Waiting Rooms

I observed over 50 hours and 500 patients in the waiting room, interviewed 14 staff members, and analyzed 44 educational materials to generate design implications for an interactive waiting room experience. I used these implications alongside the findings of Active Prolonged Engagement studies and the Family Learning Project findings to implement a Sickle Cell Station. During five days of naturalistic observations of four different material conditions, I observed an additional 580 participants in the waiting room consisting of 80 users. Finally, I conducted a detailed video analysis on 81 patients and their parents to compare their interactions with the station to museum standards.

My results illustrate an active and engaging learning experience for children lush with scientific conversation, inquiry, and collaborations during an average holding time of 12 minutes. Dramatically reimagining the waiting room experience with what we already know from museums provides patients with inviting educational centerpieces that they can use together, repeatedly, and, most importantly, enjoyably.