The Way I’m Heading
Currently, as we’re still in Phase 1, I am still doing research, but I’m aiming more local. It’d be great to try and get my cultural probes out all over the world, but for now, Britain, Holland and Japan will have to suffice as time is running out. I’m going to focus on locating international people in Dundee and attempt to get them to participate in my research. The results may be much more ‘westernised’, but it should still produce some interesting results.
Soon enough Phase 2 will begin and that will involve not very much time to make Mark I and Mark II versions of my product. I need to think about which aspects I’ll need to concentrate on and which bits I can afford to fake/not have working properly for the first release.
Most of the major tasks which I need to do for the final thing are shown above in the feature image. I need to decide which elements I can leave out for the Mark I prototype. Therefore, I need to decide which things will take up the most time and which things won’t. There’s a big thing missing off of here and that is documentation — the ‘instruction manual’, if you like. On that note, there’s a lot to think about:
Which things are going to take the most time?
At this stage, I think three main things are going to take the most time:
- Programming the gestures
- Programming the IR codes
- Creating the documentation
Which things am I likely to run into trouble with?
- Programming the IR codes
- Using the gestures to actually do something outside of the Interaction Designer
- Inconsistent gesture recognition which will ultimately lead to a poor user experience
How can I show that the project actually impacts people’s cultural awareness?
- Perhaps I could use some case studies after Mark I is released and gather the users’ reactions
- I could do a before and after cultural test!
What style will my documentation take?
The documentation is only meant to be there as a quick start guide. Something which the user won’t need to be burdened with, but which will be used as a quick reference guide. As my project is ultimately going to be a product within the home, the documentation could take on the form of homeware:
- Coasters or placemats showing illustrations of the different cultural gestures
- Wall art, such as a canvas comparing different cultures’ gestures
- A set of mugs showing the different gestures
- A coffee table with the gestures beautifully etched into the surface
An instruction manual
- A tiny hardback book
- A mobile reference app
- A ‘Getting Started’ DVD/YouTube clip
- An on-screen tutorial session which would require the user to perform the gestures first
How will I show the users what the active gesture set is?
This is a tricky one. As this is going to be a product in the home, the visual aspect is very important. With inspiration from Mike Vanis, it could take the form of an organic design, or a minimal design.
According to Mike:
“An organic design could be appropriate for and compliment the environment the object will be used in. Materials like wood, ceramic and cork could help make the device less intimidating and easier to blend into social events. An organic design could also feel bespoke and personal rather than fabricated and commercialised.
A minimalistic approach could be taken in the design language of the object. Interfaces that communicate the device’s purpose could be amplified by using simple forms and neutral colours. These design traits could also make the device look more like an experience prototype rather than a polished, ready for-the-market technological artefact.”
When using this train of thought, it can be argued that an organic design would be much more pleasing for the end users. Of course, as this product may not be one which will ever be commercially developed, it can also be argued that a minimalistic approach to this aspect can be taken as it will always be in a prototype form.