Posts Tagged ‘heather martin’

Reflection so far….

January 11, 2009

s7005979Adam deep in thought

Last week was really fantastic, but also very challenging at the same time. The brief has been left very open for us to be able to focus on personal areas of interest, but this also demands us to think carefully about our conceptual design approach and decision making. I feel these challenges have really motivated me to be as open minded as possible to a different approach in working and is pushing me to get as much as possible out of these four weeks! So far my team mates Adam and Sid have been great to work with, and a real motivation and inspiration for me!

As a group we are trying to design A TUI for networked objects…to allow the user to see the impact of the food they are buying is having on the environment. Our initial idea was to give the user an overall (good/bad) rating of how their purchases are having an impact on the environment by using the metaphor of a scale. and weighing your weight in “Food Miles” The technology used for this is based on the idea that in the future, everything will be tagged and have a database of information about that product.

We want to pursue the idea of Personal Informatics and how these can provide people with meaningful and relevant data to help make more sustainable and socially responsible decisions.

After a Feedback session on Thursday with Heather, Christopher and Durrell Bishop our approach has changed slightly. We were given positive feedback on our context and approach towards social and sustainable responsibility, but we were advised to provide a deeper and more meaningful experience for the user, so it becomes more of an exploratory and useful tool for the user to see the differences in their purchases and understand how they can change their daily routines if they wish to do so!

And now comes the challenging part designing networked objects with a TUI to do so!!

This week we will be focusing on making rapid prototypes to develop our idea further and to do user testing . Building prototypes is something that has really benefited previous product design projects i have worked on especially when it comes to engaging with the user and getting feedback, so i am pretty excited about this week!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!


Behond the Desktop:Networking the Everyday

January 5, 2009


taken from designing Interactions

Today at CIID we started our tangible user interface project! All i can say is that we have a very exciting and busy four weeks ahead of us!

For the four weeks Heather Martin will be running the course with some fantastic quests including Durrell Bishop, Christopher Scales and David Cuartielles coming to teach and critique us! and of course we will also have the fantastic CIID staff too!

Today we were given an overview of tangible user interfaces and shown great examples. Some of these included the  work of interaction designers like Bill Gaver that worked on the equator project……

“The IRC brought together researchers from eight different institutions and a variety of disciplines which address the technical, social and design issues in the development of new inter-relationships between the physical and digital.

A series of experience projects engaged with different user communities to develop new combinations of physical and digital worlds and explore how these may be exploited and how these may enhance the quality of everyday life.”


“The History Tablecloth is designed to cover a kitchen or dining room table. When objects are left on the table, the cloth starts to glow beneath them, creating a halo that expands very slowly. When items are removed, the glow fades quickly”  (

After these brilliant lectures, we were  given our brief…..which can be summarized as:

Design a pair or series of networked objects that illustrate digital information in a physical form. The objects must be manipulable by your specific user group and enable people to interact directly with data through your objects.Your concepts  can be of any scale but your final concept must be  physically interactive, contain no screen or display and be produced as a fully working prototype. The solutions must show appropriate use of technology but that are also beautiful and well crafted objects which are useful, pragmatic and make sense to our users-whilst being simple and delightful to use (from course syllabus)

The brief has been left fairly open so we can focus on specific areas of personal interest and manage our project ourselves, however there are key areas we must consider and during these project….These are… tangible Computing, tangible user interfaces (TUI), physical computing, pervasive computing, ubiquitous computing, prototyping, product design, affordances, metaphors, simplicity, sensors and networks.

For this project we are working in pairs with people that compliment our own strengths, which i feel is a great opportunity to work in a team where we can really push each other, and learn from each other. I am working with Adam who has a back ground in web design and digital multimedia.  We are both super excited about the project and the opportunities that can be discovered, so i am sure something positive will happen as well as all the other great ideas from the rest of the class!

For this project the final working prototype is very important, but we will also be assesed on out process and documentation, so as always i will try and blog as much a possible 🙂

and before i end.

A big HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone, i wish you all the best for 2009!