OBJECTIVE

How can people with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) better navigate the workplace?

In the realm of resources open to people who are on the Autism spectrum, choices are very select, especially for those who are high-functioning. After leaving college, young professionals with HFA are left by themselves to face the challenges of the workplace, while neurotypicals are equally ill-equipped to understand how to work along side HFA individuals. Particular obstacles to working seamlessly with co-workers include overstimulation of the environment, difficulties in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, etc.

CONCEPT

Redefine the question: How can neurotypicals make it easier for HFA employees to better navigate the workplace?

Existing programs and solutions are geared towards HFA individuals better fitting in with neurotypicals, yet we found that if neurotypicals changed just one aspect of their daily communication habits, it would make such an impact. Even if there are not any HFA employees at your company, everyone is annoyed at the typical ambiguous or passive-aggressive email from a co-worker. Without further context, anyone, neurotypical or otherwise, has a hard time parsing through indirect language to the point of affecting our productivity and feeling of camaraderie with our co-workers.

SOLUTION

Clarify: A Chrome Extension that spots and helps to correct indirect language

Clarify's Chrome Extension is a email plug-in that allows neurotypicals (those without Autism, mental illness, or intellectual disabilities) to identify confusing language that can not only confuse people with Autism, but also people who hate unnecessary ambiguous language.

HOW IT WORKS

Compose email. Click "Clarify". Correct troublesome words. Send.

After writing an email, the user can opt in to check their email for unclear words or phrases by clicking "Clarify." If a phrase is detected that is ambiguous or indirect, it highlights the word and pops up a dialog box that says why the word has been selected and how to correct it. After the words have been addressed, the user can send the email worry-free that their email can be understood by colleagues and clients.

INTERACTIVE YOUTUBE AD

"What do you mean?" Game Show
(click the squares for alternate interpretations)

To raise recognition of indirect language in people's everyday language at work, we created a series of videos using a phrase that have multiple meanings and creates uncertainty about what the person meant. In the video above, the phrase was "come by my desk anytime." Viewers can click on the info card to access the subvideos showing the consequences of interpreting the language in various ways. While hyperbolic, it demonstrates the point that by being clear the first time around, it can remove any hesitation and miscommunication to help everyone. It would be accessible through LinkedIn users clicking on a sponsored ad or by being shared with a connection.

RESULTS

Why this works

  • Raises awareness and recognition about indirect language in the workplace and provides a solution.

  • Helps neurotypicals and those on the spectrum become more direct and clear in their communication in their emails.

  • Users are already used to auto-correct and spell-checkers, so adding another "communication check" works easily into their workflow.

USER FLOW OF FINDING & USING THE EXTENSION

PROTOTYPE PROCESS

This was the first prototype without a separate Clarify button and was embedded into the send button of the email provider.

This was the second prototype using a separate Clarify button, which provides a opt-in version of this service.

Coding in Atom, I used an existing plugin from Github to highlight text by Will Boyd and then made sure it worked when the word "ASAP" was detected.

THE TEAM

Kate Ursu, CW • Dylan Tucson, AD • Angelica Ortiz, XD

MY RESPONSIBILITIES

Concepting, Strategy, User Experience, Prototyping

TOOLS USED

HTML, CSS, Javascript

MY RESPONSIBILITIES
CONCEPTING
USER EXPERIENCE
PROTOTYPING
PROTOTYPING
PROTOTYPING
PROTOTYPING
CONCEPTING
USER EXPERIENCE
STRATEGY
PROTOTYPING
UNITY
SKETCH
UNITY
SKETCH
TOOLS USED
HTML
CSS
JAVASCRIPT
HTML
CSS
JAVASCRIPT

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