Samen op Verkenning

Goal of the project:

Empower health professionals to confidently and openly talk about sexual abuse, to help survivors open up and start their healing process

Project in collaboration with Legien Warsosemito-Schenk and Stijn Schenk, made possible thanks to Stimulerings Fonds

Design steps & activities


Focus of the project

    Understanding of the context: sexual abuse, victims and support system, the role of health professionals & expectations of stakeholders

    Analysis and understanding of the needs of the target audience (survivors of sexual abuse): how to design an interaction that makes them feel safe, in control and ready to share their experiences
    Design a solution that will have the most widespread impact in facilitating open, safe and confident conversations about sexual abuse

Design Process

Here I present the project’s stages, while highlighting the lessons learned in relation to each step.


The first step of the project consisted of understanding the domain. I talked to stakeholders and did literature research to get a comprehensive understanding of what the context was like, what were the problems with the current situation and how the different stakeholders experienced them.

"This project aims to Empower health professionals to confidently and openly talk about sexual abuse, to help survivors feel safe to open up and start their healing process"

  • Understanding the context

    ● Talk to stakeholders of the context and do literature research to fully understand the domain of the projectOne personal experience can tell a lot and over a comprehensive overview of the problems with the current situation


After having a clear picture of the domain, we analysed the context where the current interaction takes place: a health consult. How does a conversation about sexual abuse happen? What are the different 'paths' that can be taken? This was useful to fully understand the different elements at play and pinpoint what we wanted to focus on

Customer Journey map


  • Current interaction

    ● Mapping out the interaction helps understand all the elements at play, and what each stakeholder is responsible for

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    Customer journey

    ● Analysing the interaction with a customer journey map helped us to define how the ideal scenario would be like and to identify opportunities● These opportunities and interaction qualities were used as the base for the ideation of concepts


After identifying the ideal interaction qualities and opportunities, I started the ideation process by paying attention to what was needed for each of the stages of the process, and for which of the stakeholder. These initial concepts were evaluated during semi-structured conversations with stakeholders (sexual abuse survivors and health professionals).

Interaction mapped

  • Ideation

    ● The ideation was done by following the needs of the stakeholders at each of the stages; aiming to cover the entire interaction by intervening when necessary● The ideas ranged from simpler concepts (booklets, websites) to more creative (unusual) ideas including gaming elements and cards.

  • performance-checklist-evaluate-estimate-advantage

    Evaluations with stakeholders

    ● 7 stakeholders were consulted to gather feedback about the ideas, and they were asked to answer one main question: at what stage of the interaction (conversation with health professional) would it be most impactful to intervene? ● Due to the time limitations of the project, these evaluations were key for deciding on the direction of the project and for designing the solution.




After the stakeholder evaluations, we held an internal brainstorm session to go through the insights and findings we had to date, and together came up with our preliminary design proposal. A concept that would focus on the main part of the interaction: sharing the experience of sexual abuse, having the actual conversation.


The preliminary design proposal consists of a booklet that guides the conversation. The visual above shows the draft version of the booklet with its main elements: the content and how each section should make the survivor feel (pink post-its).The interaction would go as follows: a person comes into a health consult and either openly asks to share their story, or the health professional asks some questions. If the survivor shows signs of wanting to dive into a conversation about their experience, the health professional brings out the booklet and uses it to guide the conversation. As one can see, the design of the booklet emulates a lotus flower opening up. This metaphor is used because lotus flowers can grow in even the most difficult environments, and its opening symbolises the sharing of one's experience and the healing process.