Our design research process included cultural probes that solicited evocative and qualitative responses from our teens.

As a requirement for the Project HealthDesign grant and in line with our team’s collective ethos, we wanted to make the cultural probes that we designed available as open source to the public. We encourage utilizing the methodology to engage any number of audiences, and want to provide the tools necessary. These probes are protected under the creative commons license (creativecommons.org) “Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike” (please refer to the website for more detail).

index_instructions.gif General Instructions


An overview of instructions for constructing a complete probe kit. This also includes general instructions for the user that should be included somewhere on the complete package.

index_tips.jpg 5 Tips

5 separate leaflets that collect visual, vernacular and object inventories associated with topics of health and well-being, empowering teens to be experts.

index_cd.jpg CD

A CD mix and booklet to learn about teens’ point of view and emotions through music—particularly related to their understanding of well being and how they navigate their day.

index_future.jpg Map the road to your future

A mapping exercise to understand teen expectations, for the future, as they transition into the adult world including what goals, aspirations, and obstacles they have for this period. Finding those things that they care enough about in the future could help modify their current behavior.

index_info.jpg Where is my info?

A short booklet to see teen perceptions of how health information and records are recorded, stored and used (and by whom). In addition it looks at how active health information is interfaced and transmitted and the logistic and emotional ramifications of such (i.e. the effects of receiving and giving health information.)

index_journal.jpg MoJournal and Mood Meter

A mobile blogging exercise to understand the teens’ view of their surroundings, emotions, habits, well being, and social network. By approaching these topics from different angles—people, places, self reflection, times of the day, activities, and saving habits—we are looking for busy intersections, areas of excitement and obscure elements of their lives.

index_plate1.jpg What did you feed yourself today?

A physical plate that asks teens: what nurtures/feeds their bodies, souls, and minds.

index_social.jpg Map your social tree

A mapping exercise that gathers a baseline of what teenagers understand is their family and social “tree.” Asks whom they include in their web and whom they leave out.

index_word.jpg Word Map

A mapping exercise to understand the definitions, associations, and emotions, teens have about their own wellness. How do they define being well and what things do they associate with it. Gives teens the ability to create an expressive object—their own personal visual thesaurus.