If content is king, then context is queen; or so the story goes. Regardless of the hierarchy, it is imperative that we understand the context of who we are designing for. Otherwise, our content, or the designs we produce, will not resonate with our users.
The goal of my thesis is to instigate physical activity in those who would normally choose to be sedentary. I am hoping that my work will create an association in the user's mind between activating their body, and having a good time.
Mapping the context is imperative if I am to understand why someone regards physical activity as a chore, or something one is supposed to do, but does not want to do. For instance, in this exercise, I map the context of a specific persona: the office worker.
They spend most of their waking day in a chair, sitting down, most likely because they are tied to a computer, and never move beyond a 5-10ft radius around their desk. In fact, office environments are designed to minimize extraneous movement and maximize productivity. There are very few opportunities for an office worker to engage in physical activity, and if they did would they feel self-conscious?
Understanding their needs, and the context in which they will be experiencing these designs dictates the channels of distribution, and the factors that I need to consider when developing products.
-Michael Lee Kenney