IAD Process Week 3 – Play


On Tuesday afternoon, the three of us decided which idea from last week we should follow. We decided to go for the problem of misunderstandings due to a lack of identifying others emotions. To do this research we split the related work into three topics. Shäen chose to look for historic events and art with emotions. Vinzenz concentrated on the technological part. He looked for related work projects, such as EmoteMail and sensors, which detect emotions and feelings. I focused on emotions on social media, and the psychological aspect of transparently showing emotions.



After knowing what is possible with which sensors, we tried to find out, where this device could be located. It should not distract people. In addition to the selection of the sensors, it could only be located on the hands or face. We had multiple ideas which were too science fictional. Such as glowing tattoos, holograms, and implants. In the end, we decided to go for some sort of wristband or ring.

This decision was based on a few properties that the product should have:

  • Visible from outside
  • Independent from seasons and fashion
  • Easy to hide or remove
  • Not distracting

We also finally nailed down what our product should do. First, we defined what our product should We decided to display emotions through colors. Because it’s very complicated to track, distinguish, interpret and display all emotions we decided to only focus on showing comfort and discomfort which is doable with sensors nowadays. Also, we wanted to give just a little inside of the emotions so it will encourage people but not will be misused as a lie detector. At the end, we also tried to define some user groups but we actually wanted to leave it open to everybody.


We built a simple prototype out of LED stripes, wool and tape. It was a non-working prototype which was made to visualize our first thoughts of the device. For this case, it was very helpful so we were able to continue our discussions.

We presented our ideas to Joëlle and our guest, Joel Gähwiler, who is an assistant of the interaction design program. He gave us nice inputs and suggestions on our next steps. For example, we should try to focus more on our target audience. Only then can we really design a project for these users.

Key lessons of the week

We really made process in nailing down what we want to do. It is because we were open to new methods which helped us in our decisions. Especially visualizing helped us of having more vivid discussions. Also, the related work which doesn’t have to be in the same field enriched our creativity.

There often is a time in the time in a project when you have to find focus which means that you have to kill one of your favorite ideas. But the more you are able to focus the deeper you can go into detail. We struggled to narrow down the user group but at the end, we learned that it is crucial.