Key achievement for this week
The major complement of this week is that we finished both team and individual proposal report for the project. During Tuesday’s studio session, we reported back as a team of what we’ve done for the last week and further plan for the upcoming mid-break. Also, in the workshop session on this Thursday, we officially got a hands on Arduino Kit.
Here's a little bit of reflection on the report writing progress. For my individual part, after I decided to go for the idea of focusing on smell-based interaction last weekend, I started to write the document. I wasn’t really satisfied with the project planning section, because to be honest I didn’t come up with a comprehensive prototype building plan at this stage.
As for the team-based part, I wouldn't say that a pleasant team collaborate experience. We are really disappointed and be tired of the absence of other team members. We could not gather the whole parts of the report until few hours until the deadline. And some team members didn't bother to read the whole report at all, that caused the consistency of the report became terrible. Now I'm a little bit glad that we've got the individual project instead the team one. Otherwise, the teamwork probably couldn't be carry on at all. So at this stage, I'm not hoping the get efficient support and backup from the team at all.
Methods for discovery
The first thing we did is to “conduct” an observation on trains. So I tried to bring all the memory back based on my last train riding experience. That was quite different from the observation we have done before actually, because it was based on my memory. But still it helps me to go through the methods to conduct a study. After my own part, I also got the chance to have a look at others observations result. The same setting on train has totally different contents and insights. After the exploration of different methods, I picked up three potential methods could be used for my individual project. Those are phone call interview after showing user the demonstration video; Informal cultural probes by asking the user to take pictures following the instruction; holding an online discussion/workshop by using Miro and other collaborate tools. Of course, it might not be that easy to get the data, feedback we would like to collect that easy. Therefore, me and my team will try to employ multiple methods by individuals to find out which is the most suitable method from our team-based project.
There are also some concerns come from the situation we are facing at the moment. Since our target user is primary school students, it would quite difficult to get access to them. It may require special advocacy/gatekeeper approval to observe and interview children in class. But we had the similar issue when doing the Introduction to Web design course. We were designing a website contains interactive educational context for children. Without the direct contact with actual children, we conducted methods with peers and other adults. It still works for most part of the user experience build and improve parts. However, there are still limitations and issues didn’t solved without field investigation.
As for my personal project, I decided to use online interview for the evaluation session. I’m consider to show the finalized prototype video to peers and friends(who might have access to the children), the asking them to do a short interview(might be either formal or informal) with me. The method of google forms we used to used for the Digital Prototyping course would not be consider as a formal research method for this project.
Breaking down a project
The other in-class activity we did in the class was trying to breakdown the massive project into small parts so that we could have a clearer idea of that we are going to do step by step. This mapping result definitely helps me to come up with the whole project plan for the next upcoming weeks. We started at the "Context of Use", which put more focus on the usage scenario of the concept. It involves three big aspects of location, people and time. However, it was a bit hard to finish the mapping by only two team members. We are really disappointed and tired by the absence of other team members.
The second one we tried to fill in and finish is the "Thing Itself" mapping. It focus on the prototype we are about to build itself. Form and Function are the two big parts we attempt to dig into. I tried to figure out the main function of the prototype. However, I still haven't figure put what the specific modules I'm going to use to build the prototype. Also the material be choose to demonstrate the globe will be considered more carefully.
Plan for the Easter break
As I mentioned in the report back session on Tuesday, there are still many unclear and uncertain issues have not been resolved in my proposed idea. I’ll use the break to look at Issues regarding:
- What sensor could be used to detect the input and release the certain smell as output?
- What container/fragment box for the smell could be use for my prototype? Are they going to be able to storage and release the smell smoothly?
- What visual components do I need to build for the prototype? Could I collaborate the visual part together with the team? If yes, how are we going to build the visual part together?
The self-learning and processing the things we've learned in the last workshop session will be the main goal and practice for me to do during the break as well.