Archive for ‘Designed Artifact’

April 9, 2012

Model for Tangible Interaction

Model-View-Control & Model-Control-Representation (intangible/tangible)

March 8, 2012

Building the Interface

From User Journey to Interface Actions

One result of creating two user journeys (see that post here) was a long string of actions which the tangible and graphic interface managed. However, this list included repeats of actions which could be edited into one, such as the tangible interface prompting goal buddies to “discuss” and on another occasion “reflect”.  The running list also didn’t present any hierarchy or priority for the actions which each interface managed. Lastly, the user journey began to flesh out the idea of inputs and outputs, but did not go into much detail other than labeling the actions.

In response to the suggestions of my thesis advisory meeting, it became clear that creating an edited set of actions and priorities of each interface would be an important next step. Below is a description of my vetting process, to organize, synthesize, and edit the long list of interface actions (represented in the user journey) into a discernible and manageable set of interface functions and features. Also, in this progression there is increasingly more attention put on the information flow between the tangible  interface, graphic interface, and user experience.


Step One: Making sense of a long list of actions

Take the long string of actions extracted from User Journeys and begin to edit them down into bigger categories of actions. For example the TUI produces a prompt “discuss” as well as “reflect”. “Discuss” is a more appropriate phrase because both involve conversation with the goal buddy. Therefore the category is named “discuss” and I later discover through the editing process that there are four types of prompts within the TUI: record your task, discuss your task or goal, and assess or challenge your task


Step Two: Organizing the actions to create a few key priorities of the entire system

Breaking up the actions again into more discernible pieces.  Here there are four parts: Prompting (Telling), Recording (Listening), Displaying (Showing), Confirming (Agreeing). However, at this phase there is still no differentiation between the priorities of the tangible and graphic interface. There are also some lines that are beginning to draw out possible collapsable categories.


Step Three: Assigning those priorities and actions to which interface “said it” or “did it”

Taking from the previous list, this list begins to assign some of the key actions to an interface. During this process I am not only considering where the information is coming from and which interface is “saying” or “hearing” it, but also using what I know from the User Journey to place the appropriate actions or functions to the appropriate interface, understanding that the GUI might require more attention and intentionality to check than the TUI. Here it shows the GUI would be in charge of controlling the recorded meeting times of the goal buddies: regularly (can input reoccurring date which could send you alerts) or sporadically (can notify system whenever you meet), and remotely or locally meeting. Both of these designations work best in the GUI because they are once or every couple of months kinds of actions, and would not be needed to be displayed or recorded within the TUI.


Step Four: Type it all up and continue to edit some more!

Type all of that up and begin to edit even more. For example: The GUI has three purposes to it’s display: to show logistical information, information about your goal activity which is inputted from your TUI, and information about connecting to your larger community of goal achievers.


Step Five: Print it out and map out the information flow (input/output to goal buddy,  TUI to GUI)

This map started off as a print out from the text edit document. I find that switching between all of these mediums helps me process information in another way. For example, here I realized that what the interface “displays” and what the interface “prompts” the user to to are both outputs. Whereas what the interface “records” is input which the interface must absorb. Therefore, it becomes very important to be very cognizant of how that information is being recorded and where it is going, or what it is informing.


Step Six: Continue to clarify the information flow between the two interfaces

Shortly after the last physical map, I tried to simplify and make large gestures in another map to help me understand exactly what information is being exchanged between the goal buddy and the two interfaces.  I find that by making a map (which unlike the last) is easier to read from a distance, can help me understand all of the relationships holistically. The more times I iterate on the same map, the more I understand and improve.


Step Seven: Digitize the findings by adding info to the System Map and continue to edit

also add informal information exchange between goal buddies



create 3 wireframes for each square of action combos

call out task completion

think of weekly (shallow) view and gui shallow view vs. more complex layered information views.

think about the everyday experience: ongoing action and reflection dispensed to the user, an ongoing diagnostic:
the focus is more on everyday experience rather than longterm relfection and goal management because i feel those other programs lack an interest for the everyday, whereas mine makes it easy and keeps people involved, becoming a habit and part of the social experience of working towards goal. i also think the everyday interactions create a novel experience to elicit an interest in the more complex information interface, which other programs start out with. my system values simple actions and aggregates them into a rich everyday experience shared between two friends. it takes the simplist idea: that we feel better when we are working towards something, that we understand more and have guilt less, less idealistic unreachable ideas, we are caught in the immediate action of making progress instead of planning out progress. it takes very little to begin in the process. mainly it is mediated through conversation with the social buddy aspect.

The experience of a curated goal buddy task package, receiving that information through TUI

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.


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!

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.

January 15, 2012



To understand habits and behaviors involving timekeepers, planning, and work-nonwork management I created the following workbook (shown below). See Below for photos of the completed workbooks. Since then I have met with Denise to revise the questionnaire in order to create a series of interpretive, open-ended, engaging activities.

Below are a few of the highlights from participants’ workbooks:

The Experience of Time:

  • Choosing alternate rhythms to frame progress. Creating breaks through specific events in the day, or something as simple as working until the last song on a CD is played
    Note: Connection to phase synchronization, an alternate :  “compositions based on the extended repetition of brief elegant fragments that weave in and out of an aural tapestry, devoid of traditional western musical events” 

Awareness of Timekeeper:

  • Sound of clock sometimes draws attention to it
    Note: Why do clocks tick, what are those experiences like when we become aware of the ticking, why do we become aware in that moment and not others?

Sharing Calendars:

  • Mother gives calendar with birthdays/anniversaries of friends and family to her children, This year the sister now returns the favor to the mother
  • She shares her long term goals with others in order to retain/remember them

Physical behaviors & time progression:

  • Desk cal only serves aesthetic purposes on desk, but she gets satisfaction from ripping off each day
    Note: Ripping off the day as a daily exercise: What if daily act could cue into nothing part of brain/create a mundane meditative task to create a break in the day?. Providing daily office gossip. Daily office clues for ongoing scavenger hunt.


In Progress. See beginning exercises below:



Week 1: Jan 10-17

  • Begin Taxonomy of Timekeepers and Qualities of Timekeepers
  • Initial Interviews: Create Workbook/ Begin interviews

Week 2: Jan 17- 24

  • Complete Taxonomy of Timekeepers and Qualities of Timekeepers
  • Adjust Workbook
  • Complete 10 interviews with Workbook
  • End of week: Document Study (Taxonomy/Interview): Objectives/Conclusions/Moving Forward

Week 3: Jan 24-31

  • Identify Audience: Background Research, Interview & Observe
  • End of Week: Document Study: (Audience Observation/Research) Objectives/Conclusions/Moving Forward

Week 4: Jan 31- Feb 7

  • Create & Disperse Timekeeping Exercise to Audience
  • Begin creating small Provocations/Probes

Week 5: Feb 7- Feb 14

  • Continue Timekeeping Exercise
  • Continue Provocations/Probes
  • End of Week: Document Study: (Exercise & Provocations/Probes) Objectives/Conclusions/Moving Forward

Week 6: Feb 21 – Feb 28

  • Prepare for Orals
  • Present



October 16, 2011

Reframing the Question

How can a designed intervention in a computer mediated activity create an increase in humanized interactions during the workday?

Areas/Questions for narrowing the study:

1. What is the designed intervention?

  • within the computer interface
  • within the surrounding environment
  • within a software interface/online
  • using tangible interface
  • using biofeedback
  • analog intervention
  • series of interventions which are opt in only
  • social interventions
  • self initiated/system initiated/ triggered?

2. What computer mediated activity?

  • What activity or task, you can do millions of types of tasks on the computer
  • What are some traditional or reoccurring tasks which could benefit from humanizing
  • Which part of that process might you intervene?

3. What does humanized interactions mean? ***

  • Humanized might refer to voice, gesture, or other embodied communication between human and computer, what else?
  • What types of interactions are appropriate, and for which tasks?
  • What are people’s tolerances for current or new interactions
  • Are there struggles in the current workflow that these interactions might aid?
  • Identify, project, and build upon technological trends

4. Which workday or workplace am I talking about? ***

  • Find examples of workplace models: creative, corporate, small business etc.
  • What kind of job (data entry, creative, freelance etc) or job satisfaction (bored, overworked, passionate/committed, etc)
  • What is the future of work? (Can you be an advocate for a future landscape? ie Dunn & Raby)
  • Can you build on trends of future work and work environments? (Studies by Roger Martin)

*** seems like a good place to start