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We had the best ACTIVATE…and I actually had fun. April 6, 2010

Posted by Reginald Leung in : Exer3: User Scenario, Proj3: ACTIVATE! , add a comment


1) Critically review the Best Overall and Worst Overall project from the whole ACTIVATE! event

The ones that I went to were fairly interesting given the budgets everyone had previously collected. Some were similar but executed differently. All projects that I tried did engage me in all three dimensions but some dimensions were weighted more heavy than others.

The balloon popping one engaged me in a viceral sense because it was so nice to look at with all the colours and the flower pots and it helped that it was pretty much the most unique in the pay that it was set up. But when it came to the other two dimensions it was lacking. Like it didnt give me all that to take away from and behaviourally all I got to do was pop a balloon and read the message in it. And some messages were pretty random and not insightful or philosophical. But thats ok. I did like the light nature of their activate. And I think they were the only booth that had music playing for the other students that I could dance to.

The fact machine one I didnt really understand. It was sort of a bigger version of a fortune cookie. I didn’t get why it gave us random facts and why it was in a circus tent. Their circus tent was really well constructed though I must say. But the whole idea fell a bit flat because I didnt know what I was supposed to make of their random facts. I actually wanted to know if they really did their research with these facts because some of them came off as correlations and we know that correlation doesnt mean its fact.

The protest that was going on trying to get people to sign the petition to get rid of the arts program at OCAD and merge it with design was funny. It did engage in a visceral (The signs) behavioural (the actual protest and wearing of pins they were passing around) and reflective way (made you think what would happen if they did merge it and if art is really necessary?) Even though if the work that was involved probably wasn’t very much and simplistic it did manage to touch on all three dimensions.

Those are just a few that stuck in my mind that were worth mentioning. There wasn’t a glaring booth that was weak in my opinion. I think some were more exciting than others. Some, you could tell, were less planned than others. And some were just there to have fun and I think thats ok. I actually had alot more fun than I anticipated. It was a nice break from my busy schedule and to socialize with friends. I ALSO had fun rebuilding the structure too. Was stressful to try and get it done in time but I had fun redoing it with Jacob and everyones help. I also had fun setting up the structure and all that stuff too. I it made me sort of think about minoring in ED. The only thing was people that knew me came up to me periodically shocked that I could work with a hammer and drill…lol yeah whatever what like its hard? All I had to say to that was “I’m full of surprises” lol.

In the Book of Life… March 8, 2010

Posted by Lucey En Chung Kim in : Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The Problem

Creating a prototype that helps to bring out the various emotions of the user similar to emotions experienced in real life, like frustration, happiness, satisfaction, confusion, etc. 

The Object

A small booklet with a set of various questions with mathematics and riddles.  A calculator is provided on the side for help when needed.

The User Experience

The user sees a booklet set on a table with a pencil and calculator beside it.  The user reads the cover of the booklet, which says “LIFE”.  The user then curiously opens the booklet and sees that there are instructions on the first page that reads, “Please flip to the next page and answer the following questions to the best of your ability.”  As the user starts answering the first couple of questions, they are satisfied and very ecstatic that they are able to answer the questions with confidence and ease.  But, as the user continues, they find that the questions start to get a bit harder.  When they get to the harder math questions, those instructions tell the user that they can use the calculator for assistance in solving the problem.  Satisfied that they were able to get through the questions with the help of the calculator, they continue to answer questions.  But, the questions don’t get any easier.  The user becomes more confused and frustrated not being able to understand the questions.  The very last set of questions, instructions say that the answers and help is in the back of the book.  Once the user realizes that they can’t figure out the questions alone after so much persistence, they go to the back of the book.  What they find is a blank page with only the subtitle, “ANSWERS”.  Feeling deceived and defeated, they also read that on the page, there’s the metaphor, “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back”.

After reading the metaphor, the user realizes why the cover page read “LIFE”.  Then the user reflects back on how similar their experience in life is to their experience of answering questions in the book.

Time is Running Out! March 7, 2010

Posted by Shaili Chibba in : Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The Problem
To create a prototype that examines the behaviour and capabilities of an individual when under the pressure of limited time, and outputs an adequate response to their actions.

The Object
The space consists of several objects strewn about in a rather disorganized fashion, representing the tasks or objectives that are on the mind / to-do list of an individual. Alongside of these objects is a meter-length ruler standing vertically, prompting the organization of the random objects. Finally, there is a hidden sound system of a human heartbeat, which ranges from steady to super fast as time begins to run out (stopping when it does), mimicking the pace of a real human heart when under intense pressure and lack of time.

User Scenario
The user approaches the table with the objects randomly placed around each other. They notice three books, an empty box, a paintbrush, a palette, a laundry detergent container, an unfinished canvas, a sketchbook, and several other items. A sign beside the ruler challenges them to organize the items on top of each other to the length of the ruler, to see if the are capable of organizing themselves within the limited time.

If the user is able to to achieve the objective and maintain a balance to the length of the ruler, the heartbeat will remain / return to a steady pace depending on how long it took them to achieve the end result in the time given. This return to normality stimulates a relief in the user, allowing them to attain a sense of accomplishment.

If the user continues failing to organize the items in a balanced manner as time is running out, the quickening pace of the heartbeat will stimulate them to go faster. As they continue to go faster, and do not maintain a steady pace, they will certainly feel the crunch of time and the pressure will result in them either simply giving up or losing themselves to frustration.

If the user is simply not able to organize all of the items in due time, even with a steady rush at the end, he/she will experience disappointment as the heartbeat stops and silence ensues.

We, as students, are under the pressure of time daily. This prototype shows how individuals are able to handle this pressure, and whether they are able to ensure their success, or fall to failure.

How does the sound of a quickening heartbeat stimulate the user? How do they react to their progress? What response is suddenly evoked from this interactive experience?

OH no you DI’INT just judge me cause I could be AWESOME!!! March 6, 2010

Posted by Reginald Leung in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

Judge Judy is in court

Just wanted to NOTE that This post isn’t late…I was having trouble uploading onto the blog. I managed to get it working 1 min after 12 AM so 12:01 Am.

The Problem

In our world people are so quick to judge others that they do not know. You meet many different people when you walk down the street and you begin to make prejudgments about things like who they are, where they come from, what they are about just by how people present themselves, speak, and how attractive they are.

Some individuals may feel that profiling people in this way is advantageous and, in some instances, this may be true but I’m a firm believer that people shouldn’t judge others by their exterior (within reason).

As I grow older I begin to realize that first impressions are important and if you react negatively or positively to how someone presents themselves it’s ok—we are highly visual people and we are in some cases we are innately wired to do so because it is a defense mechanism. But I also realize that there is always more underneath the surface of the clothing people choose to put on their bodies or how attractive they may be. It has been my experience where my prejudgments are not always correct. And when this happens, I truly realize that someone’s personality is much more important than how they look.

The Object & User Scenario

Two decks of cards, in each deck there will each be 20 cards total (amount of cards may change on the actual day of presentation). One deck will have only a picture of an individual who may be famous or ordinary. The other deck will have the same pictures only on the back there will be a description on who these people are and what they stand for in terms of message they want to convey to the world.

There will be 2 spots to sort cards. The first spot will be labeled POSITIVE the second will be NEGATIVE. Then you take the first deck and you observe the picture and you sort them according to how you feel about each individual positive or negative just based on how they look. Then after all the cards are sorted in the first deck you take the next deck that has the same photos and the descriptions and you sort those. The point of this is to see if your attitudes change about the person after you read and understand what they are about and the type of person they are.

The purpose of this user scenario is to remind individuals that initial judgments of people are ok only if they remind themselves that their pre judgments are not always warranted as correct and that if they continue to be oblivious to this fact they miss out on knowing and making friends with people who are extraordinary. After all “style without substance is not worth very much” -Designer Tom Ford

I will say that the bio on the back of the second deck will be skewed because I am the person who is writing it and although everyone has flaws and good aspects about them all at the same time, I acknowledge what I put down as their bio may influence how people will sort the cards into the negative or positive spots. But I will try to be as fair as possible when representing each person.

Are the machines doing men’s job? March 5, 2010

Posted by Kyung Eun Park in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

“Men have become tools of their tools” ~Henri David Thoreau

Up until few years ago, it was hard to imagine people owning their personal digital cameras because back then, the digital cameras were bulky and expensive. It is not very long people started using digital machines as their other selves. As technology rapidly develops, the clever companies expanded their consumer targets to ordinary people and started producing digital machines that are inexpensive but still have great functions and machines that are convenient to anyone. Technology is still improving every second.

The problem

To create a prototype that reflects the relationship between the men and the digital technologies these days.

The Digital Camera

A typical digital camera is on a tripod. The LCD screen of the camera is switched to the image playback mode that displays the image that the user just took. The digital camera represents the brain.

User Scenario

A user enters the room and notices that there is a digital camera on a tripod. In front of the digital camera, there is a table that is set up with some objects that triggers the user to take a photo of it. The user switches to the image playback mode unconsciously to check out if he/she captured the image correctly. From here, the user experiences that the machine is doing what men had to do –memorizing the moment. People are dependent on technology as it improves frequently.

I found an interesting blog that talks about Appropriating the body as an input surface. It’s pretty amazing and scary at the same time that technologies are developing..


Face your fears? March 5, 2010

Posted by Ricardo Iglesias in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

The problem

To create a system where the user choices are evaluated when faced with a problem, corresponding to the how their behaviour is affected by the choices given.

The Items

The system consists of several items. Each one representing something. The first one is a balloon that represents the problem, since a balloon can inflate and deflate like a problem can grow and diminish.  The button that controls the growth of the balloon represents the solution.  The other items is  a sports fan glove with an enlarge thumb, a pair of opaque shades, and a treadmill like floor all represent that varies ways the user tries to avoid the problem at hand.  We are focusing on the combinations that the user would until they face the problem that is if they do.

User scenario

A person walks into a room, where tthere is a balloon up high attached to a pole what begins to fill with air. Beside the person is a small table with two items on it, a sports fan glove with an enlarged thumb and a pair of opaque shades. The user is standing on a treadmill like floor. The balloon begins to inflate slowly, starting off small. It will continue to inflate until it pops or it made to stop.  If it pops the sound will overwhelm the ears causing great pain. Thus the balloon represents the problem getting bigger and the pop the eventual sign of loss of control.

The solution to prevent the balloon from exploding is a button deep in a dark hole that one must put their entire length of their hand to reach it.  This means the user must place their hand in and unknown element producing fear in touch in the button. Let the balloon pop? Or face your fear?

As the balloon grows the user grabs the sport fan glove and with its thumb tries to cover the now small balloon with the large thumb it works for a while but slowly the balloon grows larger showing through the thumb. So next the user puts on the shades blocking the vision of the balloon entirely and immersed in the darkness. However the balloon continues to grow and the user cans still hear the stretch of the rubber as it expands thus the final pop can still be heard.  So the user removes the shades and begins to run but as the user does the treadmill like floor only allows him to run in one place. So the user would either do one of these actions or a combination of them and would continue until the balloon popped or face the problem and their fears and press the button.

Let’s reminisce March 5, 2010

Posted by Vanna Carmina Caralipio in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

“We do not remember day; we remember moments.”

The problem:

To create a prototype that examines how a user rushes through life that they sometimes forget what is going on right in front of them.

The object:

A toy that has an interesting technique to open and try to reach the content inside.

User Scenario:

The user would walk towards the wooden box that doesn’t open like a typical box would. The user would examine the box and figure out a way to open the box. Once the first step of opening the container, he/she will discover that there are other boxes within each box. They continue  to figure out how to open them as well. The user may experience different emotions either positive or negative to reach the sweet surprise. As the user finally reaches this surprise, it may trigger the user’s memories of their past, it may be good or bad. Ultimately the user takes a moment in time to reminisce and may approach things in life differently.

Don’t Judge March 5, 2010

Posted by Magdalena Malik in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

It Feels Good To Feel

The Problem

To create a prototype that examines how a user reacts to certain fabrics once felt and how to distinguish between the real deal and false pretenses.

The Object

A fabric storage game machine that ejects a piece of unique various fabric onto the palm of the user. The user must guess the exact type of fabric.

User Scenario

As the brave user walks towards the box, the buttons flash with a fiery red tone. They capture the user’s eye by the numerous fabric names written, such as cotton, polyester, silk, tissue etc.  The user is intrigued…thinking, “What is the point of this prototype? “ It looks like a cash register. The buttons stand out on a bubble and the slot submerges underneath. The user with anticipation clicks the “Start” button and realizes that a piece of material has been shown in the opening tray. While, picking it up, the user wonders what type of fabric it might be. Gradually wondering if the fabric feels soft, or rough, or texturized… the user presses the “silk” button. Suddenly a green screen shows up on the tip of the register reading “Try Again!” The user is in deep thought. There are many outcomes to choose from.

Whether the user has experience or not in the field of material, this evocative prototype will always leave you feeling and wondering what fabric’s name truly corresponded with its actual feel. You can never be too sure… whether it’s in this game of fabric testing or in the game of life.

Feelings are Human March 5, 2010

Posted by Jessica Toye in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

“Penny for your thoughts”

The Problem

To create a prototype that examines how a user empathizes or gets excited from an audible, faceless expression, and how that experiences is encouraging or discouraging to learn more about someone else.

The Object

A toy dispensing machine that surprises you with one of the many different audile human expressions.

User Scenario

The user walks in and sees a toy dispensing machine full of colourful plastic ball containers. They see a sign that says 1 cent. They look through their pockets and put a penny in a slot, twist the knob, and a plastic sphere container rolls out of a hatch. They open the ball and a human noise releases such as: giggling, sighs, “yay!”, crying, a scream, smooching sound, etc.

If it is a happy sound, like giggling or the user exclaiming happiness, the users mood might begin to mirror the sound the ball is making. They might want to keep the ball.

If it is a scream, the user might be taken aback, and drop the ball, feeling the same fear and stress until they are able to close the ball. Do they want to keep this ball or throw it out?

Human emotion, empathy or excitement for someone – how much does it affect someone? How can it alter one’s mood? Is this a sound they want to hold onto? What are someone else’s feelings worth?

What, is you March 5, 2010

Posted by Calvin in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Seed
Most of us go through a morning routine after we wake up everyday. After our consciousness awake from the unconscious every morning, the first or second person we see is often ourselves, in the washroom, in the mirror. Do we ever wonder what we are seeing before we proceed to start the rest of the day? Or do we ever notice?
We have grown used to the reflective feedback of the mirror and forgot how there was a time when a person could have never see a perfect reflection of oneself, or a person could not see how other people see him/her, or a person could not have a “realistic” self image in their psyche. The first time a human see part of itself was probably from the reflection in a pool of still water… we can only image how intriguing the sensation must be, finding out the reflection is in fact, “you”, but not.
From the time/story of Adam and Eve, when they ate the forsaken apple and become “self aware”, human has been obsessed with the idea of self/ego, either consciously or unconsciously. Test for “self awareness” (mirror test) might be used as an indication of intelligence in animals, robots in fictions that have achieve self awareness become more “human”, etc.
So, when we look into the mirror, what do we see? Jacques Lacan, a psychoanalyst, is known for his theory of the “mirror stage” (wiki) in the development of the human psyche of a human child. When a baby after about 2 years of receiving constant sensory inputs from this reality, becomes “self aware” for the first time with a mirror, what does that do to that new human mind? (human babies fail the mirror test until about 2 years old). Was the experience traumatic? How can this experience shape how we see ourselves and navigate in this world? It will be interesting to do psyche analysis with older blind people that have been restored of their sights and “see” themselves for the first time. (It’s reported that they react to the mirror images as if they were another person at first, which is logical).

The Physical Apparatus
Two rooms/booths slightly larger than telephone booths are connected on one side. There are no windows and the rooms are sound proofed to prevent outside stimulations. Each room has a door that connects to outside. A wall with a plain door divides the 2 rooms. Hidden cameras are placed in both rooms (it’s important that the user doesn’t know there are cameras). A hidden speaker is place on one side of the first room (the room the user enters first). A high resolution monitor, either full body sized or half, is placed opposite the door (that divides the 2 rooms) in the second room. All the camera feeds are connected to a laptop outside for on the fly editing.
The lighting of the rooms will be soft and rather dim.
There will be markings on the ground in the center of both rooms.

The Visceral and Mental Apparatus
The user enters the first room, not knowing what to expect. The instruction is to face the 1st door and turn around, standing still in the center and wait about 10 seconds before entering the 2nd room. An unexpected small chime from the hidden speaker will elicit a head turn response from the user during the wait. All these are recorded with two hidden cameras, one in front and one behind the user.
As the user enters the 2nd room, a camera behind the monitor facing the door (to the 2nd room) will play its image on the monitor, so effectively the monitor acts like a mirror (if it’s a good monitor and the lighting is correct that user might mistaken it as a mirror). Once the user is standing still in the room, looking at the monitor as most of us do when faced with a mirror, for about few seconds, the user will see their head turn in the “mirror” (footage from the 1st room, in response to the unexpected chime). Then the user will see themselves turn in the mirror/monitor (footage from the 1st room). The monitor will then show image from another camera behind the user (in the door). The user will now be looking at their back in real time.
A very brief blur will be used to help transition between different image feeds.
After about 15 seconds when the user has grown accustomed to their backside, the image turn again (footage from the 1st room) to the front and the monitor displays feed from the camera facing the user. The user then exit when they feel like.

The Fruit
The intention of this experience is to create a disconnection and discordance between our sense of self and what we so readily accept as a projection of that self. If successful the user should question how they really “see” themselves, and how important is that sense of self, and what, in fact, is “self”.
A step towards not-self.

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