Posts Tagged ‘DKDS’

Initial Blueprint

July 11, 2009

This week it has been back to final project work after our amazing industry visits (documentation coming soon) I have been reviewing my feedback from my midway review and making an initial service blueprint. This has allowed me to focus and establish the key user interactions, the role of the service provider and the touch points of the service that need to be designed for my experience prototyping and my end communication. I have also come up  with a name for the service and started working on the branding. Currently i am working on designing some of the touch points needed for experience prototyping next week, so when i have finished then i will also reveal the name!

102_0985brainstorming service name

102_0969initial service blueprint

Reboot11 round up!

June 27, 2009

Here is our full documentation for CIID‘s activities at the Reboot11 conference

Reboot11…day 2

June 26, 2009



An update from todays activities at reboot11 so far…….

Day two started slightly more slowly but by mid-morning we hit the ground running with Olf, a German product manager in a large tech company and also a father of 3. He is interested in building a platform to help communication in his childrens’ kindergarten. They often use email haphazardly to organise things like BBQs and events and he thinks this can be improved. Tobias & Kevin went through a brain storming session with him, discussing current collaboration tools, social decision making processes and how to test ideas iteratively. Later on, he came back to chat to Marcin to learn a little bit about Ruby on Rails to gain some more technical information about building a system himself.

Erlend, Tobias, Francesco and Sid were asked to make Ami from TwitterJobSearch’s nametag the biggest attention grabber at Reboot 11. The students equipped the tag with bigger text and two red, pulsating, ultrabright leds to make sure that nobody could miss it.

Two ladies from a publishing company approached us with the challenge of how to scale their their writerclub website into something that could support building a writer community, connecting users, finding texts and personalising profiles. Erlend, Sid and Francesco took up the gauntlet and the first part of the brainstorm was used to find the core “selling points” and values. Then we discussed sites that are already doing something within the same domain as the “writes club”. The session ended with a look through the current writer clubs while the students gave them tips and directions on what to change.

While all of this was going on, Mellis gave a talk about making money from open-source hardware. CIID students turned out to support him, and a few other people showed up, too. The talk discussed Mellis’s experience from Arduino: who makes money on it, how, and how much.  He also suggested some alternative business models and posed some broader questions about open-source hardware.  There was good discussion throughout and lots of interesting suggestions.

data vizualization

December 2, 2008

picture-1 Today we started a 2 week data vizualization module, which will be taught by Shawn Allen (Stamen) and Dave Mellis (CIID)

“Each day the world produces untold amounts of information. interactive data vizualizations is a practice that aims to distill and communicate that information to people in visual forms that are easy and fun to explore, understand and use. In this two week module, students will investigate the roles of intuitive user interfaces in data vizualization.

They will learn how metaphors are used to convey unfamiliar information, and how mental models aid in the interpretation of complex visual displays.  They will then use a bottom-up interative process to create interactive displays of UN data using adobe flash” Course Syllabus

Today  we were given a fantastic overview of some of the world’s most well known and successful data visualization projects and started to learn flash! It has a complex interface compared to programming platforms such as processing that i am used to, but i can see it has huge potential, so i can’t wait for the next two weeks!

i’l keep you posted 🙂

GUI final concept: Improving the elderly home experience

December 2, 2008

On completion of our user testing with the elderly people last week, our group decided to focus on our idea that helped aid ‘communication with the family’ We came away with from the elderly home with 3 very strong insights that really supported one of our idea’s we had tested:

“A device that allows the friends and family of the elderly to contact them easily through SMS messages and email. The elderly receives the ‘mail’ every morning from a device that displays their mail in the familiar context of receiving a letter. This will hopefully create less isolation from the family and make the elderly feel more involved in their lives. It allows friends and family to use quick methods of communication that they are used to using without imposing it on the elderly person”

The three insights that supported this idea were:

1. “receiving a letter is a wonderful experience” This quote came from a lady who loved receiving letters from her family. She said she checked her mail everyday and when she received a letter is was the most wonderful feeling for her. However she mainly only received letters from family who lived further away and were requesting her to come and visit them.

2. “Family are the center of the elderly people’s lives” The people within the elderly people like meeting new people and socially interacting within the home, but their real joy comes from their family. They look forward to seeing them for visits, talking to them on the phone, or receiving a letter for them. Their family are hugely important in their lives and day to day motivations.

3.“informal email service” Currently in one of the elderly homes their is an informal email service, where family and friends of the elderly can email the staff messages and photos and they will print them out and give them to the elderly people.

As a group we felt that it was a great shame that the elderly do not benefit from the form the internet and email like we do. So our core aim and value we wanted to create for the elderly was

“how do you bring the joy of receiving a letter back into an email”

and our result………..



A touch screen device that allows elderly people to receive emails and SMS messages from family in a familiar context. We have strongly used the mental model of receiving, reading and writing letters throughout our concept. The home screen for the device is a writing table where letters will accumulate when you receive mail. The visuals and sizes of the mail illustrates the content. For example:

A letter on the desktop is a normal email.
A package on the desktop would be an email with a photo attachment
A note on the desktop would be a SMS message

We also added an address book as the entry point to writing new messages, and a storage box function where you can store old ‘letters’ Throughout the design we tried to keep the language and symbols very familiar to the elderly, using strong metaphors and mental models that we felt they could easily understand and relate to.

The presentation below is from our final critique, but also shows each interface of the device as well, which will hopefully make the concept a little clearer! A will post up our concept video too in a separate post…

Final Presentation with Interface designs


your granny’s mail


the email you sent your granny


options screen


user scenario (beautifully drawn by sid)

Cartoon House 2…..

November 9, 2008

On Friday, as a class we presented our CIID Cartoon House we had been working on. The aim of  the exercise was to think about how a home could be different in the future and to create visual representations using paper based medium. After we had created our cartoon house we then narrated a walk through… doing this exercise it allowed us to see where changes could be made, what ideas were unrealistic and triggered new thinking and ideas around what technology could be used to implement the ideas.  Making the cartoon house was a great way to a story and explain persona’s. The technique originates from Interval Research where they used it as a development tool.

I really loved the exercise and thought it was a great way to quickly come up with ideas and rapidly prototype them in  a very active way….because ideas were in the home environment it gave them far more context which made it easier to critique and build a story around.


Starting to build the kitchen







Virtual 3D video games in the living room!


Interactive widget window

Cartoon house…

November 6, 2008

A sneak preview of what we have been up to today and our plans for tomorrow!


Physical Computing

November 4, 2008

For the last two weeks we have been doing a physical computing course taught by Massimo Banzi, Dave Mellis and Gwendolyn Floyd. During the first week were predominantly taught by Massimo on how to use Arduino

“Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments”

For our last week of physical computing we were set a week long brief to put into practice all we had learned from our exercises taught on the Arduino platform. The brief was set by Gwendolyn Floyd who was also teaching us alongside Massimo and Dave.

The brief was as follows:

Home automation and the internet of things enable our intelligent objects to silently communicate
amongst themselves at faster and higher degrees of autonomy. This requires less and less interaction
and relationship with the user. These trends also create and depend on cycles of replacement and
upgrading, leading to the rapid discarding of old objects. Our project will challenge these behaviors of
passivity and obsolescence by exploring and adapting the cultural, physical, and psychological user
interfaces that reside in the objects we have given up on or replaced. How can new interactions with
and between our old objects create more meaningful, engaging, and thoughtful relationships with
contemporary situations, needs, and desires?

As more and more behaviors and interactions get packed into smaller and smarter objects, what are
the physical gestures and interactions we threw away with “outdated” technology that could add logic,
humanity, and meaning to our daily lives or specific situations.

Please find old objects and re-imagine their functionality: the way they interact with either another object, other objects, people, or the computer in new and relevant ways

For the week we worked in groups to come up with a solution to the brief and make a working prototype of our ideas to exhibit.  I personally loved the week and was hugely inspired by the brief and by the people that i was working with in my group.

Our idea was…….

‘Rock is the new Swivel’




photos by Ashwin and Tobias

One of the chief goals of technology has been to make tasks more efficient and as a result save time. But this has only meant an increased pace of life, as we try harder to pack more into less time and effort.
The swivel chair is a classic ‘efficiency technology’ that has left aching backs and stress in its wake. In this prototype, we seek to introduce a powerful antidote into the domain dominated by the swivel. We emphasize how ‘rock’, an interaction thats all but disappeared from the modern ‘sitting’ context, can be a mantra to soothe frayed nerves, and at the same time serve up a widely appreciated need, thanks to networked digital technology.

The theme we worked with is: ‘Guerilla free time – how can technology, which has been designed to heighten our efficiency and productivity facilitate break time, helpful laziness, etc.

Via this prototype, the everyday mundane act of fetching coffee during a hectic schedule is transformed into an act of relaxation, a forced ‘quiet time’ that encourages you to use every coffee drinking opportunity to take a break, listen to some music, and simply chill. 🙂

Over all the mini exhibition we had was really brilliant. It was amazing to see what everyone had achieved in such a short space of time as well as getting some really productive feedback from our external visitors one of whom was Bill Verplank and of course our wonderful CIID staff!

Some links to more photos of the exhibition…….

Tobias’s and Alie’s flickr!! goes live!

October 23, 2008

The new website solely for the CIID/DKDS Pilot year is know up and running!!Check it out!

Tap is the New Click

October 20, 2008

Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to have Dan Saffer giving us a lecture on Interactive Gestures. I’m sure most of you already know but if not Interactive gestures are what happens when you use products like the iphone, Nintendo Wii, touch screen interfaces and the Dyson “air blade” hand dryers. Interactive gesture s are normally implemented by using sensors.

During the lecture Dan gave an over view of a number of areas, including the history of  interactive gestures,prototyping them, communicating them, different types of interactive gestures and how to apply and implement them in meaningful ways. One area i found particularly interesting that he discussed was designing for the human body, this is extremely important when it comes to using sensors within experiences, areas such as physiology must be considered. When designing interactive gestures a lot of the user involvement and experience requires and comes from using your hands, therefor it is critical that a number of factors are taken into consideration some are a little more obvious than others!

  • You must design for the size of the finger pad (10-14mm) as this does the majority of the work
  • Wrist support, especially if the interaction will require a longer period of time
  • Left handed-ness
  • Accessibility to touch point areas
  • People who may be wearing gloves
  • women with fake nails!
  • finger prints and oil
  • inaccuracy (when using hands)

These were just a few points mentioned…..some are very small, but i feel very important factors that come into play when designing an interactive touch screen experience. Just fascinating!

“the  complexity of the gestures should match the complexity of the task in hand” a brilliant quote!