Excise 1: Modding IDEO
In the first excise, we are asked to use the poster to frame our iteration idea based on the questions of what is the prototype name, what happened in last prototype testing, what impression you got from last time, what you learned in the previous prototype, and what will be the next iteration. Based on this questions I structure my posters.
Then we adjusted our posters following the grids of Prototype Name, What Happened, Impression, What You Learned, What Will Be The Next Iteration.
- Prototype Name. So far, I still don’t have a name for my project. I merely use a few phrases to describe it. The main two keywords of my project are data visualization and storytelling. I try to explore what will be the best approach for a visual designer to represent not only quantitative but also qualitative data.
- What Happened. For my first iteration, I wanted to use personal data as a lens to check if digital technology can be a tool to tell the story/context behind the data. With this goal, I design my first prototype which is a map visualizing my email information from July 01 to July 10 in 2017. Through this prototype, I focus on two question: finding an approach for data visualization + storytelling and what can be a good data set for my project.
- Impression. I got a lot of positive feedbacks of the method (an interactive-able map) and the selected data (my personal email data). All these feedbacks helped me to check this prototype from others’ perspective and gained a deep understanding of the audience’s interest and behavior.
- The interaction, “moving from one spot to another and flipping the information card laid on the floor,” made my tester check information with purpose and gain a feeling of actively generating the story. In this case, they are not the listen, but a creator. This shifting of position emerge them into this experience further and lead them to obtain a deeper understanding of the information.
- I found most of my testers show a passion for my private information. One of the reason is that I was standing there and they knew me already. However, they pointed out that peeping at private details may come from a part of human nature, especially peeking at someone you already know.
- In the interview, I asked my testers the same question “What is the reason you choose to check the information in this order?” Through this question, I tried to explore what would most grab my audience’s attention. All my testers gave me a very similar answer. They either choose something relevant or something visually obvious.
- What You Learned. In the interview, I got a few exciting feedbacks. The firstly one is that they mentioned that most of them used to ( or have a tendency to) make a background investigation when they know someone new. This feedback gives me inspiration of a possible topic discussed in my research. If I choose the personal data as the data set for my final project, an argument of the human’s attitude on background survey can be included in my paper. And I can feel this can raise a lot interesting discussion. Another thing I learned through this testing is about the data set. At the very beginning, I was worried my data choice might not be interested in everyone. However, what was surprised me was it seemed all my testers presented a strong passion for this personal data exploration. Through the interview, I found this prototype was not only giving my story but also some big topics (the human network/the comparison between mental distance and geographic distance). This testing depth of my understanding of personal data.
- The Next Iteration. For my next iteration, I am interested in testing the combination of data visualization and other 3D expression technology, such as VR and projection mapping. I would like to find out if these technologies can also enhance the audience’s comprehension and experience of receiving the information. I will also test my current data visualization structure (an interactive data map) works for another data set. The possible data are the human network, political letter and mad cow disease in UK history. In the following two weeks, I will try to gather as much as materials about these topics to check which one is most doable. My another focus of the next prototype will be a visual metaphor. Following the feedback I got last week, I will try to involve more visual elements in my interaction.
I can feel my research idea is becoming more and more evident through introducing/discussing with my group once and once again. Before I did this excise, I got a very blur feeling of what my next iteration could be. The process of transfer the thoughts to oral presentation to writing makes this idea more detailed and precise. It helps me to have a practical plan.
Excise 2: Values-driven Prototyping
In this exercise, we were asked to write a word for the action happening in this project and the value audience/ourselves obtaining through this project.
My verbs for the action happening in my project are comprehended and visualize. “Visualize” is for the approach of representing the data and storytelling. “Comprehend” describes the process of audience gather data and organize the story.
My words of the value are comprehension and knowledge (curiosity). The goal for my research project can be present through these two words. One goal is letting the audience comprehend the data/context and obtain a deeper understanding of my selected data. Another goal is for me. One of my research questions is “As a visual designer if it is possible to create a tool/sample to represent not only the quantitative data but also the qualitative data?” I would like to use my research project as an answer to this question.
After sharing the words with my group, I made my idea of these words more clear. Same as the excise 1, talking the concept once and once again make it more detailed and clear. And I also found a few values mentioned by my classmates could also work for my project, such as wisdom and pleasure. This process of merging other’s insights into my project keep inspired me and trigger me to view my content from different perspectives.