Visualizing Bipolar

This study investigates the visual metaphors and images people with bipolar disorder associate with their condition in order to better understand how personal health data could be visualized in more meaningful ways, through apps or other forms of technology.

Through a series of interviews and participatory design activities with individuals currently under treatment for bipolar disorder, this study will explore gaps, tensions and intersections between traditional data visualization conventions used in many popular tracking tools and the visual metaphors and images used by patients to describe  their mental health experiences. This study (1) supports patient-centered approaches to the long term management of serious mental illnesses, (2) will inform the design of self-tracking tools for specialized audiences, and (3) will provide insights into the role of visualization in shaping data-driven knowledge.

Learn more about participating in this study.

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This research is led by Jaime Snyder, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington (contact: or 206-616-1094). Support for this study has been provided by the University of Washington’s Royalty Research Fund (RRF).