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  • dis20a-sub9751-i8

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ManneqKit Cards: A Kinesthetic Empathic Design Tool Communicating Depression Experiences

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Forthcoming
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Abstract

While depression is a mood disorder with significant societal impact, the experiences of people living with depression are yet not easy to access. HCI’s tenet to understand users, particularly addressed by the empathic design approach, has prioritized verbal communication of such experiences. We introduce ManneqKit, a kinesthetic empathic design tool consisting of 15 cards with bodily postures and vignettes leveraging the nonverbal aspects of depression experiences. We report ManneqKit’s co-design with 10 therapists, its piloting with 4 therapists and 10 non-therapists, and evaluation through design workshops with 9 interaction designers. Findings indicate cards’ ability to elicit non-therapists’ increased empathy, and richer emotional depictions when compared to text-based description of depression symptoms. We discuss the value of these findings for interaction design in supporting richer understanding of vulnerable users experiencing depression, for more sensitive conceptual designs in the ideation stage, and more nuanced ethical values underpinning the overall design process.