Entries - Tag = week5

Week Five, First Hand Work

Ryan O'Shea - Tue 7 April 2020, 11:22 pm

This week I worked on the group presentation report establishing the concept, domain space and what i want to work on throughout this course, creating a working hand with gestures to promote social distance. The report work consisted of research of papers in similar fields and on concepts using gesture controls, people's understanding of gestures both by itself and when paired with emotions. These found that many simple gestures are hard to misinterpret, allowing easy understanding, at least in western/Australian culture of signals such as a 'thumbs up', 'flipping the bird', 'rock on' and 'hang loose' signs all being quite recognizable, (with most people just reading the names here and you know what fingers to hold up).

Imgur Imgur

In addition to this, robotics are at a stage where hands with dexterity and a range of motion can be created, and as a mock-up, i iterated upon the hand design and made a cardboard mock of the robotic hand for size and joint/movement reference. This will be used to see how feasible the size of the hand is along with future use for interpretation and understanding of the concept based of user reactions. The mock was given further detail to illustrate the concept, overall turning out quite well for a first draft, while future improvements can be made. These include; giving the joints a wider range of motion, capped finger tips without the rough edges or flat tips, a smaller and more pronounced 'hand' design that is clearly identifiable with a smaller more manageable size.


week5 hand mockup

[Week 5 - Post 2] - User Interviews and Concept Proposal

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 6 April 2020, 6:47 pm
Modified: Tue 21 April 2020, 9:35 am

Workshop - Analyse User Interviews

Between Tuesday and Thursday, we all did one user interview to gather some initial data to further move along our project. To start with, in the Thursday workshop, we summarised and analysed our interview findings. What we found was that people aren't very comfortable sharing emotions and when they do they prefer to do it face-to-face. Moreover, our users told us that they feel it helps to talk about their feelings. We also gathered some similar data on how our users perceive emotions and thoughts around emotional sharing. I feel we gathered some good data that would easily help us decide on the one concept we will pursue as well as an initial understanding of our target audience. Doing these interviews wasn't ideal given the current restrictions set in place due to COVID-19, but I feel we managed it nicely as we all live with other people that were in our target audience. One thing to consider though is that the people we live with won't provide a complete picture as the demographics are fairly limited. It's also going to be interesting to see how we can manage our way around these same restrictions when we have to test our prototype, but I'm confident that we will be able to perform some quality testing sessions when that time comes.

Based on this feedback we started to discuss some ways to change our focus and came up with some ideas that revolved around moving to a self-awareness focus, making it controversial, making it easier for people to talk or focus on the positive emotions. After a short discussion, we all figured we were most excited by exploring sharing positive emotions with others. This choice was made due to how our data told us that people don't really talk about their positive emotions and that they are not very comfortable sharing their negative emotions.

Around this time we got some guidance from Steven as we had some difficulty focusing our concept and getting down to the nitty-gritty details. Steven gave us some great advice which helped us immensely, which was to take a step back and look at what questions we are trying to answer. By now we had decided on wanting to focus on lifting the spirit in the home. Steven told us to focus on what we would like to achieve, as in, find a goal. He gave us some examples from his own experience that helped us understand what he meant with finding our goal.

After the meeting with Steven, we took a step back and went at our goal. We started off with "How can we lift the spirit in the home?" and went through a couple of iterations where we asked ourselves questions and tried to answer them with a new version of the goal. One example of this is how we asked ourselves "How can we help sharing positive emotions between homes?". We figured based on our data that people were most comfortable sharing with close friends and family that we should make it more personal or humanise the emotional sharing. This led to a new goal of "Help personalise emotional sharing and lift spirit of others when remote". We went through a couple of more iterations before we landed on something we were satisfied with that we all felt covered what we wanted to achieve. Our new goal at this point was "Encourage positive emotional sharing with close ones remotely". We had a short brainstorming session on new concepts that fell under this new goal before we decided to take a break and meet back after a couple of hours. We all agreed to write down some new questions based on our goal for when we got back and to create a concept with a rough sketch, a target audience and an intended experience.

Later that day, we all met back online and went over each of our questions and sketches. My questions were as follows:

  • Can positive emotions be shared?
  • Can positive emotions be shared in the form of memories, music, sounds, color, lights, haptic feedback, and or heat?
  • Are positive emotions equally valuable when shared digitally?
  • Can we encourage emotional sharing?
  • Will positive emotions overshadow people’s need for feeling down?
  • What does positive emotions look like for different people when shared?
  • When do people want to share positive emotions?

These questions, in addition to the ones the other team members come up with are meant to be used throughout our development. Moreover, I presented a concept of a wearable that would encourage sharing memories with people you had experienced them with previously. This device would allow for recording information in various formats and had the intended experience of encouraging people to reflect and reminisce with close ones on the good memories you shared. Without going into too much detail the high-level concept is a wearable that when visiting places with memories from before, can ‘rewind’ and see, hear, feel a collection of those memories on your wearable device. Friends who was there will be notified as well that you are reliving that memory and can join in on it. After all ideas and questions had been presented we went over all of them and gave feedback to each other. Finally, we picked pieces from the concepts we liked and put them all into one final concept to present in our proposal. We divided the concept into two parts, one that we would like to present as our intended MVP and the other part as a future version where we would like to be in an ideal situation.

Before the meeting ended, we decided on some research topics we all were to explore further and divided the concept proposal amongst ourselves.

Over the Weekend

I got to write about and detail our goal and research question, which was nice as I got to take a look back and see how we got to where we were now and why we chose our path. Moreover, I found it useful to dissect our research question and define every bit of it and how it was all connected back to our domain of Emotional Intelligence. Like everyone else, I too found a peer-reviewed article to be used in our proposal. I found an article on how shared experienced regardless of communication is amplified, which to me were quite interesting. This article had some limitations for our purpose as it didn't explore if the same effect would be possible if people shared an experience remotely. Hopefully, through our prototypes, we will be able to provide an answer to this question. On Monday, I wrote the section on how our concept was relevant to the brief. Having already written about our research question I was quite confident on what our concept was and how it relates to the brief, so I had no real difficulty doing so. Lastly, before our meeting on Monday, Thomas and I went through the document and made grammar and content suggestions to improve what was already written.

Potential Methods of Inquiry

As for my own concept, where I'm looking into the interface response to incoming messages through coloured lights and how to play the recorded message, I'm focusing on post-prototype methods rather than pre-prototype methods. The reason for which I choose to not focus on pre-prototype methods is due to the team's initial research which covered enough for me to move forward with my prototype. With that said, I will, to the extent it is possible and ethical, do a combination of prototype tests with interviewing and observations. Where this approach is not feasible, I will instead focus on an online format trying to retrieve similar feedback. Moreover, given our restricted situation, I have considered conducting a heuristic walkthrough of the prototype using the other team members as experts, but this has yet to be decided in the upcoming weeks.

week5 userinterviews proposal

[Week 5 - Post 1] - Idea refinement

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 6 April 2020, 5:43 pm

Tuesday - Contact

On Tuesday we started off with a 'stand-up' where each person in all teams was to explain what the team and they themselves had done so far in the course. Although interesting to listen to what the other teams are doing there was a lot of overlap and repetition from many team members. So far in the process, most of what we have done is as a team and therefore there is little extra to tell when asking a second team member. I believe we would hear more unique aspects moving forwards as we are moving into the individual parts of the course. However, I'm also concerned about the amount of time this takes up and if it's worth the time as I didn't feel like I learned anything from this exercise.

After the stand-up, we jumped into team chats to work on our concept. In this meeting, we talked about starting to write the report and work out how we could split the concept between ourselves. We decided that we wanted to split prototypes based on outputs and inputs. Given that Thomas and I live in the same house we decided that we could take one input and one output so that we are able to test if everything works as it is supposed to locally before testing remote. Moreover, Tuva was to prototype automatic input and Marie were to prototype an output. However, at this point, it was still unclear what the individual prototypes should be.

At this point, Ben came in to give us some feedback on our concept. He brought up some good points on how manual input could be an extra barrier of entry. We also discussed how we should consider the physical aspect of the concept such as what the balls are doing and how they could be interacted with. Ben also gave us some technical suggestions to look into such as ESP32s or ESP8266s for the connectivity and Galvanic Skin Response(GSR) as a sensor in case we wanted to measure emotions as users were holding the ball in their hands. Finally, we asked for some tips and tricks too for user interviews.

After our feedback from Ben, we went on to create an interview protocol to get some early information on how people understand emotions, how they display them as well as if and when they are comfortable sharing emotions. We decided to write some open-ended questions to begin the interview with, continue with a task to allow users to show us how they think and then end with some more directed questions.

week5 idearefinement

Week 5 - Proposal

Marie Thoresen - Mon 6 April 2020, 12:47 pm

This week has been mostly focused on finalising the idea within the team. After receiving various forms of feedback from students, tutors and users we finally decided on a concept that I think everyone one the team was satisfied with. It has been a difficult process due to lack of inspiration and a theme that turned out to be more difficult to design for than anticipated but in the end we manage to come up with something that I personally is excited to work on.

My team had meetings on both Tuesday and Thursday and where we went through the feedback and finalised the idea. It was decided to work on the team section of the proposal over the weekend and be done by the team meeting on Monday at 3pm. Overall, I think the team has done some good work and everything seem promising for the future of the project.

Zoom workshop

This week we had our first zoom workshop which turned out to be a long team meeting instead. We received some feedback from the tutors which helped in our process to conclude what we would be working with. The online solution is still not the most ideal way to have a workshop since it basically requires good equipment from all part and a stable internett connection which I don't always have, but it'll do.

Going forward I'm exited to start prototyping and working with the project.

week5 #proposal

Reflection (Week 5)

Shao Tan - Sun 5 April 2020, 10:43 pm
Modified: Sat 20 June 2020, 5:47 am


In the meeting after the studio, my team mate and I decided that we are going to work on the project individually and focus on separate concepts. He is going to continue work on hand gestures and I will work on facial expressions and body language. We talked about how these separate concepts would work together and how it would still relate to the domain and problem space.

My Concept

For body language, I researched on different cartoon characters that are very expressive. I noticed a few recurring themes with these characters: Eyebrows, ears/antenna, body posture and glow/fire.

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I also found a video that shows the eyebrows on a robot

With the feedback from the critiques and these cartoon characters as inspiration, I drew a few sketches for my concept.



In this workshop, we talked to the tutors about our concept. I showed my sketches and expressed that I was worried that my concept would be too cute to make people maintain a distance. However, they said it can be cute and scary at the same time and gave suggestions on how to do that. For example, scaring people when they least expect it or making the form be something that people normally avoid such as spiders.


  • Choose a design from my sketches (Do testing to get feedback and opinions)
  • Decide on a scare/shock tactic when people get too close. Ideas:
  • Look at professional papers on the topic to do some background research.
  • Complete proposal

reflection #week5 #bodylanguage #cartooncharacters #cuteandscary