Posts Tagged ‘metaphors’

Week 2:Concept Development

January 18, 2009

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!

Behond the Desktop:Networking the Everyday

January 5, 2009

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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.”

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“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”  (www.equator.ac.uk)

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!

The role of a metaphor in Interaction Design

November 6, 2008

For the last few days we have been learning about using metaphors within interaction design to tells stories, connect ideas and to push forward the understanding of systems.  This is a slide show i found related to this ares that Dan Saffer at an Information Architecture Summit.

some lovely theory….and a lot of post-its!

November 4, 2008

This week were are doing an intensive design theory week taught by Gillian Crampton Smith, Phillip Tabor and Bill Verplank. When i first heard we were doing a theory i presumed it would be a week of lectures and written exercises. However i have been proven wrong!! For the last two days we have had very insightful presentations from Gillian and Phillip talking about different models of interaction design, using notation within interaction design and metaphors in interaction design…All every fascinating. These talks were then reiterated by a series of rapid exercises to teach us how to put the theory into practice. Some of the exercises included; using flow diagrams, storyboards and state diagrams to map out user experiences, interactions from physical objects and different processes, creating mental models of systems and creating metaphors for different environments. These were very quick exercises that involved a lot of post-its and some quick thinking!

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flow diagrams for making a recipe

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state diagram of a coffee machine

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playing with metaphors

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‘riding a bike it like balancing your finances’