By what I think is coincidence, I came across many examples of design that have as part of their missions to help users either develop a stronger self-identity or display and reinforce the identity they have. I am a huge proponent of using identity resonance as a design tool, so I really enjoyed selecting a few good examples for this article.
Let’s take the case of helping someone defend their identity against a society that wants to pigeonhole them into a stereotype. We discussed one such example here for children who need a prosthetic arm. Remember the Lego prosthetic arm?
Here is one of the new ones that caught my eye. No way I assume she is a frail version of her previous self while sporting that Xena accessory.
Or how about not diverting someone who is physically challenged into a “special” needs alternative? Instead, integrate it into the main design.
Or use dolls, avatars and video games to help kids, who are still figuring out what identity they want, to establish one that is strong and capable. That is what they are trying to do here.
That’s why the Lottie Doll looks, well, just like a typical nine-year-old girl. She doesn’t wear makeup, high heels or jewellery, she’s ethnically diverse with tactile hair and clothes, and she can stand on her own two feet. Lottie is feisty. She occasionally makes mistakes. She loves adventure and the outdoors. She has a wild imagination – just like a real child. Even her clothes are made to get dirty.
Or help teach the rest of us that those with identities different from our own that they are just as good/capable/worth (insert your own adjective here) as we are. One example.
Do you have any ideas like these that you particularly like? In any of these categories? Please share.
Image Credit: Lottie Doll