Holly McLeish Connect The Spots

  • Tauira / Student
    Holly McLeish
  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Jo Bailey
  • School
    College of Creative Arts, Massey University

Acne is something which 85% of kiwis experience, yet there is still a massive stigma surrounding it. That’s why I created Connect The Spots. For acne sufferers, in collaboration with acne sufferers. My goal is to help normalise acne and remove the stigma, by educating and empowering acne sufferers to embrace the skin they’re in.

It’s a 5 part design strategy, which is targeted at 18-24 year olds. During this age, many first experience acne and are often alarmed as it is primarily seen as a pubescent condition. The different steps of the system are to educate, inform, be mindful, build community and confirm. These principles closely follow ideas set out in the various theories I researched, in particular, diffusion theory. The system is focussed around both educating to remove misconceptions surrounding the issue and fostering community to destigmatise the condition. Additionally, acne sufferers were at the heart of this project in it’s entirety. All illustrations of faces found throughout this system were drawn directly from the faces of those whom I had spoken and collaborated with.

The first part of the system uses a book to educate. This step is where the user gains knowledge about how the skin functions and how acne is formed. However, the most essential component I feel is the section of the book in which past acne sufferers offer up their advice for someone whom is currently experiencing it themselves.

The second part and the part of the system which I view is the most critical is inform and encompasses the acne analysis tool and diary portion of the app. This is because it allows the user to actively track the progress of both their skin and their mind.

The third part of the system is the be mindful section. Stress can be a huge contributing factor when it comes to acne, so therefore it is important to take time out of our day to calm down the mind and body.

The fourth part of the system involves fostering community through a feed promoting pimple positivity.

Finally, the 5th part of the system, allows the user to test their knowledge and learn more through an interactive training sector of the app.

It is through this system and the rigorous user testing it has undergone, that my acne sufferers and I feel we would ultimately help remove the stigma surrounding the skin condition and make acne cool. Connect the Spots ultimately puts the “IN” back in skin.