology.

Technology often hijacks our attention, which can make it difficult to even pay attention to ourselves and our condition.

 Final Concept

Our final concept then was Reflections, a biometric wearable which determines your emotional and physical state with biometrics. From that biometric information it contextually supports or counters your emotional state with questions, statements, or quotes from the past.

IMG_0694 copy


Special thanks to Michael Smith, our peers in the Design Field Studies class at the University of Washington. 

We are especially grateful to all our participants and experts that offered their time and care to speak with us and tell us their experiences.


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