Week 2:Concept Development

Through out all of last week we have been concentrating on developing our conceptual idea and what experience we can create, this has taken place in many forms…drawing….a lot of discussion!!……storyboarding ..but most effectively prototyping and testing. All though our process has often been 1 step forwards and 2 steps back…building prototypes that people could engage with and give us feedback on has been crucial to our learning curve and how our idea has developed.  And here is a little over view of that!

At the beginning of the project our initial idea was to have a product that you would have within your home. The product would allow you to see the impact on the environment of the foods you were buying. You could make comparisons between different products and rate them against your own personal reasons for buying them. After testing this idea we sounds found that there was little desire to see the impact you were having after you bought the products, there was more interest in knowing the information while you were shopping.

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We then started to think about device that you could take shopping with  you. We felt that a device suitable for this use would have to be portable, compact, efficient and to the point. We did brainstorm around these ideas, but the more we developed them we felt that a device for this use would be best effective if it could give very specific and complex information…we there for thought that a screen based product would be far more advantageous over a purely TUI.

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And so we move on!!

Throughout the whole project we have also been exploring the metaphor of using a scale to measure the weight of the impact that the food has. Through creating different prototypes we found that people really loved to play with them, so our ideas soon developed into a tool that could be used to learn and teach people…suited for a science museum style installation. So we began to prototype ideas for this..

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prototype6At the end of this week our idea was using the metaphor of  scale to see what impact different foods were having on the environment relating to… how far it had traveled, the amount of chemicals in it and the amount of water used during production. The user would put their chosen product on one side and have to add weights to the other side until it was balanced. The amount of weights would represented the impact that the product was having on the environment. Before our crit on friday the unit of the weights we were using was a rating system, but we soon found out that this was confusing, especially with regards to the scale metaphor.  During our crit we were also given some good suggestion to make the information more familiar to people…. for example if an apple has travelelled 1000 miles, tell them that is was the equiviliant to cycling round Copnehagen 10 times! So after our crit we definitly have some more thinking and development to do to ensure that the information we provide is accessible and engaging to the user! So i am off to the science museum for some inspiration!

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