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Sometimes silence is the best… March 6, 2010

Posted by Meena Alcozai in : Check it out , add a comment

The Problem:
To create a prototype that makes clear the vociferous sounds of media all around us.

Object:
A life size box. The interior is painted to look as if the user has stepped into outer space, with Christmas lights and glow-in-the-dark sticks. Inside the box is a stand with three labeled buttons.

User Experience:

The user steps inside the box. He/she looks in front of them at the three buttons (labeled 1, 2, 3). Interested, the user presses the first button; immediately loud noises come blaring out around them. The jumble of noise includes media slogans from McDonalds, Subway, Winners, etc… The user, taken off guard by the noise, presses the second button. All of a sudden, the noise stream dies down and is replaced by the same slogans from before, but one at a time. The user eventually gets tired of all these slogans and presses the third button, curious of what will come next. As soon as the third button is pressed, all sound stops. The user is left in silence. Oddly enough, the user likes the calming silence because sure enough, he/she doesn’t experience a silence like this quite often. There is always one form of media around us, no matter where we go. Sometimes it comes in bundles, almost deafening us, and in other times we experience it one after another. The user knows this as he/she leaves the box.

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..

http://www.chrisharrison.net/projects/skinput/

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.

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.

User Scenario: Mystery Silver Box March 4, 2010

Posted by Xiao Ying Ye in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

User Scenario
You enter a room; you see a chair in front of a table and a box on top of the table. When you walk closer to the table, you feel that you have to pull out the chair and sit on it because you are the only one there, and you feel as if you know what to do with the chair. When you sit on the chair, the silver color box on the table comes to your attention. The height of the box is from your chest to your shoulders, and the width is from your one shoulder to the other. While looking at the box, you see two holes in the middle of it, and it looks as if you can fit your hand in them. When you try to see what’s exactly in the box through the two holes, you see nothing but darkness. Then suddenly, you see a sign telling you to put your hands in the holes and reach to the end of the other side.

You put your hands in out of curiosity, and as your hands are going in, you, the user will feel uncomfortable, unsure, and unsafe. While this is happening, you start losing your sight because you cannot see where you hands are going touch. A lot of thoughts are running in your head right now; What if something bites me? What if something is in there? The only thing available for you to figure out the situation you’re in is by using you sense of touch, sense of smell, sense of feel, and sense of hearing. That is a metaphor of blindness, without the sight, you require the other sense to help you locate your position and ensure you are not in danger.

Finally, you reach end of the box and nothing special happens, and the things you expected to happen were just your imagination. You feel saved, so you move your hands around in the box, and you feel relieved, protected, and secure.
After performing this activity, the user will think this is nothing special and just walk away. Actually, just after a few seconds of performing this exercise, the users will have already experienced the situation of blindness when there is no vision.

Inside the doghouse… March 4, 2010

Posted by Christina Mary Dery in : Check it out, Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises , add a comment

Problem:

– To create a prototype of an interactive art  piece that creates a reflective ad visceral response.

– By looking at our past we educate and remind people to treat other as we would like to be treated and to end discriminatory  actions and comments.

– Deals with the saying ’treating people like dogs’

Object:

A doghouse construction that seems to be occupied by a family dog. On the inside images of slavery and historical moments when humans were treated horribly.

User scenario

The user will walk up to the object and see a typical doghouse that someone would have for their family dog. The doghouse will entice people to think of what the objects meaning is in its context (a classroom or gallery). The user will inspect the doghouse and find that there is an interior element. these images will create a response that may evoke various different emotions such as sadness, anger, embarrassment, etc. After processing the images and the context in which they are in, the user comes to a conclusion about the experience. The end result is highly dependant on the user as a person and experiences they have had. The preferred conclusion is that the user thinks about the past and how people were treated like dogs and sometimes still are today. The user will walk away with new ways of looking at our past and life today.

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