We went to UQ innovate to visit and learn the use of tools here, and learned a lot of safety knowledge that should be paid attention to when using tools. There are a lot of devices that we can use here including 3d printers, laser cutters and so on. In addition, we also learned to make simple circuit board welding.
Documentation & Reflection
By reading the feedback, we classify the opinions into several big themes. We combined several similar opinions into some new possible features, for example, flower touching. We also critically consider some of the opinions but decide to not adopt it into the design for some realistic reason, for example, customize the incense or use the real flower.
In conclusion, there are four main directions for us to further develop on based on these feedbacks:
1. More interaction
There are a lot of feedback mentions increasing the interactive function such as touching or conversation. By considering the difficulty to develop the conversation function, we decided to add in more physical interaction features.
2. Passively encourage/teach the user to be positive
Few opinions mention about when users being mad or sad, the dead flower will make them feel worse which cannot provide positive support. In this case, the design should be more passive and offer the opportunity or attention for users to come and interact with it.
We are thinking of combining the above two points together. The new feature can be triggered by the sound/colour/smell that coming out from the flower to drive users' attention. The passive signal from the flower can contain the invitation of an interactive process with users which is a continually tangible/physical interaction.
3. Shouting/swear can be an effective method for a certain group of users. We cannot use a flower to replace this method.
This point is the most delightful one for me as it was me attached “negative" onto this kind of stress relief method. By reflecting on this point, I realized that the shouting/swear can be the most effective and efficient method for some people to express the stress. It may not be a negative or unhealthy way for them compares to hiding the emotion inside or take it out on someone else.
It reminds me of the research I did on the last step, the negative emotion is easy to be taken into the family life. I realized that the flower condition is lead to the monitoring of daily family life, but we ignored the part for users to express their stress/emotion from their study/work. We can do something to help the user express these emotions to prevent them bring these negative emotion into family life and messed around the scale of family functioning.
We can do something to encourage users to express their negative emotion from outside (work/study) first before they enter family life. They can use whatever method they are used to, but we can do something to help them transfer the emotion faster.
4. The wiser use of colour
Feedback reminds me that the use of colours can be more meaningful and detailed. We only thought about the four conditions of flower can be represented by different colour states, but the colours are not especially mean anything. However, colours actually have meaning. Red stands for anger, blue stands for peace, etc. We can wisely use this colour in our design as our design is about emotion.
New Concept and New Team
On Wednesday I got put into a new team. Really lucky to have been accepted into a team that is doing a project I am interested in and has so much scope.
The Theme: Every day people are becoming more aware of the impact that their energy usage at home has on their bills and the environment. With the growing attention, users are gradually making efforts to change their energy consumption ways, however, this can be quite tricky when users are surrounded with luxuries such as air conditioning, high definition TVs and unlimited clean water.
Currently, their idea is to have a sphere-shaped object to bounce around, make noise and basically annoy the user until they make a change. They intend on using NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT to change these behaviours and make people more aware.
Below is some of the brainstorming and research I have done over the weekend based on their feedback from critiques and notes from their pitch presentation.
Research Links: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-negative-reinforcement-2795410
After we form the group, we met 2 times in the week. Since one person was missing due to not feeling well, we finally got everyone together in the second meeting on Sunday. It was better to meet in person to share thoughts and brainstorm about what we want to do with the theme.
In the first meeting, after the group formed, we tried to look at a broader range of possibilities. We started thinking about some possible domain, target audience, technology, emotional, and solution. Instead of being restricted from some of the ideas from the reference posters, we wanted to lay out all possible ideas that we could have in each category. In this exercise, it definitely made our brain moving; however, later, I found out we didn't improve any ideas further after. There were silences, and we didn't know what to work on more. Maybe we need to narrow it down more, for example, pick one domain, one or two emotions, and one target users to build up more from it. It might be a good way instead of feeding ourselves with too much information, yet lost the focus.
We decided to go home to do more research and work more based on the information from the infinity diagram we had. Before the next meeting, each of us would need to have one complete idea when we meet on Sunday at school.
What had I found/researched?
I was interested in the target user who is vision-impaired because I was interested in after the world café section. The first tables I attend called ability-centric interaction, we were trying to design a product for version-impaired people. It was hard for me at that time because I never know and understood how vision-impaired person feels and needs. What can they do or what they cannot do? I felt it was contradicting from what we thought all this time that we need to know the target user first before we design any stuff. We are not them, and we can't assume a problem for them when it isn't a problem for them at all. Maybe it is what world café is all about, and we will have out of sky thinking instead of being realistic, then narrow it down and refine later. So the rules don't apply in here yet. Hummm…I am wondering, isn't it kind of wasting time?
What I thought I know, but I don't know?
After I did some researches about the vision-impaired individual, I learned something new, and it changed my perspectives of how I have known about them. I have always thought that they are more vulnerable and fragile because they don't have a vision. Looking from their shoes, I will be so loose and weak if I can't see it. I wouldn't know how to function and manage myself; that is how I see them. There is a saying that if God closes a door to you, they will open another one for you.
In the research, I found out that they are just like us, except they cannot see. Of course, their hearing would be much sensitive than us, and this is all we thought so. However, they do not have a superpower or heightened senses. It was just because blinded people relied more on hearing than slighted people more to make sense of the world while slighted people are busy looking at information. Moreover, we often thought when we closed our eyes could get an idea and feel how vision-impaired people's world. This is wrong and far from the reality since there are different types of vision-impaired. Some slight loss individuals can see large objects, yet the vision is out of focus, while some of the others can see colors or a different source of lights, and many more. Lastly, people we were born blind were not able to tell if they see all black or not.
This study made me realized and flashed back to one problem I had in one of my ideas I came up with for my poster design. It was about helping blind people to learn colors. I stopped going forward because I didn't know how to deal with the problem space if someone has never seen color before. How would they know what colors to mix with? How did they know if the mixed colors are the ones they like? At that time, I didn't do or thought of researching how vision-impaired people. I forgot about it while I was desperate to need to have an idea for my poster design. My mind probably was occupied. This new finding helped me to understand more about different users and some problem space that I could consider in my future design process and problem space if design anything for blind people as a target user. There are still more than what I had explored and wrote with the researches I found.
Here are the links if anyone is interested in reading.
Other research I did was about sensations…
I felt I only had a fundamental idea and understanding of sensations in general. Since we are doing the topic of digital sensation and creative learning. I thought it would be helpful to understand more about senses. There was one academic research and an article I found that was very interesting. Since the sensation is also related to the mind and body, which are touch, vision, taste, hearing, and smell, therefore, senses are fundamental psychology perception. On that said, we also have sensory systems that provide information about balance, pain, body movements, and temperature. Moreover, the website talked about how we consciously and unconsciously perceived and react to the information outside of awareness. It was interesting to read and to learn new things at the same time. Sometimes what we thought we know was just based on our own assumption, perception, and limited information of a subject. It is why research, study, and user testing are so important; conversely, we often short in some areas during our processing in ideation.
Here are the links of the sources: Sensation and Perception | Introduction to Psychology
A literature paper I read is about tangibility. It was also another good read. I took some notes while I was reading. Link of the paper: Tangibility: highlighting physicality in interactive installations.
What did we do?
On Sunday, we were leaning toward one of my peer's idea of using creative learning as a focus on global warming with senses, meaning effects from the input of the object we create. It was still a rough idea. During our meeting, we asked ourselves some questions to help us hit the target we need to include from the brief.
- Why using global warming?
- Why is it vital to our planet?
- Why it related to digital sensation?
- How can we make it more related to the digital sensation?
- What kind of effect would it have (smoke, water, smell…etc.)?
Below is the work we did on that day and some works I had done before the meeting.
Week4 Zoom meeting
In week4, Lorna had an online meeting with us to give answers to our confusions about the changes of our physical computing teaching plan. Our confusions mainly focus on how can we build our project individually at home without tools like saws, laser cutter, etc and what scale our individual project should be compared with group project. Lorna gave us accurate and patient response, which can help us make a plan for the rest time of this semester.
Week4 Group meeting
After the Zoom meeting, we conduct a group meeting focus on our current idea and prepared for the presentation of next week. In the previous meeting we conducted last week, we have already decide our idea, which is a creative learning game for teenagers to help them learn coding in a more enthusiastic way. So in order to help the audience understand our idea in the presentation next week, we communicated about the structure of our slides and divided the work.
After a long time discussion, we decided to make our slides according to the structure below:
- Introduction of project and team in general
- Team’s name:BEE BEAR LION
- Background:Problems solving
- Inspirations:Chessboard at CES 2019
- Target Audience
The body storming part was assigned to Bowen, and the other three group members's task is making the presentation slides. The part I should make in the slide is about our concept and story board. Finally I have to make a video to combine all our works into one video and upload it to the youtube list.
We also prepared three questions at the last page of our slides, these three questions are all about technical problems:
- How to make the character move and turn right/left?
- How to make the camera detect the QR code (Marker) and translate it into code in our computer?
In the two contact of this week, we present our idea on the class. the contact class was conducted online via zoom.
Online Classes -
This week, we got our first online class and surprisingly, it was pretty much the same as normal class. The teams presented and critique was given through slack. My team's presentation went well (thanks to Amraj for presenting) and we gained a few insights that has helped us expand the concept. Presentation slides can be viewed here.
Overall, every presentations was awesome and some of them had a really concrete concept. Interstingly, the presentations that had the least data and more idea exploration were the most eye gazing. Sketches helped them to get the idea across and this is something I personally can learn from. I will try to involve more sketches (even rough ones) to get the message across. Moving along, lets see some critiques we got.
Critiques & Moving Ahead-
Before going into presentations, we had some questions regarding future direction of concept. The questions aimed at acquiring info regarding everyday usage of concept, what other mediums can this be utilised in and if the message is of interest to people or not.
Reading the critiques, it becomes explicit that viewers are confused about our idea. Some viewers asked in critique, how the concept is supposed to increase trust in machines. There may have been some mistake on our part while presenting because our aim with the concept was to not trust machines.
Except that, when fellow mates commented about everyday interaction, the general advice was to move away from maze format and use decision making in everyday things.
- One idea I can think of involves making the concept an assitant to help do daily task. While performing daily tasks, users are given choices that either compromises assistants health or the users time. The more time user saves and lower the assistant health goes, the more broken/sassy it becomes. In this way the concept encompasses both the goal and everyday interaction. The team with discuss this matter further as well.
Another thing the critics disliked was the interaction. Simple levers didn't satisfy their need for a playful interaction.
- Going ahead, the team's looking at other forms of interaction but currently we have no leads. We will try best to accomplish once we decide on the form of concept (robot or assistant or such).
Moving ahead, we are going to focus on finalising the form and interaction in concept. Our goal still remains same since people did like our aim of distrust in machines.
We each went away with the storyboard as reference. I closely followed the storyboard as a reference for my sketches. I took some time deciding what drawing software I wanted to use - depending on how detailed I wanted the sketches to look, I could have used either Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft OneNote, which I use for a lot of my regular doodles. While I was more comfortable using Microsoft OneNote to do quick sketches, it’s not a very complex program, so its interface was a big too simple and restrictive for me to comfortably to draw in. Conversely, Photoshop was too heavy-duty for my liking, especially since it’s more ideal for digital painting and proper illustration rather than sketches. I decided to settle on a safe middleground that I was comfortable with - FireAlpaca. I’ve been using it since I was 12, so I’m incredibly comfortable with it, despite my urge to move to Adobe Photoshop (especially since I am paying for it). Anyhow, it had the right amount of complexity and simplicity that I needed to draw quick sketches with the desired amount of detailing, and had the layering system that OneNote can’t provide.
I maintained a naming system of the layers and the files. The raw illustration files were named accordingly, and when I exported them I labeled them to briefly describe what was being illustrated. This was to ensure Maria knew what each of the images represented. Unfortunately, when it came to being animated by another team member, she had gotten some of the images mixed up. She still represented the actions correctly though, so it was still alright.
When drawing, I usually do a basic sketch then draw over it to achieve clean lineart, but instead I went straight to using an inking brush and created rough-looking illustrations that were still somewhat clean. I used some images and my own hand as a reference for different objects. The following images are what I drew.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I drew. Thanks to me notorious perfectionist trait, I usually spend far too long trying to create elaborate illustrations, but I really pushed myself to create decent and quick sketches and I'm satisfied with the outcome. I had enough time left to record my audio in comfort, and provide assistance with other parts of our pitch preparation.
There were some issues with our animation, as the incorrect files had been used for some visual aids, but I think they still successfully represented the intended actions. I was pretty happy with the work we put together, and while there was the tiniest bit of last-minute edits at the end, I think we achieved a lot and managed our time well.
While I had a few concerns about our proposed idea in regards to feasibility, during the production of our pitch, they didn't fully occur to me until after we had presented. Seeing the feedback we got put me in a rather negative mindset of "oh no, we can't do this", but I tried twisting it more into a "we have a lot to do, but we know what areas we need to explore further". We looked at our feedback and broke it down into different categories.
- Interesting focus on those who don’t have music skills
- Using daily objects as interaction tokens is affordable
- If creating new product, could create something that isn’t completely foreign
- Adaptability with different objects
- Recording audio and using it later to make music would be a fun approach
- Could become bothersome over time especially if you just want to use the item
- Almost too open-ended, have more of a specific purpose (the more open-ended, the more difficult it might be to create)
- Having everything be musical might take away the novelty
- Might be irritating for those around you
- Consider feasibility
- What are the natural sounds?
- Difference between making music and exploring sounds
- Using sound (from objects or even speaking) to manipulate other objects, or
- Using objects to make new sounds
Explore further into
- Abletons plugins
- Pete and Trevor on Soundscape
- MakeyMakey banana piano
- Scratch mouse
- Break down depending on context (in the classroom)
- Controlling a computer with different sounds
- AudioMostly conference
- Expected sound associations with certain objects
- Explore what kinds of sounds people want to hear
- Could be used for educational purposes
There were a lot of elaborate critiques from our peers, and while many shared the same essence, each provided their own unique perception of our concept, and it was overall very valuable. An observation that I had quickly made was that there were no "positive" comments, or at least none that had any value. Many people wrote "This is an interesting idea, but...", which didn't tell us anything about the parts we could actually keep and develop on.
I think the most valuable feedback were the suggestions people provided in researching different concepts. It's easiest to draw inspiration from something, rather than create something completely new. So, we went away with this information, and conducted some individual research and further ideation to see where it would lead us.
Wednesday was very similar to the Tuesday, except we didn't present anything. It was interesting to see more game-centered concepts in this session, and I was thinking about ways they could convert the game setting to a more everyday life setting. I spent the breaks thinking about our concept in relation to the feedback and what we had to think of in the upcoming discussion. I made an overview, which is included below.
We got a total of 25 posts of feedback, which is not even half the class. That is a bit disappointing. In addition, it shines through that some just write feedback just because they have to, half to most of the comments weren't that useful. E.g. we asked for other input and output variants and we got a bunch of comments on "You should have more interactive output" or "other input would be cool", but no specific examples. We did, however, get enough feedback to know where to go with our idea, so it wasn't all useless.
Friday we had a skype-meeting to further develop the idea and look at the rest of the feedback from the class. After discussing all the feedback we used my sketches and realised that purpose would be the most important thing to figure out. Collective awareness and outward display of emotions ended up being the purpose we wanted to focus most on. This was decided based on group discussion and we all agreed.
Further, we found our user groups to be shared houses. A lot of the feedback mentioned that it would be more useful to put our original concept, which was more of an installation, to an everyday situation. In the discussion Tuesday we discussed moving it to the home and Friday we agreed on this being the new concept. Within this, our focus will be students. We thought this would be very interesting in these days, as this is a group that is probably not used to being home as much as they have to be nowadays.
We also wanted to determine what we wanted the users to leave with when using our concept. We found this a bit hard to determine and ranged from encouraging discussion to raising awareness or just emotional relief to improve communication skills. We decided to further determine this point after talking to some of our users next week.
Input and output was the next discussion point, which is where we started refining the idea more. The final idea ended up being a cylinder filled with balls that represent the people in the household. Each ball will somehow give or show feedback to represent how the person is feeling. Whether this is automatically tracked with pulse, temperature, muscle tension etc or manually input as well as how we will represent emotions as an output (colour, haptic feedback, sound, etc) is not decided yet. We consider this a good opportunity for individual exploration.
After this discussion, we have more or less completely changed our idea, although the core idea of tracking how people are feeling and showing it outwards is still standing. I feel like we have good opportunities for individual focuses here, although I am curious to see how it would get together (or not) in the end. Skype meeting worked mediocre, bad wifi etc made the meetings a bit hard but we got through it.
Zoom went a lot better than I thought it would so that was a very welcomed surpirse!! While it is a little impersonal, we were all still able to effectively be critiqued, critique others and maintain active communication. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters.
I did feel some concepts were a little underdeveloped or lacking in effective conveyal. This may have been due to a non-conformance to the studio theme, a basic interaction approach or an ambiguous purpose. However, there were still some really innovative and novel ideas that were pitched by other teams this week!!
I had a serious appreciation for concepts that targeted users with accessibility requirements such as team Hedgehog. This team pitched a concept that upholds the studio theme of "designing for playful and open-ended interactions for use in everday life". The target users were individuals with visual impairments and as a result, the team reimagined a game approach which caters to and normalises the needs of this demographic. A very thoughtful and promising concept!!
Our team was happy with how our pitch went, and I believe we effectively conveyed the domain, problem space and concept to our peers. The team was also prepared and approached the writing and video development of the pitch in a timely manner which I am very grateful for!!
After we pitched, we collected all of our critiques and had a meeting where we went through every critique and discussed recurring themes. We identified a need to better address an open-ended interaction approach, the potential for audio feedback and pushing for a more randomised approach to the colours made available to our users.
I think it was a combination of my appreciation for team hedgehog's concept and some critiques revolving around accessibility issues that sparked a potential individual design direction. Narrowing down the target user group to early primary school students who have colour perception difficulties/ blindness could be a very interesting design space to further pursue. Utilising audio and haptic feedback could be an effective means to translate colour theory into something relatable for this user group.
Another possible individual direction relates to the emotional intelligence subset of colour theory. Focusing on which colours relate to which emotion could be a promising concept for young users and provide further relevance for teaching colour theory.
I would like to do some more research into colour blindness/ sensitivity and colour used as an emotional tool before I commit to my individual direction. However, to date those are the two possible design directions I am interested in furter developing. We will see where my research takes me!!
My team have started on the report. After our team meetings we decided on what will be our individual contributions and when we want this completed by. The team decided that we wanted the team section of the report completed by the 1st of April and the individual sections completed by the 7th. This gives us two days to edit and revise any issues that may arise.
So far, I have finished a decent portion of my sections of the 'team' portion and need to collaborate a little with another team mate to polish it off. Now, I have to do some further research into the Australian Curriculum, emotional intelligence as relevant to colour theory and designing for individuals with colour perception accessibility needs.
This week we resumed classes online and went through the concept pitches. My group presented our video on Tuesday - Unfortunately I was unable to attend the online class due to work commitments, however I read through all of our feedback and caught up with my team. I also went through some of the Tuesday presentations and wrote comments. During the Wednesday presentations I commented feedback for each concept:
Overall I felt like the concepts were all really interesting and explored great areas of potential under the theme. Some of the concepts even provided me with inspiration and ideas that I could potentially implement in my own concept design.
The peer and course staff comments were extremely helpful and will be used in future to refine and explore particular aspects of our idea. The main areas highlighted in the comments were:
- Not usable for vision impaired
- Could have alternate interaction modes
- Single player use issues
- Potential for customisable background
- Alien is static
- Finding a space in a specific curriculum where it could be integrated
- Creating a more open ended experience
These areas of concern will certainly be explored further and addressed in the next iteration of the concept.
Over the next week, our team will work on our report - I am allocated to the "response to feedback" section as well as my individual section for the report. The points highlighted through feedback will all be considered and further research will be conducted to address them. Overall, I am happy with our feedback as we also received a lot of positive feedback regarding the interaction mode, storyline and collaborative element and all negative feedback was specific and provided clear suggestions for improvement.
Based off the areas that were flagged in the critiques, I've started to ideate ways to address any issues with the existing version of Twisted. Firstly, In order to make Twisted usable for those who are vision impaired or colour blind, it could be designed to educate these students on what colours are. One way I think this could be achieved is by also incorporating sound into the concept. This could be done by comparing sound pitch to colours - higher pitched sounds for lighter colours and lower pitches for darker colours. Sound could also be added to enhance the learning experience. I was really interested by this pathway and decided to look at some existing concepts - I actually managed to find some really interesting ones on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/alberttien12/sound-installation/
Research showed that learning colour theory can help children to create links between visual cues and words. In the current concept, users are given only visual cues (goal colour and palette) and no words to link these to. To address this, the colour could be spoken each time someone steps on the mat. This would not only assist with learning but would enable vision impaired students to use it through hearing the words rather than seeing the colours. To further integrate this, each circle could have the colour written above it so encourage word recognition and spelling.
I also want to play around with further interaction modes that expand upon simply applying pressure to the mat. Clay mentioned that we could look into spinning on a colour to instead adjust the saturation. This would be interesting for users and also target coordination and movement. This could be done through different movements e.g. spinning, jumping, walking on the spot. This could also fix the issues with one player - it could remove the action buttons so that instead you can choose the colour and apply it in one action.
Other comments involved the screen interface and that it could be made more engaging and interesting through adding customizable elements. An interesting way to target this could be to allow students to create their own backgrounds/aliens and turn it into a colouring in activity. This would also create a more open ended experience for the students and allow them to further explore their own creativity.
Finally, I'll need to do more research into the current Australian primary school curriculum and find an area where this concept could be successfully integrated. As I am working on the 'response to feedback' section for the team report, I will discuss this space and how it could be integrated. I did some initial research into the Australian and Queensland Curriculum and found some statements that definitely support the introduction of a technology based creative learning initiative.
Receiving such helpful feedback has been a key factor in the improvement of our design already. When reading back over the suggestions, I started brainstorming ways to improve the design and became specifically interested in exploring the topic of open-ended interaction. I feel that there could be some really fun ways to enhance the open-endedness of the concept and think I will pursue this as my individual direction of focus. I did some research and found my inspiration for the week: A great paper on playful, social and open-ended interaction which aligns so well with my chosen focus as well as the broader studio domain: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220141737Designingplayfulinteractionsforsocialinteractionandphysical_play. This paper was a key factor in informing my refined design direction going forward.
The next week will be spent conducting more research to inform myself on how to address the outlined weaknesses with the current concept. The result of this will be my section in the team report. I also will work on my individual section once I have solidified my individual concept.
In the one week break last week, my team and I met up and continued developing our ideas from the brainstorming session we did as a group in week 3. In week 3, we talked about giving a hand a personality and using it as a way to help people in their everyday life. We decided to focus our idea on the backpack hand that acts as a personal space manager.
We thought about other ways of giving the backpack hand personality and sassy-ness, which was really fun and funny. However, after having ideas that were going all over the place, we decided to think about a problem space first before continuing.
Problem Space -> People want appropriate social distances for their social activities, without having to tell others.
With this, we decided on two intended experiences, the personal space manager (our first idea) and the conversation stopper. We named our concept The Helping Hand.
We decided to use google slides to present our concept. Each of us chose a section to present and did voice-overs. My part was the intended experience section as I was in charge in sketching the concept and the storyboard.
Below are the some points from the critiques about The Helping Hand and my thoughts about it.
- Too bulky, heavy
- Smaller = more portability
- Not convenient to move around
We added a backpack to our concept as we thought it would be easier to move the hand and its parts around. But I do agree that it is still very big and probably too heavy to walk around with it, especially in crowded areas (spaces where you would want to use it). My team and I talked about some ideas like attaching a smaller arm on a cap or a headband.
Gives the opposite effect
- Rude, Cultural differences (can maybe be solved by looking it as a separate entity)
- Strong personality, might scare people, make them feel awkward
- Draws attention. People might be interested in it and purposely interact with it.
- Distracting to user
As we wanted to make this arm seem as sassy as possible, I guess it may come off as rude and hurtful to some people. The tutors gave a good idea of making it appear as a separate entity so it would not be you being rude but the hand instead.
It drawing attention from other people could probably be solved by making it smaller or by changing its form to something simple/everyday so it can be more inconspicuous.
- Face on a display
- Doesn't have to be an arm/body part
- Small creature
For this concept, we wanted to move away from using sounds (voice), lights or facial expressions to using gestures or body language instead. This would make it more novel and give it more sass. Lorna and the tutors gave good examples of other forms that we can think about instead of using body parts. As the team members would each be designing a prototype separately, we can each focus on a different type of form and see each form's benefits and disadvantages.
Points to Note for the Future
- Experiment on different forms
- Make it less noticeable to avoid drawing attention (blend in, simple looking, small size)
- Show that it is a separate entity
- Make it less bulky and heavy to be more portable
thehelpinghand #sassytech #reflection #week4
After discussion and research on synchronized learning and motor skills, our group decided to create an interactive learning experience for children with learning disabilities.
Because of electronic devices, children are incorporating less motor skills to learn and play. We also found that traditional learning techniques normally engage just two senses – hearing and vision, we want to allow users with more than one interactive inputs and learn by using their left and right brains synchronously, targeting both creative and analytic part of the brain.
We are going to design a toy with multiple inputs and outputs. For example, users can pull, twist, push and shake the toy to respond to the questions displayed on a website and the toy will give sound and light responses.
For the mechanism of the toy, buttons will be attached to the toy and that lets the user press, there will be motion sensors to detect users' actions like twist pull and shake. Lights will give visual responses to the user whereas the voice module will play sounds and give auditory feedback.
During the zoom session, I have watched lots of interesting concepts and made some critiques on these.
I have learnt a lot from other groups, such as do enough research on users and specify the target users in a smaller range. Some of them did a good job of finding users' needs and came up with many novel interactions.
After presenting, We have received lots of feedback. Some audiences mentioned our interactions (pull, twist, push and shake) may be too violent for children.
We also need to determine the age range of our target audience so that we can decide what kind of knowledge exactly the toy is trying to teach. Some students also said the idea of using a website to display questions is not very good, it will be better to make the idea more moveable, moreover, some kids can not read the text on the website.
In order to improve our concept, we think we need to determine the age range of our target users such as children aged 3-5 years old and choose a specific topic aim to teach kids. We also need to improve the way of interaction based on target users, for example, let children hug the bear instead of pushing or pulling it.
Team Pitch & Feedbacks
In this week, we were focusing on the ideas of each group. Our concept is about an intelligent device which could collect motion data and convert them into music and images. This encourages people to exercise and brings new fun to people in boring sports. Our team filmed a body storming video on how to use our device and added it into our presentation.
After the presentation, we read all the feedbacks. Some suggestions were really useful. However, I also think other guys didn't really understand our concept. Sigurd suggested that if the music could adjust the user's actions, it would be more interesting. We agreed that this was a good way to develop our device. However, we also found it is hard to achieve. Now, we are figring how to use Arduino solving that question.
In this part of the work, my task is to edit body storming videos, draw storyboards and help other group members edit related content in PowerPoint.In order to better represent the function of our device, I added some special effects to the video.
And this our storyboard.
After watching all the concepts, I think most of them are worth to develop. Of course, some of them still need further thought.
Fire safety using audiometrics
It’s an interesting idea. I think it’s really helpful for the people. However, I have a question that how to make sure people in the fire notice that because everyone in the fire will be stressful and messy.
EMS - Housework
I like this idea. However, I think it may add more interaction functions. Such like rewarding system or competition system. In addition, this pitch is really detailed. I think it can motivate children in doing house cleaning.
This is an interesting idea for it will help people release their pressure. However, I think it is a lot bit difficult to put these devices in home. If it becomes more movable, it will be more attractive to me.
This concept is interesting. But I wonder if this is a device can put on everything or every stuff is an individual music device? In addition, can the user control the volume?
Ninja Run Game
I really like this idea. This is not only for children but also for everyone who want to learn coding. Also, I think more interaction functions should be added into this device. For example, what will happen if the user input the wrong codes?
It’s a really cool idea. The videos in presentation are really helpful. However, I have an really important question that how to ensure the player’s safe when they are blind? In addition, it’s really difficult to recognize the voice in a cramped room.
It’s really useful for everyone to protect the environment. And I wonder that how Emily detect the situations of these electronic devices? It seems really hard to solve. Otherwise, Emily will give the user wrong advices.
It’s an interesting idea. I have some questions for you. Firstly, does the dropper just absorb the voices from photos or it can absorb sounds in everywhere? Secondly, how to make sure the mix sounds are beautiful voices or not noises?
CDI - Dancing Elevator
It an interesting idea. However, I think it is like putting a dancing machine in elevator. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary to put this in public. Because if there is an emergency, some people may can’t get out off the building at once. In addition, what if there will be lots of people in this elevator how to ensure the enough space which could let people move?
I feel like there's so much that has happened in the past few weeks that I have been putting off writing a blog post because there's too much to write about. I have been quite emotional about the changes to the course and have considered multiple times deferring so that I can do the course as it was intended. Alas, here we are still enrolled and ready to try to make this semester as fun as it would have been if online uni wasn't a thing. My biggest disappointment was missing out on the exhibit - I've had multiple friends tell me how much fun this day was and I was super keen on making something really cool so that I had something to show off at this event. However, even though this isn't possible with the restrictions I still want to try to stay motivated and try to create something of a high standard, even if its only seen by my family, friends, and the cohort.
During the pause week, I tried to think of a completely new idea to present to the group but kept coming back to my idea Artificial Conscience. I was really excited about making this project but gave it up when I was put in the domain "Change through discomfort". I also didn’t want to force my idea onto any other members of the group so I wanted to explore all other alternatives before I pushed my idea. I started to think more about the concept and realised that with a few changes it could definitely fit under this domain. This is how "Energy Saving Emily" was created. I had to take away the emotional aspect of connecting with Artificial Conscience and focus more on how to discomfort the user into saving electricity. As a team, we decided that the fun and playful version of discomfort is annoyance. From this, we thought of all the things that annoy us and completed some initial user testing to ask our friends and family what annoy them. We also asked what habits they wanted to change and any ideas for the form it should take. We got the following responses:
- What energy consumption habits do you want to change?
- Taking shorter showers x2
- Using phone less
- Using and buying less plastic
- Reduce power usage at home x2
- If it’s too cold/hot for the dogs
- Outside door is left open
- Devices/tvs/lights left on x2
- Cleaning not done
- air conditioner/heater left on
- What response would bother you? (e.g. sound, light, social media shaming)
- Sounds that keep happening for a really long time
- Spamming of the same message
- High cost
- Stops them from pursuing hobbies
- Stops them from going out
- Alerts on phone
- Creates more mess
- Loud noise
- Speaking (e.g. yells ‘Help me!” when someone walks past)
- Complaining about how cold it is etc.
- Loud & constant noise
- Flashing & change colour (e.g. red)
- Additional ideas - add movement sensor so it complains when someone walks past
- What form? (e.g. small box, plant, unappealing v appealing?)
- Something that is too heavy to move
- Something stuck in position
- Embedded in the bad habit
- Emotional connection
- Small object that can be portable
I also did some brainstorming about how I could actually create Energy Saving Emily so that we could start discussing the materials we need to source/purchase. I also noted any questions I had that I needed to discuss with the team/tutors.
We used these responses to finalise our idea and plan our pitch. We decided on each focusing on a section (writing, creating slides, and voice recording) and made sure that the whole team had read all sections to ensure all necessary content was included. I created the content for Negative Reinforcement, Storyboard, and Personas.I was given the task to create the video so I got the recordings from my team and the PowerPoint slides to finish the video. It didn't take too long and I was pretty happy with the result.
After our pitch, we received a lot of feedback surrounding the final form and ways to make it more annoying in a less annoying way (if that makes sense). A few people suggested that buzzer noises would make the user too frustrated to even use the product but having it complain the user like a 5 year old would, would make the user just the right level of annoyed to encourage change. A lot of people also suggested adding some positive reinforcement to balance it out and make more of an emotional connection to Emily. We still need to work out if it will fit under the domain enough to add some positive reinforcement.
Work To Do
Before next week our team have decided to do some individual brainstorming about the types of outputs we should have (through some research) and the final form. We also need to decide which areas we each want to focus on.
Over the weekend, I also want to start playing around with different mediums to create the final prototype so that I can buy the necessary materials before we are put in complete lockdown. My current idea is to try out proto-putty and see how difficult it is to use and if light can be seen through it. Otherwise, I might end up 3D printing it. I also want to do a bit more research into other forms that might also work for me.
Work that inspired me
I started researching more into protoputty and it looks really cool!
Let people who have been sitting in front of the computer leave their seats to rest (students/staff)
data: X% of people work in the Office (or X% of people use computers for a long time, more than XXX hours / there is an inseparable relationship between X's occupation and computers now)
the impact of sedentary (lumbar vertebrae/vision/impact of work and rest time - what's the delay of eating due to long-time work) + data --> why they sit for a long time (Research + data)
Now there are some technologies to help people improve this, such as a mobile app and so on.
But XXX (disadvantage)
So XXXX, in combination with the project we chose, our goal is to make people change this habit by designing a fidgety, playable and meaningful thing. （physical computing + annoying + playful + meaningful）。
- Start to count the time when you sit down. After a period of time (1 hour), the cushion will make you uncomfortable (cushion bulge/heat). It will return to normal after 5 minutes.
- Enter your daily routine - for example, as a biological clock: remind you when to eat, if you are still sitting, remind you to eat, or if there is something you need to do, remind you
- Playful: voice – "you sit me for a long time", "I'm in pain", "don't throw me away because of trouble";
It is a cushion that reminds people to stand or walk after they have seated for long periods. Specifically, the cushion starts to count the time after user sits down, and the semicircular particles on its upper surface will be raised and move after he/she sat for one hour, which aims to create an uncomfortable feeling to user so that he/she is not able to keep sitting on the chair. The state will turn back to normal in five minutes.
In addition, it has a playful and annoying feature: when a user has seated for long time such as 2 hours or, ignore the reminder, the voice system inside the cushion will talk to the user such as ‘You have seated on my face for two hours! That hurts!’, ‘Do not throw me away just because I am annoying’, and ‘Do you know how heavy you are?’. They all aim to divert user’s attention and remind them they have been working for long time so it is the time to take a break for a while. In order to make sure user is standing or walking, user is required to carry the cushion. The cushion will then record the number of steps or the change of the height. If the system did not detect anything, then it would say something like ‘Hey, come on, just few steps’ or ‘I knew you gonna be lazy again’. On the other hand, this system can also read the current time and user’s daily plan set on phone. So, it will remind the user the upcoming plans, as well as daily routine such as lunchtime.
Team pitch feedbacks and reviews
Our concept is about creating a plan video game that can be played using hand gestures. From the feedbacks, I learnt that this is not novel and innovative enough to stand out from existing games in the market. We were told our project is too similar to Kinect and leap motion games, therefore we need to rethink about our concept. From the feedbacks, it is better that we shift our concept to a non-game based and allow people to move away from screens when using our designs.
Moving forward, my team decided to develop our own concepts under the domain Body as Controller.
I would like to develop my original pitch, which is the BIBO lamp. User will need to use their breath to control the brightness of the lamp. It fits into the theme in 2 ways: 1. Detecting of air from the mouth 2. Detect motions from chest (Inward and Outward) as they exhale and inhale.
The problem space my team will be exploring will be health/mental health aspects. To be decided...
Many teams have really interesting ideas in terms of the interactions and visual effects they are putting in their products. However, some concepts failed to consider the practicality and feasibility.
The dancing elevator
Lift is not a good setting because people might need the lift for different reasons. try to shift the concept to another location. Plus, we are not suppose to jump in the elevator.
The exercise mat is interesting and motivating. Motivate users to exercise by producing music when they workout. Can also add a setting of goals and heart rate detector.
Lovely concept. Suggest adding more variations to how the flower and its surrounding will react to different emotions and words, to make the whole thing more interactive. Also if the flower keeps detecting negative emotions, what can be done to motivate or lift up the mood of the family? Prompt the user to talk to someone perhaps? Or show some motivational/inspiring quotes and messages?
What is the purpose and meaning behind all these sounds the objects will make? What can people learn from the concept and why people will be interested? If every object is going making some sounds without any melody or tune, it’s not music, they are noises.
Fire safety using audiometrics
To combine physical and digital co-exist and interact in real time, consider mixed reality for greater immersive experience. Thoughtful concept.
Feedback on our nagging cushion (from BotherHood team):
- Combine everyone's Thoughts on the nagging cushion
- Most people agree that it is mandatory or requires users to stand up and act with some torture methods. Like harsh sounds and vibrations to cause tingling to users.
- There is no one is willing to embarrass themselves or just bother's function is not enough. After discussing with my teammates, I think nagging cushion is to provide people who need help to improve their own conditions and strengthen their attention to physical health. It's hard for most people to be strict with themselves and have to work out time. The nagging cushion is to remind users when they are busy working.
- However, in our initial point of view, we always rank 'annoy' as the highest priority, so torture users or that be annoying to people is our initial idea. But we will strengthen the "annoy" in the future. Try to change or improve the user experience
- We also need to strengthen this point and find some ideas. For example, for more than 2 hours, nagging cushion pushes users away. This idea is actually very good. We will take it into consideration. The other is to become a bolster. The reason that can improve the viewing and close is better than that (most workplaces are cushions). I also agree with that,
This week we presented our team ideas. For our team, we went with a sassy machine that is untrustworthy.
The domain of sass doesn't particularly solve any world problems however it can add something to life which is against the norm.
The other presenters throughout Tuesday and Wednesday gave some pretty interesting ideas. We are in an interesting space whereby we don't have to know practically how an object could physically come together but we can dream up some ideas.
The one idea to have a play ball that you smack around the house whilst doing chores sounded great. Practically speaking it could be dangerous, and everyone is quick to realise that but it is good to fantasize how cool it would be if these things came into real life.
Also having fun with ideas and recognising they are flawed, but getting great feedback was an excellent part of the experience. I actually enjoyed hearing from tutors and teachers than the presenters, seeing how they could turn an idea on its head, looking at it from a different angle. It reminded me of the prototyping excersises with DECO2300, where we built on an idea, but in the last iteration, we could have a 'black horse' iteration, flipping it on its head. Asking questions like, 'how would this look in a multiplayer scenario' or 'would this work with AR rather than a physical object.'
I have also recognised the importance of sharing other ideas in the same domain, linking to Youtube vids of similar ideas.
As we know, there is no new idea under the sun, but we can build on the ideas of others, that's education!
I have to personally thank Amraj for all his hardwork with the illustrations and presenting. He has provided great chats and will be missed from our group. He is the hero we need.
Looking at the feedback from the presentation via slack and tutors, it has been really helpful seeing how an idea can be expanded on.
Things to think about include looking at the now
'Maze companion' which helps users decide which turn to take in a maze, and place it into a more everyday situation.
One idea was to have it as a barrier between you and a sweet. Inside the 'box design', would be a piece of chocolate or your phone (something addictive). As you work on something, the phone that would typically distract you would be sitting inside the box, and every 25 minutes, you could have a chance at pulling a lever, either taking the machines suggestion (trust), or your own (distrust). The machine could then (if it deems ok) open the 'hatch' letting you access said piece of chocolate or your phone. Depending on your previous responses, how much you trust the machine, and how long it had been since the item was in storage, would determine the sassy remarks received from the machine.
After our pitch, we gained lots of feedback from the class. The main concern was that it may have a negative impact for children of pull, twisting and pushing the plush toys.
- Aim to the ultimate product, Instead of thinking of technology
- After the discussion with the team, we aimed to implement voice output the questions instead of using website (may consider the target user age group)
- The interaction/input may be too violence, maybe hugging the bear the answer of times
- Our team have reconsidered the interaction with the toy so that the children can have more emotional connection with the toy
- Can only hug the bear only if you finish the game
- It is a great solution, since it reminds the kids of achieving certain tasks before getting rewarded (A sense of responsibility)
- Since Math is a hard subject for kids, maybe use friendly tone to interact with them
- The voice feedback will be designed based on the children's age. Instead of 'Its incorrect, try again', 'You're almost correct, have another try' will be implemented.
- If its Math, try using other tools such as blocks
- It will be hard and not really visual for children to use plush bear to learn Math, so if we are going to teach children Math, we will think about another toy that is more suitable for the purpose.
- Ask the child to ‘show me something’ that is yellow
- I think the idea suits our concept very well, since the children can walk around the room to point which achieve our purpose of learning with motor skills
- Scope: instead of teaching variant of thing > learn specific thing > focus exploration on specific things
- This is the problem we will further discussed with research as backup our concept
- Output: glowing patch, heat, buzzing, music, vibration
- The sound and touching sensation are interesting outputs, which will easily catch the kids eyes
- Rethink the age group to younger depending on where you take the education aspect
- Determine the age range using Australian learning criteria
- Choose a topic (Math/Colour/English) based on the target group
- The input and output based on the target group and topic of whether reading, listening or speaking
A cushion that will vibrate in order to prompt people to take breaks when they have sedentary behaviours. The idea is comprehensive in aspects of implementation, technology use and feedback. The cushion will give both audio and change of texture output to the users to remind them. In my aspect, the only concern is that it requires the users to carry the cushion when leaving the chair, however, it will be quite annoying in the users’ aspects. The other output can be temperature, so that if it's summer season, the temperature of the cushion will rise as people sit on it and the users have to stand up and walk and take the cushion with them for lowering the temperature, and same idea for winter.
House pong game
The concept is that the families can play games like ping pong when doing chores, which motivates people to do house work in an interactive way. However, my concern for the concept is that if you want to prompt people to do chores, what technology will be used for them to see or feel the virtual ball. Since if the ball is projected or using AR technology, it doesn't really have an actual impact on the users if they are hitted.
Fire (Creative learning)
The game teaches people what tools to use when encounting fires and how to properly utilise those. The game will be built based on AR technology, and although with the vibration outputs, it is still less interactive. In my opinion, the concept can be changed into a physical implementation with tokens presenting different types of fire extinguisher. The installation can be a room or a wooden board with monitors showing different effects of the fires. The users can walk into the room and use the tokens to put down the simulated fire or simply navigate on the board to determine which fire extinguisher to use to eliminate the fire. By doing so, the users can have more hands on experience on how to extinguish fire as well as learn knowledge on the purpose of different types of fire distinguisher.