Madison Ruppel



The Task:

Design an interactive data visualization experience that exists in a specific environment. Collect and organize a set of complex data that can be transformed into an interactive experience. Present it in a way that will allow users to find unexpected patterns within the data.

With a timeline of 6 weeks, I worked in a team of three to take on the issue of mental health on our university campus.

Project in collaboration with Saige Danby and Laura Thomsen; my individual role was data visualizations, video editing, usability testing, and competitor research.



Just A Day is an interactive gallery installation concept that immerses the user in a day in the life of someone with anxiety and depression. Mental illness has impacted all of us in some way, whether directly or through a family member, coworker, or friend. Being such a huge, highly personal problem, how can we make any impact?

Our concept integrates first person video simulations, data visualizations, and user controlled storylines to create an impactful experience. By simulating interactive experiences of living with depression and anxiety, we can help remove shame, normalize the experiences, and hopefully open a up a conversation about mental illness for users.


Physical Layout:


This is the layout of the gallery space. Each wall has a different location. As the user moves through the experience, the story line will take them through different scenarios around the room.


Ipad layout:


The experience begins with assigning the user a character that they will experience the simulation through the eyes of a student with depression or anxiety. This allows for a deep personal connection with the experience. Prompts will show on the wall projections, and users will input their response on the tablet.


Data Visualizations:


We integrated these statistics to tie back the simulation to a larger context and tie the story in reality. Some statistics provide a national perspective, and some statistics relate to students at our university, from the information we collected in an online survey of over 100 students at our university.


Video Component:


First person video simulations provide context for the prompts, and give the user a first hand look on what's it like to go through the day experiencing anxiety and depression.