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Field Study 3-Intervention

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Like many others, I have concerns about how the forces around (and inside) me affect my performance in various events as well as my day to day well‐being. To date, I have kept track of my well‐being …

Like many others, I have concerns about how the forces around (and inside) me affect my performance in various events as well as my day to day well‐being. To date, I have kept track of my well‐being using a rating system which I have developed, a grocery list, and my memory. There are effective elements of this system and elements that do not carry enough data or create enough influence to be effective.

Although the system has highlights (the rating system) the other elements fail and the system needs complementary components to capture more data and turn that data into a useful information system. The present system is essentially a failure and has been long in need of an intervention.

I took the opportunity of this field study to do a comprehensive analysis, restructuring, and reinvention of the information system. I initially had concerns that a week wouldn’t be long enough to properly test and make appropriate refinements to the system, but after only two days I experienced significant and startling results. Given that my observations and reactions were so marked, I stayed with the study and tested it until the morning of Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at which time I began to compile all my notes, inputs and observations to create this report.

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  • 1.      FIELD STUDY 3: Intervention Joshua Kitlas IST 600 Information Design 3/28/2011 jkitlas@syr.edu 
  • 2. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 1  Overview Like many others, I have concerns about how the forces around (and inside) me affect my performance in various events as well as my day to day well‐being. To date, I have kept track of my well‐being using a rating system which I have developed, a grocery list, and my memory. There are effective elements of this system and elements that do not carry enough data or create enough influence to be effective. Although the system has highlights (the rating system) the other elements fail and the system needs complementary components to capture more data and turn that data into a useful information system. The present system is essentially a failure and has been long in need of an intervention. I took the opportunity of this field study to do a comprehensive analysis, restructuring, and reinvention of the information system. I initially had concerns that a week wouldn’t be long enough to properly test and make appropriate refinements to the system, but after only two days I experienced significant and startling results. Given that my observations and reactions were so marked, I stayed with the study and tested it until the morning of Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at which time I began to compile all my notes, inputs and observations to create this report.      30 March 2011 
  • 3. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 2  Contents  Overview  ........................................................................ 1  .Reporting Approach ....................................................... 3 Summary......................................................................... 3 Analysis ........................................................................... 3 Recommendations.......................................................... 3 The System ..................................................................... 5 Elements ......................................................................... 5 The Tools ......................................................................... 5 Relationships .................................................................. 5 Flow ................................................................................ 6 Conclusion ...................................................................... 6 Works Referenced .......................................................... 7      30 March 2011 
  • 4. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 3  Reporting Approach I’ll first describe this information system through a summary, analysis and suggestions for improvement in a narrative fashion. I’ll then go into greater detail utilizing elements of the suggested report format.  Summary Several years ago I elected to devise a system where I could, as best as I can, quantitatively define day‐to‐day living.  For lack of a better term, I’ll refer to this as the ‘Mental Health Index’. The approach I took was to develop a spreadsheet with various markers that represented various behaviors and states‐of‐mind of mine. I tried to make this a relatively simple system where I could rate myself on both feelings and behaviors numerically. I came up with various actions and moods that I could evaluate myself on using a 1‐10 scale with ‘1’ being the lowest and ’10’ being the highest.  For instance I could give myself a ‘10’ in the ‘Cant Concentrate’ category if I was having a particularly hard time concentrating that day. If I was feeling particularly edgy I might give myself a ‘7’ in the ‘Irritability’ category. This was an easy to use and, although not foolproof, it gave me good data to analyze. Over time I was able to amass enough information where I could identify trends. There were days that I peaked, seasons where I dipped, and periods of relative ‘stability’ or ‘5’s’. Knowing that food is one of the most important ways to influence well‐being, I made shopping lists and tried to keep in mind the latest research and sound bites when shopping for groceries. Analysis This information system is weak in many ways and was due for an intervention.  Although the Mental Health Index provided a sufficient means for identifying moods, it was limited in that it only had a handful of indices to rate myself on. To make a more fool proof system, this would have to be expanded to include many more areas to be rated. It also would have to get rid of the 1‐10 rating system. This rating system has to be revised because there is too much variance allowed – what might be a ‘5’ on one day could be a ’7’ or ‘3’ on another. There was no room to modify elements and certainly no room to make improvements in the existing system. There was neither a part of the system in place to track food and its effect outside of my memory.  Most importantly, this system was not focused on results. I had no way of taking inputs and testing it against outside forces, namely food. Recommendations The Mental Health Index should switch from a ‘1‐10’ rating system to a Y/N system. There is just too much undefined variance using a numerical scale. The Y/N system should be translated to numbers so a quantifiable system can remain in place.   30 March 2011 
  • 5. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 4  There also needs to be more areas to rate the user on as the user may have different interpretations of words on different days. Adding more data points will increase the accuracy of the overall system and the validity and reliability of the results. For example, providing a Y/N rating on the markers ‘Depressed’, ‘the Blues’, ‘Feeling Down’, and ‘Hopeless’ will prove much more reliable than just providing a rating on ‘Depressed’. Adding more ‘Behaviors’ to the list will also aid in increasing the resource’s reliability. Suggested moods and behaviors to add to the Mental Health Index:  Aggression, Anger, Blues, Brush Teeth, Cant Seem To Have Fun, Cant Concentrate, Feel  Depressed, Empty, Excessive Eating, Excessive Guilt, Moderate Exercise, Intense Workout,  Fatigue, Floss Teeth, Poor Food Choices, Hopeless, Interaction, Irritability, Loss Of Interest  In Daily Activities, Low Energy, Pig Out On Junk Food, Productivity, Rage, Reckless  Behavior, Take nap, Self‐Hate, Separated From World, Shower/Bath, Talk to Significant  Other, Time in Bed, Trouble Making Decisions, Unexplained Pain, Unwarranted Exhaustion,  Up All Night, Violence, Weight Gain, Weight Loss, Low Self Worth In addition to the proposed refinements to the ‘Mental Health Index’, several documents need to be added to the system:   A document titled ‘Food Matrix’ which identifies appropriate food sources must be  created and used with the same regularity as the spreadsheets. After some research and  personal interest, I’ve co‐opted the Food Matrix created by Robb Wolf (Wolf, 2010).   A spreadsheet tracking food intake must be created.    An information sheet used to track food intake and used in concert with the  spreadsheet tracking food intake should be created. Though redundant, it gives me, the  user, something tangible to use while migrating to the new system. The Wunderlist application, when used with the ‘Food Matrix’ document, provides an adequate system for organizing grocery lists.  30 March 2011 
  • 6. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 5  The System Elements The elements of the system I’ve examined prior to the intervention include:   A spreadsheet used to track my well‐ being titled ‘Mental Health Index’   An application, Wunderlist, used to track  food purchases The elements of the system that were incorporated as a part of the intervention include the following:   A document titled ‘Food Matrix’ which  identifies appropriate food sources  Tracking...   A spreadsheet tracking food intake   An information sheet used to track food  intake and used in concert with the spreadsheet tracking food intake. I jokingly refer to  this as my ‘Daily Complaint Form’. This is because if I give it a ‘serious’ name, I probably  wouldn’t take it as seriously.   A refined ‘Mental Health Index’   The Wunderlist application The Tools The tools of this system all operate digitally. I’ve listed them below.   ‐ Used for tracking data (well‐being, food intake)   ‐ used for compiling the report   ‐ Used to track food purchases   ‐ used to develop form to track food intake  ‐ Used to do image editing   ‐ used to pull everything together in a universal format Relationships There are several relationships to be examined in this information system. Some explicit, some implicit. Some aged, some recent.  The purpose of this field study is to intervene and improve upon and existing system. That statement clearly implies that there had to be a system existing prior to the study or at least exist in some fashion.   30 March 2011 
  • 7. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 6  In either case, the system has a history and potentially draws upon numerous data points. Applying an effective intervention  Relationships… required more than entering facts and figures on a spreadsheet, updating diagrams or underlining a title.  It went beyond having awareness or insight.  I had to throw away years of what I’ll refer to as ‘food programming’. Thankfully this was a lot easier than I thought. That relationship is perhaps the most important one, yet it technically lies outside of the information system.  Given the relatively short time between intervention and assessment, I’m confident that all relationships have not fully been revealed. I’m still working through refinements to the new documents and rating systems and imagine that there will be a way to better link these documents as time goes on.  Flow Utilizing the documents and putting my best foot forward in the name of academia and personal development, I threw myself into the system. Having a holistic information system gave me immediate results. I could better identify my own well‐being and there was a direct link to its cause, in this case food. As my data shows, when I stay within the system, I thrive and when I deviate from it, I fail.  Conclusion This system is a significant and marked upgrade from what I had. There are, however, improvements that will need to be made as time goes on. I recognize that there are many other elements to the system that will have impacts on well‐being that are not accounted for in detail in its current iteration. Personal events, exercise and stress, to name a few, all impact our lives in varying ways. I really couldn’t believe how good I felt, how bad I felt, and how closely it was linked to food. I intentionally ate food not on the ‘Food Matrix’ to see its impact. I did not like it. I struggled to write‐up the final version of this report as I had drank some coffee with milk and had a brownie. I had brief boost, but then fell into a lull. This was similar to the earlier effect of consuming food not on the ‘Food Matrix’ two days into the intervention. I ate some Chinese food, my insulin spiked, and I was energized. 30 minutes later, that was not the case. I’m looking forward to incorporating the updated information system into my daily life.  30 March 2011 
  • 8. Joshua Kitlas | Field Study 3 7   Works Referenced  Ferriss, T. (2010). The 4‐Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat‐Loss, Incredible Sex, and  Becoming Superhuman. New York: Crown Archetype. Lester, J., & Kohler, Jr., W. C. (2007). The Impact of Information in Society. In J. Lester, & J. W.  Kohler, Fundamentals of Information Studies: Understanding Information and Its  Environment (pp. 1‐37). New York: Neal Schuman Publishers. Norman, D. A. (1988). The Psychopathology of Everyday Things. In D. A. Norman, The Design of  Everyday Things (pp. 1‐33). New York: Doubleday. The Noun Project. (n.d.). The Noun Project. Retrieved March 29, 2011, from The Noun Project:  http://www.thenounproject.com Tufte, E. R. (1997). Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions. In  E. R. Tufte, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (pp. 27‐ 53). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. Wolf, R. (2010). The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Victory Belt Publishing.    30 March 2011 
  • 9. Food Tracking Field Study 3day breakfast lunch dinner snack comment3/24/2011 2 strips bacon, 1 omega 6 oz pork, bowl full of bread w butter, instantly felt the ill effect of egg, 1 cup spinach, 2 shots yam, brussel sprouts, corn chips, the bread/butter strong coffee (no milk or onion roasted and almonds sugar) seasoned with rosemary, salt and pepper, olive oil)3/25/2011 2 strips bacon, 1 omega chicken breast, bowl ice low, energy, carb-head, egg, 1 cup spinach, 2 shots kale/carrot/sesame oil, cream, dark overslept, hot flash almost strong coffee 9no milk or seasoned broccoli chocolate instantly, slept through sugar) covered alarm, still feeling effect 12 almonds hours later, throat, dizzy3/26/2011 2 cups blueberries, 2 1 chicken sausage, chicken dark choc some ear popping, tons of scoops protein powder, 1/3 leftover kale/carrots breast, almonds energy cup coconut milk, water, and broccoli tomatoes/jala ice, scoop super foods penos3/27/2011 chicken breast with London broil handful nuts feel awesome, focused, tomatoes and jalapenos w tomatoes clarity3/28/2011 chicken and tomatoes 2 slices pizza gross, everything was fine until the pizza3/29/2011 almonds coffee and Chinese leftover coffee, brownie yuck, I feel disgusting food Chinese food, from Starbucks Pepsi Prepared by jkitlas 3/30/2011
  • 10.  The Food Matrix is actually Lysa’s gift to the world and here is how it works:To dispel the notion that you are bored (and to show you how easy it is to make fantastic mealsquickly AND with few ingredients) we will consider a few items we can get from virtually anysupermarket. Perhaps a few items are exotic, DO NOT split hairs. If your local supermarket ismissing a few of these items it does not invalidate the concept. Ok, let’s consider our food optionsand after the introduction of the food matrix we can consider how to customize this for your specificneeds.PROTEINS (27) VEGETABLES (24) FATS (5) HERBS & SPICES (25)Chicken breast Asparagus Coconut oil AllspiceChicken thigh Avocado Olive oil BasilFlounder Artichoke hearts Macadamia oil CardamomSnapper Brussels sprouts Avocado oil CinnamonTrout Beets* Lard Celery seedHalibut Carrots DillMackerel Celery FenugreekBass Daikon GarlicSalmon steak Zucchini GingerSalmon fillet Fennel Root Curry-RedShrimp Kale Curry-GreenNew York steak Chard Curry-YellowRib eye steak Dandelion greens OreganoRound steak Spinach CillantroGround beef Acorn Squash* NutmegBeef ribs Butternut Squash* RosemaryRump roast Yam* ThymeBeef stew meat Sweet Potato* Garam MasalaPork loin Red pepper Bay LeafPork chop Yellow pepper SaltPork ribs Green pepper Herbs de ProvanceBaby back ribs Red cabbage Chili powderBacon Green cabbage PaprikaPork roast Napa cabbage CuminLamb chops Black pepperLamb rackVenison steaks  
  • 11. Constructed Visualization (evolution of a system) Examination of documentExisting documents Re nement of documents Revised documents > > > Joshua Kitlas
  • 12. PAY ATTENTION PAY ATTENTION DAILY COMPLAINT FORM DAILY COMPLAINT FORMMY NAME MY NAMEMY COMPLAINT MY COMPLAINTREASON FOR COMPLAINT REASON FOR COMPLAINT DRY NOSE IDK DRY SCALP DRY NOSE IDK DRY SCALP LOW ENERGY BORED TOO HAPPY LOW ENERGY BORED TOO HAPPYPLEASE ELABORATE ON WHAT YOU ATE PLEASE ELABORATE ON WHAT YOU ATESIGNATURE DATE SIGNATURE DATE*PLEASE REMEMBER TO REFRAIN FROM COMPLAINING *PLEASE REMEMBER TO REFRAIN FROM COMPLAINING