It’s past midnight yet again on a Saturday night (technically, Sunday morning?). Whilst I had intended to get this written and published much earlier, I appreciate us right now; you, reading this, and I, well, having written it. Forgive this anticlimactic introduction to all of this, I anticipate I will learn to avoid waffling in these passages; someday.
There’s good news. If you’ve listened to my previous podcast episode 👀, you know I was struggling with coming up for an idea for a Final Year project for my Uni (studying Comp Sci @ NTU). Well, I’ve welcomed an idea into the confines of my brain, and this has become The Chosen One, officially.
“And for What, For What..
Allow me to explain.
In 2016, the NHS reports that ‘half of all blood donors are over 45 years old’ despite ‘400 new donors [needed] a day to meet demand’. What’s further worrying is a newer statistic from 2018: ‘a staggering 81 percent of 18-24 year olds have never donated blood’.
Now, I’ll be honest. I'm part of that 81%. I’m 21 years old and I’ve never even looked at arranging to become a donor, much less actually donated.
What’s worse is my mind’s a blank when I try and ask myself ‘why haven’t I?’. I catch myself jumping to simple answers: ‘It’s never crossed my mind’ or ‘No one’s directly asked’ etc. Weak reasons for what can be summed up as indifference/lack of interest.
I’m sure there’s others like me?
..No matter what you do it will never amount to anything..
Thus, here's what I know: I've identifed a very real problem to work on, for the next 6 months on this final year project. Actually, let me correct that: I've become aware of this very real problem. It was on a double-decker bus to University that I read these stats on the NHS Give Blood website. Perhaps it was four or five stops before mine. Regardless, I'm convinced I was in some level of shock at those numbers.
To tell you how I look to solve this? I'm...not sure. I am aiming towards a mobile-first web application (prefreabbly a Progressive Web App). Something that looks into the kind of 'hooks' that gets the youth wanting to donate blood once and then again....AND tell their friends about it.
Thereby, emulating the apps and/or techniques used by companies that you'd find on a majority of phones belonging to that younger age group; What keeps you using Spotify? Why do you find Instagram Stories so engaging? And why do you keep refreshing your feed?
Perhaps there's lessons to be learnt and tricks to be utilised from these modern apps that have ingrained so deeply into our daily routine.
Sure, the solutions are rough around the edges right now. Typing this in October, who knows what breakthroughs/difficulties Riz-in-April has hit in time for final submission. More so, as a designer who codes or a coder who designs, this solo endeavour is both exciting and terrifying...times two.
..but a single drop in a limitless ocean.
What I intended for this blog post to become was merely the first of all the prelimary steps before taking that Step One.
'Why?', you may ask. Here's why, perhaps.
Someone motivated me last week to keep asking questions. Another Someone has inspired me with their long-standing, exemplary habit of self-documentation.
What I'm trying to get across to you is the simple fact that sharing my bucket of a brain with the smarter collective mind is how I've learnt best, what's kept me inspired...and I wish I had a more eloquent method of expressing that sentiment.
..What is an ocean but a multitude of drops.”
How it all goes down from here is beyond anyone's guess. 2 weeks into Uni, the stakes are rising. The stress is mostly a constant. The coffees intake is on a all time high.
#MyBloodyApp is one more hashtag to remember.
Until next time.