VRbal - VR app for people who stutter

People who suffer from stuttering are unable to speak fluently. As a result they are also at higher risk for social anxiety disorders. In America, those who suffer from stuttering face particularly challenging circumstances when searching for job. They need to be able to talk freely during an interview without trying to conceal their impediment, accepting their speech as part of who they are and gaining the confidence that comes with successful experiences. For that reason I have developed an online platform that allows people who stutter to post their personal stories in the form of a positive storyline. Taking inspiration from those stories, I and my fellowship teammates have also developed an app that allows users to practice interviews within the safe space of virtual reality. Users can gain the confidence by step-by-step approach.

  • Role Social Impact Design
  • For Stuttering people who cover their symptom
  • Date 2017
  • URL www.wearestarter.com/

After reviewing the life journey of stutter, I identified the transition period after college is the most stressful. Because here there going through big challenges but support system is lesser compared to previous stages.

Job hunting is stressful for people who stutter. But is it true?

This matter because research has shown. People see stutter as less capable and as a result, they make less money.

The problem that focuses on is the job hunting problem.

I interviewed and researched from these stakeholders.

In order to clarify the fundamental cause, I interviewed stuttering people who are looking for the job. He is Daniel, he applied to job many times but he couldn’t get the job. He feels nervousness and anxiety while taking a job interview.

He is Glen, he always hide his stuttering. He thinks hiring people can judge his stuttering negatively, this is stressful for him.

I clarified the job hunting process to identify where the problem is happened.

I clarified the job hunting process to identify where the problem is happened.

As a result, I found that interviewing with HR and management people is the most problematic phase in the whole job hunting process.

Tom, he is board of director of National Stuttering Association. He also hires employer at his own company. He said “To pass the interview, we have to make sure everything is perfect, look confident and successful. Being confidence can increase the rate of getting a job.” I found out that the fundamental cause is whether they have a self-confidence, not stuttering itself.

Based on these research insights, I clarified a problem statement.

People who stutter that are transitioning from school to work life lack the confidence and positive outlook needed to overcome social anxiety for job interviews, and other necessary social interactions.

To get a way of success, I interviewed with the people who got through the interview. Her name is Jia, she was proud of her stuttering, so she always explains her stuttering positively every interview.

People who cannot get through the job interview need a strategy that is to switch it from a negative loop to a positive loop. Negative stutter are lacking of strategy to use self-appealing.

The key concept is that “Changing the perspective toward stuttering disability”.

To establish the concept, I researched some articles, which name is reclaim the confidence published from IDEO and Harvard business review, which is showing how people are able to touch snakes. Process to get a self confidence is that experiencing one small success after another, then people can achieve the biggest goal finally.

Based on these research insights, I made a thesis statement to describe my idea.

How might we build a step by step system for people who stutter to help overcome their fear by changing their perspective toward stuttering?

This is whole flow of ideas. Firstly, users will upload their own stories related to stuttering. This will help them talk about it more positively. Then the quality of their own stories will be increased by having comments, and seeing other stories. Once the stories are made, the users will be able to repeatedly practice job interviews and public speaking in real life by using virtual reality at home.

By repeating the practice for the job interviews in VR and the process of increasing the quality of their own stories, they can build more confident of themselves as stuttering people.

This is worksheet to make a positive story.

The purpose of worksheet is to connect positive stories to characteristic that employers find attractive.

I did user testing of hero journey template. The purpose of worksheet is to create a positive story. Which is for giving a positive impression with job interviewer. Users can create script to use for positive advertisement of stuttering in job interview.

I got some insights from Glen. Firstly, he wants to work in a relaxed mood alone in a quiet space. Secondly, He wants to write his own stories online by referring to the stories of the others. Thirdly, he wants to educate HR people by showing tons of stories of stuttering.

I got some insights from Mohit. Firstly, people who do not have positive stories could participate is better. He had only negative stories at this moment, so he would like to brush them up better. Secondly, It will result in more confidence to realize that his own stories will be helpful to others. Thirdly, He needs feedback and comments functions.

Open platform where people who stutter can share positive feedback is necessary.

The goal is that gauge user’s reaction to the simulation and relaxation environments. We presented a realistic version using a 360 video and low poly version.

Most of users felt anxious when they see low poly version.

This sensor can detect user’s skin sweat level for measuring anxiety. AI makes users move ahead to next level when users do not feel strong anxiety at this level by detecting it.