IAD Process Week 3 – Play

Tuesday

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.

 

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

11.04.2017 – Experiences

Readings:

  • “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” boyd, danah, 2007, In MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • “Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil“, Horst, Heather, 2011, In International Journal of Communication. 5. 437–462.
  • “Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time”, Kaye, Joseph, Levitt, M. K., Nevins, J., Golden, J. & Schmidt, V. In Proceedings of CHI ‘05.
  • “Videoplace – An Artificial Reality”, Krueger, M. W., Gionfriddo, T, & Hinrichsen, K. In Proceedings of CHI ’85.
  • “Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design“, Merholz, P., Wilkens, T., Schauer, B., & Verba, D. (2008), O’Reilly Media, Inc. (Chapter 1 + 5)

Experience – Katharina Durrer

User and Human Experience – Summary

Let’s start with a simple mathematic exercise: What is interaction + user?

User experience! You’re right! It is really simple. As soon as we design an object, service or a similar thing for human beings, there is an experience.

User experience is very important. Especially for us interaction designers, since we design things, made for humans to interact with.

Feedback:

  • Great explanation of experience terms
  • nice documentation of the processes

The experience is the product – Ismael Moeri

Experience, technology and features – Summary

Ismael started his presentation with a time travel, we went back to the invention of the camera. At first, we took a look at one of the first cameras made for ordinary people. The camera’s manual looked extremely complicated. Multiple buttons had to be adjusted before using the camera.
He then compared this camera to Kodaks first „everyday“ camera. Their slogan already explains what I’m getting at: You press the bottom, we do the rest.

Kodak invented a camera, which was so simple to use, that the user did not even have to develop the photos himself. He simply had to send the camera to Kodak, where the pictures were then developed.

Later Ismael compared three mobile phones. The Nokia 3310, the first internet compatible phone, and the first iPhone. All these devices consist of technology, features and experience.

The meaning of these comparisons was, that if the user experience is bad, your product can be as good as you want, people still won’t buy it.

Feedback:

  • Great examples
  • nice flow

We first discussed the philosophy of apple. We all agreed that apple has simple, yet well-designed products and user interfaces. The only disadvantage is, that apple does not work on the compatibility of their devices and devices from other companies. Sometimes making a different device work with, for example, a Macbook can be very time-consuming and requires many additional software tools.

IAD Process Week 2 – Idea Transfers

Tuesday

After an interesting Design Methodology lesson about prototyping, we were asked to create a prototype, made out of everyday objects and garbage in 1.5h. Since we had not decided what our final project should be, we were struggling to find an idea for a prototype. After one hour and 15 minutes of arguing what we should build, we decided to create some sort of „emergency-prototype“ which displays our interests, and what we would like to observe.

We made a cardboard box with a tiny door and multiple paper balls with different sizes. This was an extremely abstract form to display people (paper balls) and certain societies, which were separated by a door that was not big enough for all the paper balls to fit through.

Wednesday

Nicole gave an input on narrowing down our ideas. We used a method which contained a coordinate system with two axes, that we could name ourselves. We chose acceptance and usability, to sort our ideas.

We chose two ideas from the coordinate system. After that, we collected more than a dozen questions to our ideas we chose.

Thursday

Vinzenz decided to try to do some research on giving feedback or feedback:
When is feedback necessary and when is it better not to give feedback? What is the best way to convey feedback? etc.

Michael concentrated on the idea of technology, that supports our consciousness. He informed himself about AR and similar ideas:
What rules could be conveyed by such a system? Are we dissociating ourselves, when we create a device, which reduces non-verbal misunderstandings?

To each of our ideas we created a poster with pictures how our piece of technology could work, a goal we wanted to reach and a slogan of our product. Vinzenz’ goal was to enhance conversation, to be honest, and to lower the effort critique. He thought that people (at least in Switzerland) are not longer showing their emotions and it would help if we share critique more often.

For the presentation of Friday, we had to make a video which should contain the highlights of the last two weeks.
Also, we did our first plan what we want to reach with our projects. So we made an “Action Plan” which contained the very first concepts, the goal we want to achieve with it, what people we need for this, obstacles we’ll face and things we need.

Friday

On Friday we presented our ideas and tried to show, what progress we have made in Week two. Joëlle gave us the advice to proceed our progress, and try to focus more on one idea, which we then should research more. She missed the related work in our presentation. Which we then decided to do more intense in week three.

Key lessons of the week

If you understand the people/users and their problems well, you’ll lose yourself quite fast in many ideas you have which can be frustrating. There are a few very good techniques to find out in which direction you should work. They really help!

04.04.2017 – A prototype is worth a thousand pictures

Readings:

  • “Machines for Living”, Montgomery, Will. 2013, In Wire. 243. 28-35.
  • “Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers“, O’Sullivan, D. & Igoe, T. 2003, Premier Press.
  • “A Comment, a Case History and a Plan”, Pask, Gordon, 1971, In Cybernetics, Art, and Ideas. Edited Reichardt, Jasia. London: Studio Vista. 76-99.
  • “RetroFab: A Design Tool for Retrofitting Physical Interfaces using Actuators, Sensors and 3D Printing”, Ramakers, Raf, Anderson, F., Grossman, T. & Fitzmaurice, G. 2016, In Proceedings of CHI ’16.
  • “The anatomy of prototypes: Prototypes as filters, prototypes as manifestations of design ideas“, YounKyung, L., Erik, S., & Josh, T. 2008, In ACM Trans. Comput.Hum.Interact. 15(2). 1–27.

The question of the prototype – Andrin Gorgi

a prototype is worth a thousand pictures- Summary

Andrin taught us some main things about prototyping. As an example, he used Dyson, and showed a video of prototyping at the company.
Prototypes have different characteristics:

  • Filtering
    • Appearance
    • Data
    • Functionality
    • Interactivity
    • Spacial structure
  • Manifestation
    • Material
    • Resolution
    • Scope

The possibilities for creating a prototype are endless. It is possible to start with a new material from scratch, or use the method of reassembling. But the most important aspects of prototyping are: fail early & fail cheaply.

Feedback:

  • short and to the point
  • nice illustrations

After Andrin’s presentation, Joëlle explained the Etymology of the word prototype. Protos and typos come from the greek language and mean something like „first model“. We can use a gigantic variety of materials for our prototypes. The main focus lies in finding a material which suits your object, and is nicely formable to the shape you strive for. The material should not cost much, and be easy to access.

The prototype and its impact on designers – Daniel Holler

a presentation about STEIM & Gordon Pask- Summary

Steim is a company, which is most known for the invention of the first (*drums please*) handheld battery driven synthesized music instrument in 1968. This box creates very abstract electronic sounds, based on the moisture and pressure of the fingers, pressing the buttons. It’s called: the crackle box.

Daniel then compared this device to the Musicolor. A machine created by Gordon Pask. The machine used an input signal of a microphone to change light patterns. This output was not steered directly by the sounds recorded on the microphone. The machine was sort of able to learn from the performance. Through this delayed reaction, the musician was reinspired by the output.

Feedback:

  • interesting examples
  • well-spoken presentation

These projects are very experimental and could be from a research lab or a school, for example, the MIT. Many design or engineering schools deliver the ideas for companies from the Silicon valley, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Xerox etc. The beauty of prototyping is that sometimes errors can result in an even more interesting result. A bug in a code can lead to a great inspiration.

IAD Process Week 1 – Into the wild!

Tuesday

How can we change the world?
We started our module and worked with multiple methods to find ideas. The topic was „How can we change the world?“. After we all thought about different topics each one of us wrote down one sentence. Based on these sentences we built teams. Shaën, Vinzenz and I had all written about Human Interactions and communication. We were very interested in common miscommunications, which is why we decided to ask a youth work agency and the Kantonspolizei Zürich if we could interview them on the next day. Sadly they were not as cooperative and spontaneous as we hoped.

Wednesday

The next morning we sat together and tried to think of a new place to get inspired and interview people. 

We agreed to go to the skatepark to observe the communication between people of various ages. We managed to get three people in front of our camera: A young man riding his dirt bike, a teenager with a scooter and three children between 4 and 10 and their mother. In the afternoon we presented our thoughts and worked more on our observations.

Thursday

We brainstormed in the skatepark and tried to film nonverbal communication. Due to the lack of people, we decided to go again after school. The second time we went there, we placed our camera and filmed certain spots for a while. Michael volunteered to skate as well and observe how people behave. Afterward, we confronted the people we have seen communicate through nonverbal language. We noticed that there are some unwritten rules in the skate park but also most people rely on body language.

Friday

There’s a clash between the skaters and the parents of kids with scooters. Often times they did not really talk to each other which led to many misunderstandings and arguments. To get an overview of the situation we created personas and a model of the relationships in the skatepark.

After our presentation with Joëlle and Nicole, we decided to go in the direction of similar issues in other situations around the world. Where are intuitive rules applied and do not require written rules?

Key lessons of the week

Creating ideas is a crucial process especially if the subject of the work is not given. Next time for sure we would focus more on this part, to be open and to really understand the people and their problems.

27.03.2017 – Stories are awesome but dental visits are even more fun!

Since I had to visit the dentist on Monday morning, I could not attend the Design Methodology lesson. Therefore, I will interpret the ideas, described in the summaries of Aurelian and Shaëns presentations.

this week’s readings:

  • “Demo or die: Overcoming oddness through aesthetic experience” Auger, James, 2012, In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. Ph.D. Thesis. RCA, London.
  • “Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method”, Hertz, G. & Parikka, J. 2012, In Leonardo. 45:5. 424–430.
  • “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms”, Ishii, Hiroshi & Ullmer B. 1997, In Proceedings of CHI ‘97.
  • “Radical Atoms: Beyond Tangible Bits, Toward Transformable Materials”, Ishii, Hiroshi, Lakatos, D., Bonanni, L. & Labrune, J. In Interactions. 19:1. January/February 2012. 38-51.
  • “Mobilizing Attention: Storytelling for Innovation”, Kim, J., Lund, A. & Dombrowski. 2010, In Interactions.
  • “Moving Your Idea Through Your Organisation“, Loch, Christopher. 2003, In Laurel, Brenda (ed.). Design Research. Methods and Perspectives.

Evaluation by narration – Aurelian Ammon

storytelling in the design industry – Summary

Generating ideas –  Finding an idea is not always easy. Next to various idea finding methods, „Alternative presents“ are a great starting point. This method uses existing technology and rethinks their usage and purpose.
„Counterfactual and alternative histories“ is another method. its main goal is to take critical points in our history and altering them.

Innovating ideas – In this step, the chosen ideas are creatively preached using a story. Stories have the characteristic to entertain people. As soon as a presentation has it’s red thread, the listeners will be able to follow. Which is why designers should be able to have a basic understanding of narrative thinking and presenting ideas.

Selling ideas – selling your idea is just as hard as finding it. Searching a company willing to present and invest in your idea is tricky. Designers can not always be picky and need to adjust their ideas and goals to their resources or adjust it to the companies needs.

Zombie media vs. Vision-Driven Design – Shaën Reinhart

throwaway culture – Summary

What started in 1932 during the great depression, is now a big topic in many industries. Planned obsolescence is mostly found in media devices. Everchanging plugs, or even software that is perhaps developed, to break a device after a certain time.

Interesting is the example of the „Blackbox“ that Garnet Hertz makes in his text about „Zombie Media“. The Blackbox symbolizes the technology behind a device, a user without special knowledge is able to use. Once this device does not work anymore, the user has no chance, to fix it on his own. He is now depending on the help of an expert.

20.03.2017 – Cyborgs

this weeks readings:

  • “Speculative design: The products that technology could become”, Auger, James, 2012, In Why Robot? Speculative Design, the domestication of technology and the considered future. PhD Thesis. RCA, London.
  • “Delusions of Dialogue: Control and Choice in Interactive Art”, Campbell, Jim, 2000, In Leonardo. 33:2. 133-136.
  • “Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects“, Dunne, Anthony and Raby, F. 2001,  August / Birkhäuser.

Design of „What if?“ – Ju Young Yi

speculative design presentation – Summary

Ju discussed three main questions:

  • The difference between a true interaction and a Mimicry?
  • The border between speculative design, art and insanity?
  • Interaction with the objects, another form of life?

These questions weren’t easy to clarify. They mainly created even more questions then answers!
Do we only fake a shiny video, or make a functioning prototype – concept vs. execution?

In my opinion it is depending on the project that the designer is working on and his resources. It may not always be possible to create a fully functional object within the time that is given to the designer. And sometimes a project doesn’t need to be a finished product. The main goal of a designer should be to inspire the market and present an idea. Despite that I personally prefer presenting something that actually works, since I am interested in the engineering part aswell.

Ju showed us the example of Stelarc, an artist from Australia who implanted an ear into his arm. Most people react shocked, and are disgusted by his „art“. But the question here is how strange his ideas are? We implant technology into our body (heart pacemakers, metal joints etc.). But is there a border to when we become cyborgs? And if yes, where is it?

Feedback:

  • nice animations / illustrations
  • examples nicely chosen

Art, fiction and speculative design – Carlo Natter

versions of the future – Summary

Carlo started his presentation with a summary of the placebo project, which is described in Dunne, Anthony and Rabys text.

One of these objects is the Electro-draught excluder. While most of their objects look like furniture, this one seems more like a sound insulator. It is created to make the user feel more comfortable at home by creating a protection barrier from electronic devices.

To the topic of design fiction Carlo presented us the United micro kingdoms.
The idea of four communities: digitarians, anarcho-evolutionists, bioliberals and the communo-nuclearists.
Communo-nuclearists is a society living on a constantly moving train. The train is powered by nuclear powerplants and has a limited population living on it. The state provides everything they need, in return for their limitless energy resources.

In my eyes a rather sorrowful vision of the future. Nevertheless a very interesting topic, which is nicely illustrated and discussed on their website.

Feedback:

  • great examples & presentation style
  • presentation rather long

In one of the readings the japanese asthetic concept Wabi Sabi is mentioned, which has three main arguments:

  • Never finished
  • Never perfect
  • Nothing lasts

Design fiction is very close to this concept. Since the future is never-ending, so are the speculations and the design ideas about it.

13.03.2017 – Human Computer Interaction

this weeks readings:

  • “Ethnographic video as design specs”, Buur, J., Fraser, E., Oinonen, S., & Rolfstam, M. 2010. In Proceedings of SIGCHI Australia’ 10.
  • “From Davis to David: Lessons from Improvisation”, Liz Danzico, 2010, In Interactions.
  • “Conceptual Designs”, Fogg, B.J, 2003, In Laurel, Brenda (ed.). Design Research. Methods and Perspectives.
  • “Design: Cultural probes”, Gaver, Bill, Dunne, T., & Pacenti, E. 1999. In Interactions, 6(1), 21-29.
  • “Understanding contexts by being there: case studies in bodystorming“, Oulasvirta, A., Kurvinen, E., & Kankainen, T, 2003, In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 7(2), 125-134.
  • “Cocreation and the new landscapes of design”, Sanders, E., & Stappers, P. J. 2008. In CoDesign, 4(1), 5–18. Verplank, Bill. 2008. Interaction Design Sketchbook.

we started our lesson with the first presentation:

HCI – Jerome Krüsi

cultural probes, sketching and Co-creation and the new landscapes of design – Summary

Cultural probe is a method to document thoughts and experiences of users, testing a prototype. They will receive certain products and tasks in advance, and then note their impressions.

Co-creation and the new landscapes of design is useful in terms of working close with customers, and applying your product to their needs.

Sketching is a useful tool for designers in general, which should not be under estimated.

Feedback:

  • text size of slides (minimum 24pt)
  • lessons learned?

HCI – Vinzenz Leutenegger

a comparison of three HCI methods – Summary

Vinzenz held a nice presentation about bodystorming, video specs and conceptual design.

Bodystorming only differs from regular brainstorming by taking place at the actual place of interest. Ideas are directly collected on site. Through this method, it may be easier to collect ideas, but the disadvantage lies within documenting the experienced ideas.

Videos are a good choice to visualize data or certain processes. With a small amount of time, countless details can be provided to the viewer.

Conceptual design methods, on the other hand, require more conceptual work. Based on Brenda Laurel’s model, it can be used as a presentation, which explains several ideas, thoughts and processes. Vinzenz used a mini presentation in his actual presentation to demonstrate this method. Using the improvement of possibilities to cool beer, he immediately had everybodys attention.

Brenda Laurel’s model of conceptual design:

  1. Title Page
  2. Overview
  3. User Description
  4. Storyboard of User Experience
  5. Prototype
  6. Features/Functionality
  7. Justification for Design (theoretical and practical)
  8. Result of user testing
  9. Shortcomings of design
  10. Expansion – What else is possible
  11. Next steps in design process
  12. summary

Feedback:

  • well structured
  • hilarious mini-presentation on conceptual design

06.03.2017 – Everyday objects

This weeks readings:

  • Making by Making Strange: Defamiliarization and the Design of Domestic Technologies”. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Bell, Genevieve, Blythe, M. & Sengers, P. 2005. 12. 149-173.
  • What is Design? in Make Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human Computer Interactions The MIT Press. „the Process“, Carrol J M, (2000)
  • Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home, Kirk, David S., Chatting, D. J., Yurman P. & Bichard, J. 2016, In Proceedings of CHI ‘16
  • The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology, Marianne de Laet and Annemarie Mol. 2000, In Social Studies of Science. 30/2. 225–63
  • The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman. 1988. 54-80.
  • Learning from IKEA Hacking: “I’m Not One to Decoupage a Tabletop and Call It a Day., Daniela Rosner and Jonathan Bean, Proceedings of CHI’ 09.
  • Make it So, Shedroff, N. 2012, Rosenfeld Media

Conference papers (such as Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home) usually consist of 10-12 pages (sometimes 8). We as designers see different aspects of texts:

  • Idea
  • Motivation
  • Background
    • Related work
    • Market (what already exists)
  • Process
  • Audience
    • Workshops
    • User studies
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Lesson learned

Getting a quick overview on the topics isn’t always easy. It mainly depends on what you are looking for. In most cases we will focus on the process of the designers, and the problems that occurred during their work.

The Zimbabwe Bush Pump – Tobias Jud

starting this week, two students will have a presentation on a topic related to the readings. – Summary

Zimbabwe is a third world country located in Africa. Water is a rare resource in Zimbabwe, to prevent sicknesses or thirst, designers created the Zimbabwe bush pump. A pump that is designed to fit the needs of the local.

The locals not only receive the parts of the pump, they are also instructed to install this pump completely by themselves. Using a drill based on the Vonder Rig system, driven by just a few people, they are able to dig a hole deep enough, to find new water sources. After that they are able to assemble the pump on their own.

The Zimbabwe pump is a huge success, not because of its technology, but because it is fabricated completely in Zimbabwe, and with the instructions people know where to build the well and how to set up the pump. This pump builds the nation!

Feedback for Tobias:

  • spelling mistakes
  • missing sources on the slides

Defamiliarization – Michael Schönenberger

A presentation about repurposing and Jason Taylor – Summary

My presentation started with general questions about the text Making by Making Strange. I was inspired by the term Defamiliarization. Defamiliarization means change, rethink everyday objects and estranging them.
„This article argues that because the home is so familiar, it is necessary to make it strange, or defamiliarize it, in order to open its design space.“

Inspired by this sentence, I searched artists, who misused everyday objects and somehow came across Jason Taylor. A designer based in Great Britain. He was mainly famous for his brush furniture, but started in 2012 a project, where he would create an object everyday and share it on his blog. He documented 366 objects, which all were fabricated from random objects.
I learned from this example, that it may not always be the end product which is important, but the process of it.

Feedback for me:

  • shorter video
  • presenting more than one designer to that topic

27.02.2017 – Deadly 3D printers

To kick things off, we discussed the reading material of week two, which was the following:

  • Make Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human Computer Interactions, Carrol J M, (2000), The MIT Press. „the Process“
  • Designing for People, Dreyfuss H S, (1955)
  • Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis (Oxford Series in Human Technology Interactions) (1 ed.), Kolko J, (2011), Oxford University Press, USA
  • How Do You Design?, Dubberly H, (2004), Dubberly Design Office

Each of these texts had examples of basic design processes. How Do You Design? for example, has about 150 pages full of design process visualizations. We all agreed that remembering each one of these methods is impossible, but having read about some of the problems and obstacles which may occur during a design process would give us a heads up to what may happen in our future.
Another important thing Joëlle taught us, was the research about our reading material. She advised us to look up some of the following topics:

  • Author
    • Age
    • Background
      • Schools
      • Companies
        • Customers
    • Nationality / Culture
  • Type
    • Autobiography
    • Documentation
    • Bachelors thesis
  • Publisher
    • Editor

Perspectives of Interaction Design

As a lead-in to the world of Interaction Design, Joëlle Bitton presented some of the main historical milestones.

1725, a guy named Jaquard Loom invented a device, used on a machine that would create textiles using punched cards, to store certain weaving padderns. These punched cards became the first object to store informations, which were decoded by a mechanism on the machine and transformed into actions. With the invention of servo motors, the MIT was able to build the first automatic machine in 1952. A milling machine using punched cards to store the location of holes.

Nowadays we use Lasercutters, 3D printers etc. with Gcode files. But these files don’t differ a lot from the first punched cards, the principle stayed the same. Softwares such as Rhino, Cinema4D, Processing and many more are made to shape objects and produce a Gcode – the birth of generic and parametric design.

2013, CSI: NY aired episode 11 of season 9. A murder case which involved a 3D printed gun.
TV series are inspired by modern technologies, on the other hand designers and engineers get their ideas from science fiction movies such as Star Trek.