RISD Thesis: Users and Concepts

Young Adults

College students are fully immersed in a technological environment, using a phone to conduct research, a laptop to conduct meetings and even an iPad to interact with peers. Their outdoor activities range between both social and individual in nature, including: fishing, walking, biking, camping, canoeing, softball, beach and running.

Individuals surveyed expressed their brand loyalty to Apple, Tom’s of Maine, Clinique, Banana Republic, Victoria Secret and Philosophy. In products, they seek a rewarding and engaging experience that is simple to use and attractive in appearance.

A solution for this demographic would best fit in the technology category. The concept must fit a technological and mobile lifestyle, as well as become part of the environment in which it is being used, in this case, an educational institution. In other words, the solution must be a tool that is engaging to use and empowers the user.

  • College student
  • Concerned about body image
  • 100% of surveyed own a smartphone
  • More than 50% know the ABCDE signs of melanoma
  • Does not conduct skin self-examination

Outdoor Activities: Fishing, walking, biking, camping, canoeing, softball, beach, running

Brand Preference: Apple, Tom’s of Maine, Clinique, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, Philosophy

Needs from Product: Not frustrating, rewarding, engaging, emotional connection, attractive appearance.


Concept: Orakøl

Although it is imperative that upon entering adulthood a thorough self-skin examination be conducted on a regular basis, research shows that most people do not know what to look for, nor know how to properly conduct an examination.

According to SEER data, 31% of females with melanoma exhibit cancerous moles in the back of her legs; in contrast, the site for 40% of males is his trunk and back. Dermatologists recommend the use of two mirrors to see one’s back or the supportive involvement of a partner when conducting a thorough skin-self examinations.

Conducting a self skin examination while holding two mirrors is cumbersome and inconvenient, furthermore, not all patients have a partner or feel comfortable involving a partner in an examination.

I purchased a $.99 iPhone application, Camera A/Camera B, which allowed me to tether an iPhone to an iPad via Bluetooth. Through the use of this application, I was able to turn an iPhone into a wireless transmitting camera, and the iPad into a receiving monitor. The result from such an inexpensive application inspired me to develop a concept to help in the monitoring of a person’s skin.


Orakøl’s camera principle allows the user to investigate areas that have historically presented high-risk problems for skin cancer. The new approach permits users to scan places that were previously hard or impossible to investigate without the presence of a supporting partner. 



Once a mole is spotted, the user has the option to take a picture directly from the monitor, and tag the location of the mole in the provided body figure. The photograph will then be saved into a library that corresponds with the particular tag location.


The user can then view the gallery, in which he/she can compare the current photograph to any previous records.


An online database of pictures and literature is also available to explain the ABCDE principles for spotting malignant melanoma.


Finally, the application will prompt the user if he/she would like to make an appointment with a dermatologist, in which case a list of local physicians will be provided.


The inspiration for Orakøl is based on the right to privacy and the ideal of comfort. The motivation to use a mobile products is rooted in the field observation of college students, and their dependence on technology. This medium is not only conducive to the learning nature of college students but also provides up-to-date information and access to online education.