Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

A comprehensive picture of the long term management tool

The purpose of this post is to provide insight into my most recent progress. I am still lacking the language to describe what I am making, and will be searching for a name for this tool. Do you have any suggestions? Send me an e-mail or comment!

Below you will find some of my most recent work to map and understand the tool, behaviors, and overall system. I will be posting a comprehensive story of this tool in a few posts to come, as I will be preparing slides for Orals on March 14th.

Description of tool

A long term goal management game centered around the accountability between two friends.

This system includes both a graphic and tangible user interface which mediates goal pursuit through reoccurring meetings with a friend. This includes mediating conversation during and apart from meetings, aiding completion of weekly goal-oriented tasks, prompting individual awareness of preferences and insights to aid task completion, offering goal-oriented challenges to complete with a friend, and publicly curating a collection of goal oriented tasks and challenges for a greater community of goal keepers.

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Updated System Map

Updated Levels of Gamification

User Journey 1:  Dan & Ronnie

This journey addresses the following:

  • Introduction to product via website
  • Purchasing and linking TUI guru’s
  • Beginning to meet
  • Establishing special buddy code

User Journey 2: Chi & Jupiter

This journey addresses the following:

  • What happens when people don’t complete a challenge or prompt
  • Remote Goal Buddy Meetings
  • Utilizing curated goal lists
  • What happens when you “win”

Next Steps

This next week I will be developing a sets of interactions within the tangible and graphic interface. This will be presented as fleshed out examples of the interactive and visual qualities of the system which I will continue to develop as I compile and write on my research throughout March and April. May 1st is near but far. Every week has been like a Marathon. It is a lot of work but I continue to be excited about where I am and where it is taking me!

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February 26, 2012

Free Writing

Designing the entire system

The design process must not be weighed down by  1) the product or industrial design aspect of the TUI or 2) the psychology of which questions the TUI might pose to the goal buddy to encourage self inquiry.

Therefore, It is important to consider the entire system of relationships in order to stay focused on the strategic interconnectedness of this system. These relationships are displayed in the system map, which I created after meeting with Denise. This map includes the relationship between two buddies which is mediated the TUI & GUI, and also including the influence of the greater goal buddy community.

My role as a designer of this system

My tool will not only mediate accountability between the goal buddies, but will also encourage self-inquiry during task completion period in between each goal buddy meeting.

The tool provides prompts which cause the participant to consider how they might improve their task. This might come in the form of  creating definitive deadlines for themselves, identifying a more specific task within their current task in order to challenge themselves, or identifying the most appropriate or productive conditions in which they should complete their task. (Remember the list of  questions I developed a few weeks ago.)

The result of these prompts is self inquiry. It should act as slow self-inquiry (almost perhaps in disguise) which unfolds little by little aiding the process over a long period of time.  The tool does not provide answers but mediates this self inquiry, records the persons response, and uses this as a conversation starter within the next goal buddy meeting. The artifact can also communicate between the two buddies and incite or encourage action, a challenge, or self-inquiry.

It would be easy to focus on the psychological aspect of this tool- such as what type of questions might the tool ask. However, my role here is not that of a social psychologist but a designer. For this reason I will only develop a few questions which the tool might ask to a goal setter in order to demonstrate it’s ability to incite self-inquiry. The focus will remain not on the questions as much as the designed form and how design allows the questions to be asked. Design can shift the perception, experience, and relationship to the questions. It could elicit a response from the goal setter that is abstract and interpretive or direct, immediate. Both which might prompt a new level of self-awareness, but in very different ways.

The role of the TUI

The TUI is an artifact, which connects a participant to their desire to achieve their long-term goals as well as their desire to socialize with their goal buddy. The desirability for this tool must outweigh the possible inconvenience.  It will not be a subset of another tool, such as an app within a smart phone, or a widget on a desktop, and therefore will require deliberate attention. While Graphic User Interfaces will be an extension of my tool, they will not be the central touch point. Below are some initial iterations of possible TUI interactions.

The actions, manipulations, or associated information of the TUI could be an open source structure where goal buddies might assign their own meaning or types of challenges. This is an exciting possibility which was discovered through a conversation with Martha, as I spoke about my love of participatory design. The idea that the two buddies could develop their own code of challenges/language/or actions based on a suggested structure is exciting!

The role of the GUI

The GUI will serve the function of “the rememberer” by acting as the repository of recorded tasks, inquiry responses, and progress. The widget or app will have complimentary functions to the TUI: It could enable macro and micro views of information and hold large archives of info, creating an opportunity for a searching function.
From the Bright Green post-it’s of that messy map I described what I thought might be the Qualities of The Rememberer. Read and see below: “The remember does not brag, show everything it has, or act like an annoying brother that throws annoying details in your face. The rememberer is a nurturer, though sometimes she knows some hurtful things about you” 

Game or Tool?

I am creating a tool, with gamified structure for interaction. See below for levels of mastery.

February 26, 2012

Lots of Feedback with a Speed Dating Cherry on Top


Feedback from Denise

  1. This tool is not subset of another tool (i.e.. as an app is to the iphone)
  2. The desirability must outweigh the inconvenience
  3. My work must focus on the entire system of relationships: the goal buddies, the TUI & GUI, and the greater community of goal buddies
  4. My investigation much be limited to the graphic designer’s scope, not the industrial designer or psychologist
  5. The purpose of my investigation is to figure out how the design of my tangible user interface would influence the reception and response of the goal setter, not how the question might verbally be framed differently, or how the refinement of the product might influence that process

Feedback from Martha

  1. Is it a game or a tool?: It is a tool with a gamified structure just as e-bay is a e-commerce website with gamified interactions
  2. Co-couseling can offer a good framework for buddy accountability
  3. The TUI acts as a “Boundary Object” which mediates the goal buddies conversations and meetings. Define what boundary object means in general and define it for the purposes of this tool
  4. In the vein of participatory design, people could tailor their experience with this tool by creating their own code and challenges which go along with the tool. This “code” or series of challenges would be shared between the two goal buddies and could be thought of as anything in between “trash talking” to a “best friends secret code” This participant created code could be linked to suggested actions or inquiries or could be completely made up by the pair.
  5. There must be a backstory to how the buddies are paired
  6. For Orals  I should probably have many iterations, and a few fleshed out, the purpose is to express the full story along with key decision points through my process.
  7. It would be good practice to begin transcribing handwritten notes from important texts. Doing this intermittently between iterations might help keep the blood flowing and focus strong. I will also display a tentative outline for my thesis book at my Orals

Speed Dating about TUI’s

I met with Amber’s New Information Environments Seminar class and participated in a speed dating exercise in which we debated our ideas about “one reason why tangible user interface is important to design.” It was through these discussions with my amazing and intelligent classmates that I found the following things out:

  • What I felt was the most important thing about TUI’s, that they decrease cognitive load and tap into the “metaphors we live by”
  • Some functions that GUI’s might do better than TUI’s
  • The difference in engagement between social metaphors vs. physical metaphors
  • And lastly, the discussions helped me brush up on the limitations and trends I read about in an excellent book I read this week on TUI’s

See more information on all of those points below.

Decreasing Cognitive Load:

My opening argument for speed dating was the following:

Throughout our life we are building an understanding of the world around us, TUI’s draw on that understanding, conversely GUI’s create a graphical environment which has it’s own set of physics and must be learned by the user. Since TUI’s draw on such a type of processing which is innate, when it is applied appropriately, it can decrease the cognitive load

GUI’s vs TUI’s

As I continued to speed date, we found holes within my argument. We discovered some significant aspects which GUI’s might more often do better than TUI’s. In some cases GUI’s might be more appropriate for handling large sets of memory. Enabling a zoom or any other frame to view macro as well as micro views of information also seems more applicable in a GUI. Both the zoom and memory aspects bring the third idea up: utilizing search functions.  (For these reasons my system will use an app or widget touchpoint to compliment my TUI and act as a repository for the long term goal management. )

Physical metaphors vs. Social Metaphors

If we are talking about TUI’s cutting down on processing by tapping into our embodied knowledge and experience, I think it can easily be argued that TUI’s have the opportunity to operate off of a universal set of controls, for example- humans everywhere are subject to the properties of gravity, up is always up and down is always down (I’m thinking about Metaphors We Live By by Lakoff, Johnson 1980).

However, an interesting point that was brought up when talking about the metaphor of the trash can on a GUI on a desktop computer, is the comparison between a socially learned behavior and an innate physical understanding. The Idea of the trash can got me thinking that a social metaphor might not be as universal but has the potential to be extremely engaging, and embedded within a larger context of actions. Is the social or the physical metaphor stronger? I think it would just depend on the operation that is needing to be done and the context of use.

TUI Book

This last week I also read the book Tangible User Interfaces: Past, Present and Future Directions (Shaer, Orit, Hornecker, 2009). I got so much out of it, I cannot explain it all now. However, I wanted to include the list of limitations and trends they mentioned in this book. I won’t go into detail but here is a list:

Limitations of TUI’s:

  1. versitility/malleability
  2. user fatigue (ie: using a mouse because it takes less effort)
  3. scalability/risk of loosing objects

Trends in TUI’s:

  1. Actuation (pushback, shape shifting etc)
  2. Organic TUI’s
  3. Focus on TUI’s as resources to incite and mediate action (as opposed to just being tangible solely for representation) This trend directly relates to my tool!!

References:

Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Shaer, Orit, and Eva Hornecker. 2009. “Tangible User Interfaces: Past, Present and Future Directions (preprint).” Found Trends HumComput Interact 3 (1-2): 1-137. doi:10.1561/1100000013.

February 23, 2012

Token+Constraint.Tangible User Interface

TUI

Tangible User Interfaces give physical form to digital information.

According to Ullmer, there are three broad categories:  interactive surfaces, constructive assemblages, and token and constraints.

Tokens

Tokens are discrete physical objects which represent digital information

Constraints

Constraints are confining regions that are mapped to digital operations (embodied as structures that mechanically channel how tokens can be manipulated)

Ullmer, Brygg, Hiroshi Ishii, and Robert J K Jacob. 2005. “Token+constraint systems for tangible interaction with digital information.” ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 12 (1): 81-118. doi:10.1145/1057237.1057242. http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1057237.1057242.

February 15, 2012

Moving Forward and Lesson Learned

Tasks to move forward:

  • Personas
  • User Journey/Scenario
  • Development of Interface
  • Read Gamification
  • Make informed choice about the appropriate (networked) device(s) (think about context of and behaviors surrounding interaction)

 

Update in Response to Meeting:

Description of Tool:

A long term goal management tool which mediates reoccurring meetings between two friends in order to take action, clarify, and fulfill long term goals.

People Involved:

  • Goal Setter & Buddy
  • Greater Community of Goal Setters and Buddy Pairs
  • Goal Setter’s Role Model(s)?

Objectives of the Tool:

  1. Clarify goal (condition or state), subgoals (activities), and values through mediated conversation and activity
  2. Prompt the negotiation of subgoals and informal deadlines to make progress
  3. Provide structure to receive mutual feedback and encouragement from a goal buddy
  4. Establish an active home base for the collection of long term goals with an emphasis on continuous action and progression (versus checking off daily habits or following a list of predetermined steps to reach a clear end point)

Requirements of the Goal Buddies:

  1. Choose a reoccurring time to meet (once every week month or bi-monthly, etc.)
  2. Choose which goals they will help each other with
  3. Be willing to share thoughts and complete progressive actions to develop goals
  4. Use the tool to mediate this process

 

 Lesson Learned from this meeting:

I need must always make a commitment to set aside time not only externalize information, but to synthesize it for self and especially others

 

Feedback from Denise and Scott:

  • Huh? (See lessons learned)
  • Is the interaction only through a single point? Maybe there are multiple touchpoints
  • Consider the scale (mobile/cell) and behaviors around that
  • With scenario consider what someone comes in with, what they leave with, and how that shifts behavior
  • Show us the interesting part: how the tool mediates that conversation between two people and those meetings, What happens?
  • Weird confusing map shown on blog got me interested in the one area: The Conversator, and that now needs to be filled out
  • State the problem, what are the goals of each user

 

Feedback from Amber:

  • Create Role Barriers
  • Consider how to organize greater community to share knowledge about long term goal clarification and fulfillment
  • The Buddy provides encouragement and feedback, and implicitly provides accountability.
  • The Who What When Where How of the tool is fuzzy, right now it’s only addressing the How
  • Check out BizVendor, which navigates you towards relevant task management apps
  • Two levels of engagement:
    1. The greater community, which requires a more systems approach of how people might organize and share buddy  and goal making
    experiences
    2. The individual level which deals with individual engagement and motivation… check out Gamification for this
  • Create Personas (which must be in pairs) and Make scenarios based on those specific needs- not everything bc of time crunch…
  • Use Personas to ground/make concrete.. for example: one person who wants to play guitar, and another that wants to find a job.
February 13, 2012

Lots of pushpins, More Conversation & Accountability

Lots of Pushpins…

This map began as a way for me to understand possible functions or “roles” of the tool I would design and the feedback loops within each part. (*1*) It was a weak attempt to begin thinking about “what it is I am making” and “what it is all about” but it was a start. See the key to explain details. High resolution photo to come.

After making this map I began to realize my objectives for this tool were unclear. What were the big questions it was asking. What was it getting at. How was it helping people. Yes it’s about long term goal management but how was it going to do that.

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Lots of Questions…

From here I created and curated a list of questions which would help someone specify their long term goal. These questions were directly and loosely based off of the methodology from many different sources such as:

After creating a big list of questions, I edited these down to the more salient, grouped them, sketched them, and matched the sketch visualizations with the parts of the tool. (*2*) The questions are loosely clustered around a different part or role of the tool.

The groups of questions are as follows:

  • Goal
  • Values
  • Conditions
  • Support/People
  • Achieving Goal
  • Action Plan

An example of some questions such as the ones related to the group “Achieving Goal” are as follows:

  • Describe the state which will let you know that you have met your goal. 
  • What are some possible obstacles which could prevent you from reaching your goal?
  • How will you be rewarded when you meet this goal? How might you create a reward for yourself?

To see all of the questions view this doc:  List of Unedited Questions My Tool Will Ask

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More Pushpins…

As I mentioned earlier, I tried to do a little cross pollination in my map, by matching first the sketches and then the questions with the parts/roles of the tool. This suggests both that  this part of the tool might literally ask those questions to the goal maker, or they might engage in an action which would result in that question being asked. (*3*) See the that map below.

* key *

* detail  *

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A little exercise…

To move forward I began to think about how I would translate these questions into a more typical format, a time based plan for achieving subgoals. I was thinking about creating an action plan through these steps:

  1. List all of the activities you have done or will need to do to achieve this goal
  2. List all of the conditions that will be necessary or helpful in order to achieve this goal (some conditions include social, physical, material, environmental factors, see map for more details)
  3. Group and name these according to phases
  4. Within each phase create steps and designate which activities & conditions are ongoing (habits/practices) and which are one time needs or actions (tasks)

I asked Kirsten Southwell, a wonderful friend of mine and great thinker/designer to come by the studio to get some feedback. We played a little game, which I tested out first below to have a conversation about goals, activities, and conditions. Then, just as I hoped, the conversation snowballed into something deeper.
* List of goals, activities, conditions *

 

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A conversation about Conversation & Accountability…

So this is what I found out through conversation with Kirsten…

I was focused on making a tool which helped clarify a goal into a more specific set of actions by aiding self inquiry. When we did the little activity featured above, I was wondering if maybe my ticket to clarification was focusing on not only on obvious tasks which are to be completed, but also conditions. (This in fact was one of the factors that and interviewee pointed out, to hear that sound clip see Interview 09)

However, as we talked a few things became obvious…

  1. At what point in the goal making process am I helping someone through (Martha mentioned this in the first full committee meeting, see reference to David Roe) Is someone trying to weigh different goal options, or someone who has a goal idea but a vague understanding of how to live it out, etc.
  2. My focus has been on internal awareness, but what is there to be said about others’ role in helping this process? The role of accountability  and conversation with others as a powerful tool for not only working towards a goal but understanding it (*4*)
  3. My map is way to complicated and the things my tool does must be simplified, this was obvious before I started and a result of my additive/expansive method of thinking (*5*)

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Now I should…

Develop concept grounded in accountability and conversation, with parts/roles and questions facilitated by tool, and oh yeah… make real stuff

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Footnotes on Process & Other Details:

(*1*) You can see all of the “parts” are athromorphized. This was a fun way for me to think about the tool in a brainstorming phase, I have also noticed refferring to a relational connection with something or someone helps me create a story and discover the larger narrative or purpose I am interested.

(*2*) I have been doodling my ideas a lot. I am noticing it is helpful for me to process information through multiple means (digital word processing, handwritten notes, index cards, colored pencil annotations, plain text edit files) The more I allow myself to re-tell the story or recap the information through the different means, the more I edit and internalize the important parts. I am just beginning to create a better flow for drawing simple sketches everyday to reinterpret or make a simple model for myself.

(*3*) I have noticed that I am empowered by making digital information physical, so that I might tangibly edit a larger set of information. It keeps me on task, engaged, and most excitedly- enjoying myself. I have tried to take good pictures in order to document this physical editing process in order to encourage constant flow within my workspace. I also enjoy the effect it has on subconscious absorption and reflection on that information. It also provides obvious breaks in my work because I am able to see how much progress I have made.

(*4*) For example… People might want to find someone’s secret… how did they do it? (ie: could you follow your role model’s goal process through twitter) This was an aspect I hinted at in the questions: with “Who else is working on this goal?”

(*5*) I am friends with an Architect. We occasionally spend time drawing while at a coffee shop or waiting in a lobby. He asks me, try to draw without so many lines. I find this an interesting challenge, because when he looks at a paper he thinks about what he wants to draw before drawing it, and only puts on the page what is necessary. Though my tactic of many lines, and an additive process might not be the best for drawing perhaps it could work better painting? I have never tried. However, I do very much enjoy collaging both digitally and with found materials/scraps. I have recently noticed a connection to that way of thinking and reasoning in my design strategy work. Get it out, and then respond to it- edit it- move it- reframe it- and try to see. I love the things which layering can achieve.

February 8, 2012

What are you making!?

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I am making something that helps people think about long term goals…

An audit of six goal management tools

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I am making something that might have the following parts…

The following is a list of possible interpretive parts which my design could include:

+ the diagnoser/logger/tracker/rememberer
+ the conversator/sharer
+ the reminder/prodder
+ the inquirer/provoker/clarifyier
+ the collector/absorber
+ the presenter/performer

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I am designing for an emotional experience and something which amplifies time instead of compressing it…

Now I am in the phase of my work where people are beginning to ask “So what exactly are you making?.” This week, upon Denise’s suggestion, I decided I would try to begin ideating. I was still confused myself as to what I was making. I came across an article which I found during the “body awareness” phase of my thesis question (aka, the beginning of Thesis prep class last semester). This article  titled Slow Technology – Designing for Reflection emphasizes the design of interactions which amplify time or amplify the presence of something. The author gives an example of a doorbell, which plays a pieces of a continuous melody, each time it is rung. The article brought up a lot of interesting points to me, especially after conducting the audit (shown above). The article talked about how some interactions can create a mindfulness or amplification of presence by commentary on an existing relationship with technology. Other interactions act to amplify time by causing someone to make time for something as opposed to compressing time by making something easier or faster (like the tools I audited above).

I had been thinking about the difference between designing for an emotional experience rather than a designing a utilitarian tool to complete a task. I would like what I design to be focused more on an acknowledgment (sacred/reflective) and inquiry (provocative/diagnostic) rather than progress and efficiency. How might I amplify the experience of time in order to produce mindfulness of long term goals? What role does retrieval play? Tangible interactions?  Anywho, I have a lot of questions but now I’ll show some examples of projects that I really enjoy (below). I am posting them, just to give an idea of where my head is.

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I am making something which will have a depth of meaning revealed through an ongoing series of moments and physical interactions…


Olly & Molly (physical, slow)


IxDA Winner: Spotify Box (physical)

Proverbial Wallets (physical)

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I am making something with a surprise factor or something equally as delightful I hope…


Photo JoJo’s Flikr Time Capsule (slow, reflective)

An article on Design Observer written by Rob Walker talked about this service saying that creative tools like Instagram is on a mission “to prod You The User to produce more, now … and now …  and now” and to incorporate that tool into your “regular broadcasting routine”.  Recently I read a description in a book called Empires of Time, which explained that in our American view time could be best represented by a series of continuous rings which interlocked are spinning uphill. Our societies view of time is a constant series of “now’s” he explained through this ring metaphor. He compared this experience to someone who makes no distinction from past present and future, or experiences time as a cycle. I was struck how these two descriptions- of Western conception of time, and Instagram’s influence, were so similar. The author also points out this “Oh Yeah” factor which the Flikr Time Capsule has on the user. I love the description in the article, and I would like to commemorate it with my own series of simple beautiful surprises involving slow, reflective, or physical artifacts.

    

Other random happenings involving slowness, reflectiveness, desires for future, and surprises
Time Capsules, Pen Pals, Postcard Exchanges, Temple Prayers, Omikuji,  Fortune Cookies 

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I am making something with your help…

When I met with Denise this week, I created a few “first stabs” at what I might design. Though it seems silly, I am not going to include those ideas in this post, but the feedback from all these thoughts and tests. One thing I can say I am interested in is a series of interactive objects/smart objects/tangible interactions, which are the main mode for how someone would manage their goals, along with a compatible online program. So that said, I played with the idea of a smart candle, pennies with RFID tags, and a handwritten fortune that is sent through the mail as my “first stabs”. Here are some of the conversations that came out of those initial ideas:

Ideas which came up in conversation with Denise…

Use metaphor to inform & inspire
+ Apply the principles or qualities of a metaphor to your design, rather than literally interpreting or directly applying the characteristics of that metaphor

A note on creating artifacts of ritual
+ There is an interest in creating a relationship and investment in an object, but be careful not to get off subject, creating a richness or sacredness in an artifact is not completely within the role of the designer

A note on retrieval & access
+ Similar to one of the interviewee’s comments on reading analog clocks, accessing the information (the time of day) was slower than a digital clock
+ How is information, a moment, or a goal revisited?
+ In the examples information is not pushed, you pull it

Intentional Language
+ How to talk about goals
+ How to ask about goals
+ Is “Goals” even accurate?

Ask clarifying questions
+ Good examples in Achiever, use of SMART criteria and with follow up questions
+ Additional Questions: Who has had this same goal (role model), Who has this goal now? Who might work on this goal with you? Who has tried to have this goal, but have not “achieved it”? Who might help or support you?

Core/Nucleus of Interface
+ Many sites were focused on profile and accumulation, I would like mine to be focused first on the goals including the clarification of the goals, the execution of individual actions related to the goals etc.
+ In other words the interaction should emphasize action as opposed to sharing thoughts about action

Ideas which came up in conversation with ID Student Mike Falk…
Lifetime/Use
+ What is the lifetime of the object, will people use this over a series of years/their whole life/ etc.
+ I was reminded how an object is physical interface, telling us how to interact with it and use it
+ Is this an object which will be used everyday, that you carry around on your person? like a keychain?
+ What is the purpose, to comfort? to disturb? to make you work harder?
+ Different object, a series of objects, or a single object with different modes or forms could allow for different sets or types of goals, Goals would could be matched with object not according to content but according to time span of commitment and conscious effort

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I am making something that I have wanted to make for a while, I hope…

A long winded but possibly interesting narrative of my interests in embodied interaction and participatory toolkits…

My interest in embodied interaction was fostered as a result book suggestion from Holly Willis during the New Context New Practices conference. She recommended I read Paul Dourish’s Where the Action Is: Foundations for Embodied Interaction. I cannot remember now, what I said which made her suggest this book. However, I checked that book out my first fall semester and had been hanging onto it until about two weeks ago returned it. The book gave me a basis to understand tangible computing, social computing, and even just the difference between analog and digital computing. I was drawn into the idea of human-computer interactions which seemed to rest on nuanced physical and social interactions, which seemed so natural after completing an undergrad in Theatre studying acting, directing, voice, movement, character analysis, and the like. My interest in embodied interaction and human-computer interaction then grew through the guidance of Amber Howard in our second year’s fall semester seminar: New Information Environments. Amber helped me understand a chapter in Anne Munster’s Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information AestheticsIt is here when I learned that designing a tangible interaction was not better than a printed artifact, or a digital on-screen interface, it was just different. And by the end of the class I was able to confidently say in front of my peers that when designing, one should consider the broad continuum of interface design, which doesn’t just include a screen or a phone, but could include an object, set of objects, or an environment. Either way we are designing an interface. An interface, like a human face, acts as an intermediary which communicates and translates information about the external environment and possibly the internal experience. (See a better articulated version of that here.) I learned that how we go about choosing the medium of that interface must be appropriate to the given context of use. This was a semi-wake up call for me, only because the projects I saw (such as the ones below) seemed so much more appealing than others.

When I started my thesis work I was very broadly interested in human-computer interaction and body awareness (or some kind of phenomenological/multi-modal experience). While I tried to incorporate those things in my thesis work it was difficult to say what my purpose was.  In a way it felt like I slowly eroded those ideas to focus on the principle behind what I was after- the idea of awareness and personal significance, making the most out of your day, and balancing enjoyment with hard work then became more off my focus.

For a while I felt I made a short tangent into what I would consider the another revelatory subject in my grad school experience, designing participatory toolkits. In the spirit of Liz Sanders, I used interviewing people about my thesis subject (the behaviors of time management in relation to the use of timekeepers) as an opportunity to design some interactive games to talk with people. The interviewing process was interesting because it was messy, invigorating, and not that straight-forward. But after reflecting on the experience some major themes seemed to rise in importance. Most notably, the idea of “long term goals” as a easy reference point for talking about the “significance of our time commitments”. When I think about a long term goal, it does not deal with efficient time management tables and deadlines, as much as developing things which relate to someone’s individual values or desires. Talking about long term goals feels like the larger framing narrative which can point me both to the experience of time as well as the significance of commitments over time.

February 3, 2012

Feedback & New Plan of Action

Revised Plan of Action:

02-03-2012
Updated Thesis Milestones. Alexandria Jarvis

Writing

  • Create Outline for Final Proposal, Identify holes
  • Weekly Editing of Proposal Materials, Plan Session times
  • Literature Review?
  • Weekly plan to create 500 word responses along with seminal texts?

Audience

Steps to complete:

Create bullet point profile and write 3-5 paragraph description of audience

Notes:

+ Receptivity Gradient: Have an opinion and ready to act

+ Address the socio-economic background

+ college education, transition period, recent graduate, upcoming graduate, within first 3 years in the workforce, unattached

+ Homogeneous group?

Audit

Steps to complete:

+ Develop criteria by which precedent will be assessed

+ Audit of existing long term goal sites & task manager tools

+ Write 2 paragraph conclusion statement outlining areas for improvement

Ideation

Steps to complete:

+ Choose from taxonomy list of possible media (form/platforms)

+ Make list of possible objectives, purposes, & experiences

+ Create 3 or more combinations of artifacts with different purposes, perspectives, and approaches

+ Present through storyboards/wireframes/ etc.

Features/Functions

Steps to complete:

+ Create list of key function/features. Use what you what you learned from 1. the audit 2. interviews and audience study to consider the context of use

+ Combine ideas from last phase and this phase to produce 3 different products, demonstrate through digital wireframes and/or physical prototypes

Final: Scenarios

(The role of the scenarios has become more of a storytelling or presentation device as well as something to work through the details of both the design and use of what I am making.)

Steps to complete:

+ Create episodes displaying the use of each product through hand drawn storyboards

+ Combine best parts of each scenarios into one

+ Produce a 5-7 minute clip of combined scenario

+ Publish online and ask for feedback, refine & adjust

+ Create introduction, pitch, or other things to frame narrative

+ Produce and publish online

Feedback from First Full Committee Meeting:

2012-02-01
Feedback from Martha & Scott

Audience

  • Could incorporate David Roe’s “ready to know, ready to act etc” continuum to describe audience
  • The group you design for seems homogenous you must define and state those limitations or deal with those factors such as…
  1. is your audience “unattached” people who have to coordinate their lives with others (family, children) is much more complicated
  2. It seems you are addressing a certain socio-economic group, ie: college education, middle-class/upper middle-class etc.

Long Term Goals

  • Are we talking 1 year or 5 year goals?
  • You must remember that you cannot judge people’s long term goals
  • How will you deal with them when your system collects them?
    Will it be an open structure or will there be categories or buckets that would prompt them to reflect or record their goals

Designing the Functions of what is being designed

  • The age group you are talking about will already have behaviors learned from other interface experiences, you should use those instead of reinventing them
  • See the book: Designing Social Interfaces for a guide for designing UX
  • Your “three sets of functions” could be based around 3 personas (See Amina’s work for inspiration)

 

Major Holes- What tangible thing are you designing and when are you designing it?

  • Scenarios only address context and behaviors surrounding the use of the thing, not the actual design of the thing. Add that step, and take out others. Will it come in the form of wireframing etc?
  • What are you actually designing? What is the tangible thing?
  • Phases in Plan of action must have stop and start and relate to each other

Inform Committee

  • Talk with Denise and keep everyone informed with feedback notes
  • Establish next reoccurring meetings through e-mail

 

2012-02-03
Feedback from Denise

  • Consider the feedback loop of the artifact and the relationships it creates
  • Sounds like it is more than an online interface design, will it be ambient? physical artifact? Etc.
  • Get your ideas out of your head. Document your ideas through sketches or some form so we can talk about them next week
  • A humanizing experience, an emotional/symbolic experience vs. productive online program
  • Look at Keetra Dean Dixons grad work (it assumes more of a commentary role) but it relevant to emotional and humanizing experiences
February 1, 2012

Full Committee Meeting & Interview Clips

Progress Update…

Below is my progress as of Feburary 1, 2012. This includes a blossoming researchable question, interview results, new ideas, and a plan of action (to be revised). 

Three Clips of Interviewees talking about long term goal management…

A big thanks to everyone who participated in my “picking brains & playing games” sessions. I had lots of fun and through those interviews was able to take a new exciting direction, based on tidbits from our conversations. New moments from different interviews keep coming up in my mind, as I am beginning to ideate. Below are a few clips from influential moments during the interview process.

 

Interview 06: Creating time specific and non-time specific personal benchmarks to reach long term goal

Interview 08: The influence of a “vision board” on long term goals

Interview 09: Understanding your personal conditions for achieving long or short term goals