It’s an inevitable part of life: every once in awhile we have to tell another person something we know they don’t want to hear. Although there are products and services that aim to help people recognize and move through discomfort on an individual level, few support or facilitate group-based discussions on sensitive social or personal issues. My team and I developed a board game called “rekindling” to fill this gap for families affected by a cancer diagnosis. It uses collaborative gameplay to help families develop a greater understanding of one another by encouraging them to talk about the disease and gather around the table for a fun moment of family connection. By facing the challenges and laughing together, families build empathy towards one another.
Key takeaways from the session:
- Designers can harness the power of metaphors to facilitate discussion around sensitive social and personal issues.
- Adding elements of gameplay to a design can encourage users to participate across age groups and other social circles.
- Designers can apply elements such as gameplay and metaphors to create experiences across a wide range of topics.
About the speakers
Danielle Chen is a Senior UX Designer at EY Design Studio PHL (part of Ernst & Young LLP), a user-centered research, design and development studio based in Philadelphia. Prior to EY, Danielle worked at both Hasbro and Penn Medicine, developing products ranging from electromechanical toys to diagnostics apps. Danielle has a master’s degree in Integrated Product Design from the University of Pennsylvania.
Last year, Danielle co-founded “rekindling”, a board game designed to help families develop empathy for and communicate with one another while navigating through a tough time. “rekindling” encourages families to physically gather around the table and talk about difficult subjects through collaborative gameplay.