Initial Design brief:
Project Title: Recreational Shared Device.
- This is an interactive kindle style device
- Consistently provides information of events and reminders for members of the household.
- Fitted for a Living room space, designed for recreation use. Interconnecting social bonds between members of the home.
- Interconnects members of the home through gamification.
- Tasks, events, organization, reminders and games rewards points to the users. Users with the lowest points are tasked with chores and maintenance of the household.
- Dual dynamic system. As well as creating bonds between members of household (student households). Provides social connection between parent and child households. Chores and tasks can be adjusted by parents.
Target audience -Originally aimed at households with young families, however can be very useful for people in any household that lacks organization -Parents who struggle with time keeping
Constraints -Some adult or student households may not be that close to one another therefore would nor have a need for a device like this -
Our Conclusion had reached to the fact that household members do not often spend social moments with each other. This is quite common among student households. The living space is traditionally the social hub of the home, where individuals of the home have the opportunity to express themselves to each other. This idea of a "recreational shared device" provides and pushes individuals of the home to commute in their living room, playing games, organizing events for each other in hopes of collection points for an overall game. The idea is based on interaction with the device, to interact with other members of the home and in turn this behavior is rewarding, aiding the social bonds between the members home.
This device is not necessarily designed for student households. The device will have admin options where the user can alter the chores and tasks for losing members, This dynamic would help parents set up chores and tasks into a enjoyable game system where there children can take part, and the idea of doing chores will overall be much more interesting to take part in.
Final Design Brief:
Our shared media surface is called EventDock, an interactive social planner to be attached to a wall and used in high-traffic rooms in shared households. The facial recognition camera will recognize each user and log them in. The touchscreen will allow users to create and RSVP to events. Users can create events by using the touchscreen to write the event details. The event will then be displayed on the screen with the user’s initials and unique colour. Other users can then RSVP to events by tapping on the event, where their initials will now be displayed under the event to show that they are attending. Current Situation: A lot of housemates struggle to bond and interact with each other thanks to the difficulty and stress of organizing events. The most common way of organizing events currently is by using instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Messenger. Whilst this is effective for some, there are others who may not have access to these applications or simply prefer not to use them. What Problem Are You Trying To Solve? House mates not bonding or doing things together due to the lack of a simple and available way of planning. By having EventDock in a living room or kitchen it means that every member of the household has access to it which means everybody can easily plan events in a household. It will be easy to use, with a design that keeps the users engaged. Who is this going to impact? This is going to impact members of a shared household. This could be students who have just moved into halls, normal people who share a house, even a family looking to bond together. It will allow these people to organize bonding events with each other.
What are your constraints?
1. Time: The development process for the EventDock will take a lot of time, this is due to the time needed to design, prototype, test and develop it.
2. Resources: We need access to certain resources such as touch screens or tablets to prototype, test and develop the EventDock.
What resolution will the final prototype be? The final prototype will be a wizard of Oz style prototype displayed on either a touchscreen or a 7 inch tablet. It will allow us to simulate creating, editing and deleting an event. It will also allow us to simulate confirming our attendance to an event as well as undoing that.
What is the schedule for the project?
1. Carry out more research (literature reviews and field observations)
2. Create mock-ups of the EventDock
3. Create a low-fidelity prototype
4. Test low-fidelity prototype
5. Refine design
6. Create final prototype
This was the first week we started to investigate the problem we were going to solve. We all went out and looked at common places that have shared media surfaces, for example communal places in the house or event hubs in the community like parks or recreational grounds. Some of the best interactive shard media surfaces we saw were in the university. In the new X block there were interactive screens outside rooms that when you tapped then they gave you information about when the room was next free, another good example was the interactive board below which is placed at the entrance to the Bristol Business school. This one provides a range of information including the bus and train times from campus, as well as the events and activities taking place over the coming Christmas period.
In this week we decided that the specific research we wanted to undertake was in household living rooms. we used own experiences on what living rooms are used for in houses and UX research techniques like general observations, and asking a variety of questions to household members we had observed. We found that there was a common problem, whether that be in shared student or adult houses as well as family homes. The problem is that not many people within a household have much knowledge of what the others are doing. This is when we started to gather thoughts about what type of interactive device could help this situation, ideas were pushing towards an interactive device that somehow brings people together and create social bonding.
General questions Asked:
1.Do you interact with your house mates on a regular basis?
2. What shared media surfaces (if any) do you and your house mates use in your household?
3. How many times a week would you say you use them?
3. Do you spend much of your free time around your house mates, do your participate in any events or activities with them?
4. Would you want to spend more time than you do with your house mates?
5. Do you think you would you use an interactive shared media surface that brings people in the house together for social events, if there was one available in your household?
These were only questions that were generally asked, however they are all very open questions which led on to general discussion and feeling towards particular aspects of living in a shared household.
During this session the group presented our findings from our field research and a few basic ideas in front of the class. For the field research we asked friends and family about their social situations in their houses or flats. Our research showed that in most households there were problems with communication. In a lot of households the only form of communication other than the rare face to face encounter would be over text or some form of instant messenger. We were told that some people don't frequently check their phone, so getting hold of them to make plans or exchange information can be quite difficult. The problem that a lot of households have is the lack of a calendar or something similar to make and display plans somewhere that can be viewed by anyone, like a kitchen or living room. Later on in the session we had a group discussion about what type of shared media surface we wanted to develop. We had a lot of different ideas but eventually decided to go with a surface that works similar to a calendar, with some recreational aspects also. This would be something that ideally would be located in a living room, somewhere that is essentially the hub of a house where everyone has easy access to.
During the group discussion we came up with a brain storm which included all the croups individual ideas. The project needed to reflect all the group members ideas and thoughts. We used post-it notes to create a brainstorm on new ideas and what we wanted the device to do. We were aware that we needed to keep simplicity at the heart of the design so we focused on things that would increase social bonding. below if the final brainstorm, we did not use all the suggested ideas, such as the gamification of the UI because we thought it would make the interactive device too complicated and could deter the user.
simpler things creating social bonds within a household Slight change of theme
This week our group received some quality and suggestions to improve our project further from other groups in the class. One reoccurring bit of feedback was to be careful not to make the project too complicated by adding too many aspects and components, we needed to focus on the aim of our project and create a simple way to fix that problem. Below we used post-it notes to put all the ideas we had down on one place. we did this before the feedback so there a few ideas we have completely cut out as we thought they would distract the audience from the main purpose of the project which is creating social bonds. Some of the things we cut out include a points based system where each user has to collect points by using the device in certain ways, we though the person with the most and least points at the end of a weekly period could have different jobs to do with the winner getting a reward. However in the end we thought this idea wouldn't work and that some users would find it frustrating as they may not have time to use the device often whereas others would.
Our original idea was to create a household organizer that let everyone know in a household what everyone else was doing, so there was more organisation. However in this week we have decided to deviate from this original idea to one we feel is more useful and fun to use. Our new idea is the same kind of physical device however would be used to create social bonds within a household. We found that this may even be a more pressing topic than an organizer in a house because if the residents of a house are closer socially then organisation may come with that.
From concluding on the idea of that we would like to create social bonds between house mates, without the method of gamification as the repercussion of this method would lead to division and competitiveness within the household. It drifts away the solution of understanding each other member of the home, and in that way, moves away from creating organisation as the interest of getting to know each other, and spend time with other members through events and scheduling is cut off from gamification. Therefore, we continued to create a paper prototype.
It was very important to retain the social and communal aspect of the prototype, and to keep it a simple organisational device, we created the task management page as a chat log. Through these chat boxes you can create time tabled events
We also continued to discuss the many things that a user would expect for the device. Such as what are the components? Characteristics? And challenges. This is a very important task undertaken as this would help us understand what to be taken next.
From the feedback given we had to address a few challenges that we were facing. This would be how we would encourage interaction? Does the device always stay on? And on the ergonomics, does it feel nice to the user?
We decided that device encourages the user to interact from the simplicity of the functions of the device. This tablet based design and the user will use a stylus to write messages within the chatlogs. The chatlogs themselves are very universal in understanding. So, for individuals who are not so technical will be able to understand the system. Another encouragement is that the design of the system. Since the main targeted users are students they would be most familiar with the social network design frame for the functionality. For the other question raised is if the device turns off. We decided that it would be on sleep when users are not interacting with the device. The reason we decided it must stay on sleep is that the device needs to be on, as the device requires facial recognition. We wanted to keep minimal interaction with the device and cut out any switch on/off, enter passcode/finger-print functions. In terms of the ergonomics we decided to better display the design as soon as we had created the device internal system to overall create a mock up look of what the product would look to the user.
We decided to use Invision which is a digital design platform to help create the interaction flow of the device. Along with this we had mocked up the look of the device to a user.
Upon using Invision, we tried to experiment using the platform to see if we can further make the device much simpler. Having a chat logs there was a problem for us understanding how to integrate date customisation, we wanted to use as less interactions with the user as possible as this would defeat the concept of a simplistic device.
We had decided that the drop-down concept requires too many interactions with too many features which could in turn confuse users, as well as unfamiliarity. This would negate the effects of encourages users to interact.
Using fingers to write down dates was a much better idea moving forward. This was the original concept as this was playful and more suitable for the context of the purpose of the device. The device would use text recognition and would convert your writings to text.
Adding Events Functionality
This function displays the connection between joining each other’s events. “JB” is one of the users and that individual has set up an event. Secondly, they decide to join the event by “SJ”, and then join their own. This displays the organisational system of how this chat log works. The symbols will move over to which ever event the user chooses. This system in relation to the first draft is much clearer and concise, and delivers the encouragement to the audience of students.
Click on the link below to view full prototype.