Archive for March, 2012
Last blog post I mentioned me and my group where looking at the design side of this app, for artist Gemma Mathieson. This past week week we have been busy developing the app on xcode, which is software that lets you develop apps for iPads and iPhones. We allocated tasks and held meetings regularly to achieve a high standard iPad app for showcasing Gemma’s work. The image above is a screen capture of our app.
The image in the middle is scrollable and when a button is clicked the image will break apart showing video, audio or an image. We wanted to create a journey effect to this app by creating a timeline as Gemma believes that the journey of creating artwork is just as important as the outcome. With that knowledge we wanted the app to better reflect her creative processes.
Have you ever thought about what your personal space says about you? When you enter someones home, you will have first impressions and try to figure out what the owner of the home is like. You will probably have a snoop around, check out rooms and eye up any interesting pieces. You may not be fully aware of this but it is true, we like to put pieces together before we actually know someone. So is your personal living space decorated to reflect you?
I wanted to investigate this further, so I started of by creating a mind map which helped me plan some questions that I can ask people and get there views on the topic. For this to work properly I wanted to interview people that I do not know because then their opinions will not be biased. Also I will be showing these people images of my room so they can test their snooping skills and try to decipher my personality. Before I go on I would just like to point out this incredible book called “Snoop” by Sam Gosling. This is where I am getting my inspiration from and will give you tips on snooping for future reference.
I got started on the interviews by firstly asking my brother’s friend Fred. I had questions planned but also followed this up by unplanned questions which made the process feel more comfortable, just like a conversation. What I found out was interesting. Here is the key points I got from Fred about his bedroom:
- Likes to think his bedroom is clean, modern just like his personality
- Does not like his TV, wants a new one to go along with his modern theme
- His favourite item is his replica LOTR Gandalf sword, Lord of the Rings is his favourite movie
- His bed is his most used object
- His walls are painted blue as thats his favourite colour and has white curtains with a blue pattern on them. Shows he likes blue and coordination, likes things to match
- Thinks his room shows he has a lot of pride in himself as he is tidy and shows confidence as he is not afraid to show personal belongings
When I showed Fred my bedroom I did not tell him it was mine so I let him snoop my photos and let him express his opinions openly. He says he thinks my room looks like a student’s room and I am into sport, music and technology. This is all correct and he based these opinions by noticing objects in my room. He also says if he enters someones home he would do a bit of snooping around but only if they where not in the room. Fred also confessed he does judge people on appearance so if he sees a messy house he believes the person is not organised and quite lazy. This interview proved insightful as it showed me that people can gather information about a person on the basis of their living space. I have been researching this topic online and I read on www.psychologytoday.com that people who decorate their rooms blue like to keep their rooms tidy and clean just like Fred. With this interview a success I now wanted to gather more opinions so I interviewed another two people.
I was introduced to Sarah by a friend and this interview was a little less insightful due to the fact that her answers were more blunt. I had to work around this and keep the interview flowing by asking follow up questions and trying to turn it into a less formal conversation. Here is a brief list of her results:
- Messy bedroom, does not believe it represents her.
- Her posters are her favourite things in her room because she likes to be surrounded by her favourite things
- She mostly uses her straighteners, apart from my bed obviously
- Her room is red but her favourite colour is silver so does not really show her. However she did say “red means warm loving person so I guess it does reflect me”
- Believes her messy room show confidence and but also her can’t be bothered attitude
I then showed Sarah my room again not telling her it was my own. She said basically the same as Fred but she says I am quite lazy as some areas of my room was a bit messy. She backed this statement up by comparing her room to mine and she thinks she is lazy so thinks I am the same. Again this is true. Both Fred and Sarah got everything correct, Sarah even predicted I study a computing related course which I do, Digital Interaction Design. Sarah also says she has never knowingly snooped around someones house but does agree she may have judged others before getting to know them.
My last interview was with a random person on the street called Eric. Since this interview was fairly unprepared and I tried to make the most of my information I received. I took notes rapidly and here is what I got:
- Eric thinks he is a respectable person who takes a pride in his home
- Does not like his carpet, needs a new one because he does not like the colour
- Likes his new bed, its really comfy
- Colours were decided by his wife
- Believes his house show that he has a wife as its always tidy and clean
Eric also says he would look at other peoples property by just glancing at them but not physically touching anything.
I thought it was interesting when he says his house shows that he has a wife. Eric implies that his house would not be up to its high standards without her, so what does this tell us about males houses. Are males homes more untidy or lack their own personality? I think this claim depends on the male as for example, Fred takes pride in his home and takes interest in it. Maybe its an age thing since Fred was in his 20′s whereas Eric was in his 60′s. Perhaps decorating homes is becoming more involved in males hobbies now a days. I looked online about this and many websites came up about interior decorating for young men. Some of the images even looked like Fred’s bedroom. The images show very modern, colour coordinate rooms. Here is an image to show you what I mean:
I got Fred and Sarah to draw mind maps to help them be more involved with the interviews. When I showed them images of my room they even tried to sketch out what the person who owned this room looked like. I found these techniques to be very helpful because it helped the interview to keep going, whereas without this it would have became stale pretty quickly. Here is one of the mind maps Sarah completed along with a little sketch of me:
Overall I think our bedrooms tell us a lot about us as individuals. Our personal living space shows our personality, attitude, hobbies and even education/career. You can even tell what gender and age group a person belongs too by just looking at a couple of images of a persons room. I had a lecture on subcultures in society and again you can try a piece together what each person would belong to. Bedrooms are our most personal space so we fill it full of parts of us. We feel most comfortable with things we love surrounding us whether this is objects or photographs. Each bedroom is different and this only proves that bedrooms reflect us as no human is the same.
Yesterday we continued with our project on the app for artists. We were instructed we have to design and prototype the app for the artist, this is the last part of the semester. We started this process of by watching our individual D&AD concept videos to give us some inspiration. We then took notes and drew little ideas of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted to have a good understanding of what our app will do, its functions and how it will behave before we got into the whole aesthetics. We made mind maps to help us with this.
When that was agreed we moved onto the design. We like the idea of having the one of the artists work constantly moving across the screen and a timeline at the bottom with pin drops. Our artist believes the process/journey of an artwork is just as important as the actual art itself so we wanted to make the app design tie in with this belief. There would also be a subtle menu at the top. The menu and timeline will be a greyish metallic colour. We also had a good idea where when run, the app will start at the end and run everything very quickly right back to the start of the app. Then there would be a video of the artist telling you a brief description of herself and the app. We had discussions on what the app would be more suitable for: an iPhone or iPad. We all came to the solution that the iPad would be best as it will clearly portray the artists journey and with a bigger screen this would be the best solution.
My previous blog on this topic discussed the brief and some of my initial ideas. I am now pleased to say I have completed this task and you can watch my concept video at the top of this entry.
It is based on an art exhibition for artists to showcase their work in a new innovative and interactive way. The app iExhibition lets viewers have full control of a gallery by selecting an image then swiping a copy of the image onto the wall. You now have two copies of that image: one on your phone and the other on the wall. You can use your device to resize, move and rotate images around the exhibition space. There is also an option to allow the user to create a more real environment that brings the art to life. You set the theme of the room so you actually create a new environment that reflects the art work on display. There is also a feature that uses augmented reality that shows a live description of the artist and their work by hovering your camera over an image.
This has been a very interesting project and has let me feel creative in new ways. Creating a concept video and not actually creating the finished app was new to me and it was a great way to explore new innovative and interactive ideas.
For this assignment I was also required to observe areas that I regularly visit and conduct more observations. My first secondary site I observed was a bus stop/bus. I get the bus to University and sometimes catch the bus home so I am really familiar with this setting. When at the bus stop, in the city centre, I was the third in the line. I entered the shelter and the two people in front of me where standing side by side staring out of the glass window. Both were men. First in line I think was a student as he wore a hoodie and carried a bag which seemed heavy suggesting there was quite a lot of text books or even a laptop in there. He also wore jeans and trainers. His body language seemed tired as he leaned on the shelter and had a glum look on his face. The next man was a lot more older probably aged between 70-80. He wore a grey coat and a dark grandad hat. He used a walking stick and also seemed rather tired. He carried a couple of Tesco bags so he clearly has been buying groceries and since it was nearly half past four I assumed he was on his way home. Soon a women with a young child joined the shelter and sat on the seat opposite where I was standing keeping the queue still in place. I have noticed that when waiting in line for a bus people like to form a queue. If there was no clear queue people would remember who was waiting first and suddenly the queue would reform. This is not compulsory but its almost like a rule you most follow when at a bus stop or you will get strange looks because you are skipping.
When on the bus I sat in the middle at the window. I noticed most older people sat at the front with the younger/noisier people at the back. I started thinking why this was and I came up with a couple of answers. The further to the back of the bus you get there are steps so perhaps the elderly people struggle to step over them. Another answer would be that because the bus moves while you are walking to a seat, elderly people may lose balance so they sit on the closest seat possible. Perhaps if the bus waited till the older person can find a seat they may venture further up the bus. Another thing I noticed that when the bus was full and an elderly person came on and there was no seat at the front but a younger person sitting in one of the seats at the front got up and gave her the seat and he moved to the back. This is also like an unwritten rule while on the bus. People on the bus wore casual clothes nothing too fancy. There was nobody wearing suits or anything as near as formal as that. Some people carried shopping bags and a couple of people read a newspaper. It was quite noisy as it was busy but it got more noisier the further up the back of the bus because there were school students laughing and chatting quite loudly.
My second secondary site was a shopping centre in Dundee, The Overgate. I regularly visit here not just for shopping but for short cuts to other parts of the town. I noticed that the people here wore all types of clothing formal, casual and unusual were all present. I recognized some subcultures here that were present in the lecture at Uni. There was not a stand out one but most people had elements of many subcultures like hippy and punk. There was no dominant age or gender here it was all mixed with different types of people. However there was a separation in the types of people here. People shopping and people cutting through the centre. Shoppers looked generally happy, chatting away with friends and enjoying themselves.
Here is an image of people shopping in Sports Direct inside the Overgate:
People at coffee shops sat close together conversing quietly just so there table could hear and smiling. Here is an image of that:
This was contrasted by the people not using the services of the centre but just using it as a short cut to another destination. These people walked quickly, usually on their own with earphones in their ears, which suggested to me they where not in the mood for interaction. They had a certain seriousness in their body language and facial expressions. Perhaps they wanted to stay and treat themselves to some food or clothing. Here is an image of someone cutting through H&M inside the Overgate:
Overall, I found this assignment enlightening as it showed me how things worked. For example when Pierre Bourdieu said people don’t like being in alien environments, that is extremely true. I found that out first hand when I went to the football match. I felt uncomfortable, nervous and I did not know how to react in situations like when someone you don’t know starts hugging you when the team score. However when time progressed it got better and better because I got more used to the environment. Observing people really helps designing for others to create a better solution. Like when I saw the man not understanding the label, I now know I would add some measurements to it to make it more understandable. Another example is the bus, I know if I were designing a bus I would not include steps as elderly people don’t like to step over them when the bus is moving.
When designers look to create something innovative or to add a new feature to a product etc. it is crucial for them to observe peoples behaviour around that object. Sometimes designers focus all their attention on the design of object but it is necessary not to neglect the affect they have on people and how they are used. This is where Design Ethnography comes in. You need to understand what is actually done and not what people tell you. For example if you asked someone, “how much did you pay for that shirt?” Then they answered “£65 its a designer label”. However if you observed this you would get the honest answer, it is a designer label but the shirt was on sale for £25. The person neglected to tell you this, why? Is it because they wanted to show how much money they have to spend on shirts, or how fashionable they are or just to simply show off. However if we observed this we get a different picture. Would this person ever buy this shirt if it was not on sale, shows that they are money conscious or simply they can not afford to buy the latest releases so buy last year’s trends. People filter their actions when asked questions, like this person did tell the truth to an extent but let the sale topic not come into the conversation. Therefore to get the truth about something you are designing, you need to know how it would fit in and work for people in real life situations.
Using this technique of observing, I was asked for this assignment to go to a place I have never been before. This was supposed to make you feel uncomfortable and be like a fish out of the water. This was to get us thinking about questions on why people do certain things and the “rules” of these places. I observed three places a football match (primary site), bus stop/bus and a shopping centre (secondary sites). In this blog entry I will discuss the primary site and move on to the secondary ones in my next entry.
I traveled to Glasgow for the football match between Celtic vs Motherwell. I took with me my sketchbook for some life drawing and note taking. I entered the stadium which was buzzing full of people shouting and singing, majority of men making the most noise. This made me feel rather uncomfortable as I am a quiet person so 60,000 people screaming in a packed stadium was going to cause some fear. I soon got settled but I noticed that when amongst the crowd of strangers they did not act like strangers. People who they have never met before had discussions throughout the game and even embraced in arm over shoulders or even hugged each other. This seemed strange to me because you would never show that affection to someone you just met in another environment. It was like if you are a fan of the same team you already had this strong bond like friendship and treated each other with warmth just on this one common trait. I found that quite astounding. I also noticed that most people were wearing green and white hoops because that is the colours of Celtic and it is there stadium so they had the majority of the fans there. Most people sported the same top with matching scarves and so it was very similar tastes everybody had. I felt like an outcast as I was very quiet compared to the noisy crowd.
Just before half time supporters of both teams started going away, some heading for the toilets others heading for snacks. It all seemed very routinized, they all clearly knowing where everything was like they have done this lots of times. It was odd seeing people leave their seats before the game stopped but I figured they have done this many times as they probably have all suffered waiting in long queues and missing the start of the 2nd half. When a goal was scored the crowd went insane, all cheering and acting like a huge family with even more embraces. It seemed compulsory to celebrate with everyone beside you. Opposition fans started fleeing the grounds when there was about 5 minutes left as they had giving up hope of a comeback to go catch an early, less busy, train home whereas the home fans stayed till the end basking in there glory.
I went to the megastore after the game and I noticed someone like me, a newbie to this crazy atmosphere. I could spot straight away he was out of his comfort zone as he looked nervous and studied everything intently. One other thing that gave him away was that he was not wearing anything green! He was checking out some T Shirts and he was looking at the price tag for a while. I tried not to seem like I was staring so I was just pretending to look at something close by. Then I heard one of his friends say something to him in another language. Then it clicked, he was staring at the price tag for a while because he could not understand what it was communicating. After they both talked for a few seconds the man picked up the T Shirt and took out his wallet and went to the checkout. I guessed the label was badly designed and did not include a Euro price on it or he just simply did not know English very well. I went over to that section of T Shirts and observed the labels, I noticed a problem straight away. It only said “Extra Lge” for sizing and did not include in measurements or European measurements. This is badly designed as not everyone will know what extra large measurements are as different clothing lines have different sizes. Roland Barthes the writer of The Rhetoric of the Image talks about polysemy, meaning images have more than one meaning. This was similar to this situation as I had many opinions on why this person was staring at the label.
Visiting Celtic Park was an experience and I may not have been too keen to begin with but I got more engrossed by it when each minute went on. It was exciting especially to see so many reactions and emotions the stadium had filled inside of it for the 90 minutes the game lasted.
- Assignment 1
- Assignment 2
- Assignment 3
- Assignment 4
- DJ21012 – Screen Based Interactive Media 2 (11/12)
- DJ22006 – The 21st Century Designer (11/12)
- DJ22011 – Interaction Design (media products) (11/12)
- DJ31035 – Interaction Design – Physical Digital Products
- DJ32005 – Design & The Market Part 1 (12/13)
- DJ32013 – Social Mobile Apps (12/13)
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- October 2010
- September 2010