1: The Joint Tube Cycle

tribecagamosisAI and Robotics

Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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1:


The Joint Tube Cycle

Abstract

The Joint Tube Cycle is an interaction design project

from the IT University in Copenhagen. The Joint Tube

Cycle is a musical platform that encourages visitors at

Christiania not to throw their joint tubes in the

environment, since they receive new value. Through a

research study at Christiania, we found that joint tubes

are a huge garbage problem and that the reason is due

to the non
-
valuable nature it posses. Through the

research we discovered that visitors is
the crux of the

problem, and that they would throw out the joint tubes

if it was a fun action. Music seemed to be a good way

to reach this fun factor, as several interviewees named

it as an interesting feature as well as music being a

central part of the C
hristianian cultural life. With The

Joint Tube Cycle, you use joint tubes as tool to make

music, by touching the surface on the platform. By

touching the surface, you make a single sound. The

sound can be changed by tapping the joint tubes

against each oth
er, which causes a different sound.

With The Joint Tube Cycle you can record your music,

and get the recording with you back home. By throwing

out the joint tubes, you get an URL code for exactly

your melody, which you can listen to back home. This

paper r
eports the research on Christiania and the

design of The Joint Tube Cycle.

Keywords

Tangible, Audio, Joint tubes, Christiania, IxD,

Recycling, Garbage, Creating music, Increased value

General Terms

Tangible, Audio, Joint tube, Christiania, IxD, Recycling,

Garbage, Creating music, Increased value

Introduction

As MSc students following the course of IxD at ITU, we

were faced with the subject field of Danish cultural area

of Christiania.

We planned our design research based on a

phenomenological notion of
knowledge and thereby

conducted observations and contextual inquiries with a

2

problem solving idea at hand. Our design research was

to funnel us through the iterative process, where the

given constraints (no screen, no mouse, no T9/QWERTY

keyboard, no web
site or app, no phone/tablet
-
like

touch) worked as the constraining frame of the design

space.

Generally we saw a clear discrepancy between the

environmental discourse laid out by Christiania, and the

real
-
world situations. Yes, there were litter, and it d
id

stand out.

Through constant crit
-
sessions and back'n forth

processes, we narrowed our theme down on a repeated

pattern in our collected data: plastic joint tubes as sold

with the greenery. They were a clear irritation to the

janitors of Christiania and
to the residents. As for the

users, they had no clear relation to these pieces of

plastic, thereby rendering them without value.

Our main design principal was clear: How could we as

students of interactions design embed some kind of

value to these elements
.

Methodology and synthesis of the design

process

Our design process went through several highly

iterative constructions, which we are naming phases.

As put by Buxton (2007, p. 138) our general design

process were funnelled through phases of ideation

towards prototyping and usability. Our path through

the design funnel was mainly fuelled by ideation

methods (e.g. brainwriting (Saffer, 2010) etc.),

sketching and data analysis.

Our discovery phases were mainly constituted by the

process of gathering data

in relation to our design

space. The iterative nature of the overall project

afforded multiple discovery phases, which, through the

collected findings, helped us through the generating

phases of invention and realization. We settled on a

phenomenological
notion of knowledge, which dictated

our research method and empirical analysis.

The synthesis of our design processes therefore highly

relied on data condensation and extrapolation of

meaning. By this we argue that, the large amount of

data collected
through our processes slowly but surely

were converted to information and transformed into

specific and usable knowledge. This condensation and

transformation were done according to data clustering.

This resulted in stages of discovering patterns in our

da
ta.

These patterns were put to the test in our invention

phases, were we mainly used sketching as a method of

generating ideas, which relied on the discovered

patterns. As argued by Goldschmidt and Buxton the

process of sketching doesn’t merely produce a s
ketch.

”Sketches are a byproduct of sketching. They are a part

of what both enables and results from the sketching

process. But there is more to the activity of sketching





2:


Explore Mooore



Designing a navigating wristband

Abstract

In this paper we
describe how foreign tourists can be

guided through Christiania with the help of a vibrating

wristband. The design is made on a basis of qualitative

empirical research and developed through sketching,

prototyping and user testing. In our study we find that

the wristband could be used as a good way to guide

tourists around Christiania. We finish by lining up

different fields that could be interesting to continue

working with in further studies.

Keywords

Interaction Design, Lilypad, navigation, Christiania,

v
ibration motor, user
-
testing

General Terms

User driven design, iterations, design process

Introduction

The Freetown Christiania is a 40 years old community

in the centre of Copenhagen. It was originally an old

military area, but was occupied by inhabitants

of

Copenhagen in 1971. It has since become a popular

tourist attraction, a place of alternative thinking,

diversity, art and music. With 500.000 tourists visiting

every year, Christiania is among the top 5 tourist

attractions in Denmark [5]. Christiania’s

popularity,

2

among tourists, comes from its alternative organization

and values, which differs to what you see in other

European cities. That is why many tourists come to

Christiania, to experience something different.

Design focus and problem space

The
reasoning that led to our focus was based on

tendencies we retrieved from our data. In our empirical

data we found that many tourists come to Christiania

open
-
minded and with positive expectations, but these

expectations are only vaguely defined. The
tourists

have heard of and want to experience Christiania as a

free and creative community, with a different structure,

founded on freedom and creativity. Through our

empirical data we saw that tourists wanted to

experience Christiania, but did not know ho
w. This

resulted in most of them only going down Green Light

District, maybe down to the lake, but definitely no

further than that. We found that one of the reasons for

this is that they feel like they are on unknown territory

where they are not sure what
rules are present and

how to navigate and they do not want to disturb or

intrude the residents.

Talking to tourists, we experienced that they had a

hard time explaining what they had seen and what they

thought of the place. This led us to question whether

the interaction between tourists and Christiania is really

well functioning.

We believe that a visit to Christiania that only includes

looking at Green Light District lets the tourists down.

We heard in several interviews that the tourists wants

to experie
nce the feeling of freedom, but we argue that

this is not done by only taking a stroll down Green Light

District.

These two dilemmas became our design foundation:

!
Tourists who come to Christiania with a wish to

explore the community, but fail in doing
so, due to

a lack of understanding of how to navigate at

Christiania.

!
Make tourists’ experience of Christiania more

tangible and easier to take with them as a memory,

they can share.

In the following paper we will take you through our

design process but
first we will explain our suggestion

for a design solution to solve the problem raised above.

The methods and our data

The first time we went to Christiania to collect data, our

focus was on observing where and what would make a

good design area. It was a
rather unstructured and

casual fieldwork session, where most of all we focused

on getting into the right state of mind.

We talked to a resident who told us that many visitors

do not understand that Christiania is governed by rules

as well as freedom. He ex
plained that not

understanding the basic principle of Christiania, the rule

of freedom with responsibility
1
, makes the tourists an

annoyance to the residents. He emphasized that

showing the tourists the diversity of Christiania, for

example by going on a g
uided tour, helped to eliminate

this annoyance.

1
Having the freedom to do as you please, but still taking

responsibility for your own actions. http://democracyhandbook.

org/wiki/index.php?title=Freedom_with_Responsibili

ty


1

Interaction Design Report


Fællesskabet

Lin Schmidt

IT University, Copenhagen

Rued Langgaards Vej 7

2300 Copenhagen S

+45 30202262

limm@itu.dk

Sanne Rahbæk

IT University, Copenhagen

Rued Langgaards Vej 7

2300 Copenhagen S

+45 28900096

srah@itu.dk

Cecilie Bøggild

IT University,
Copenhagen

Rued Langgaards Vej 7

2300 Copenhagen S

+45 61711292

ckru@itu.dk

ABSTRACT

This report is a description and reflection over our

interaction design project about the Free Town

Christiania. Through interviews and the use of probes

we conducted data

about life at Christiania. Founded

on our findings the analysis presents four themes of

which two, play and fellowship, has become the

underlying values for our final concept “Fællesskabet”

meaning “The Social Closet”. The purpose of the closet

was, in a
playful manner, to bring people from outside

Christiania into the fellowship feeling that

characterizes the Free Town. This way everyone could

contribute to the Christianian community by interacting

with the closet.

Keywords

Interaction design, design proc
ess, design reflection,

tangible design,

INTRODUCTION

As novices at interaction design we had a great

challenge ahead of us at the beginning of the project.

None of us have been involved in design oriented

work, and therefore the weekly slide at the lectur
es,

that summarized the process and described our current

status, was a great help. The strict division of the

different phases helped us to focus at one thing at a

time instead of concerning ourselves with the final

concept from the beginning. As you will

find in the

report we have experienced ups and downs in the

design process. Both bitter and sweet has contributed to

our understanding of what interaction design is and the

importance of the phases in a design process.

Throughout the report we will reflec
t on the process,

what we learned and what we could do better.

PRESENTATION OF THE CONCEPT

How It Works

“Fællesskabet” or “The Social Closet” is our attempt to

make the ubiquitous feeling of fellowship that

characterizes Christiania tangible to everyone.
The

concept is a physical, oversized closet placed at

Christiania, in which people can enter and share

whatever is on their minds. Inside the closet is a phone

with a “mood measurer” attached to it. There is also a

writing saying “what you say is what you
are”. The

person inside the closet first indicates his or her mood

and then picks up the phone. A voice will ask: “what is

on your mind” and depending on what mood is

indicated this initial question will vary. The message

that the person shares with the cl
oset will be recorded.

After having hung up, the phone rings and depending

on the indicated mood the person in the closet will

receive an answer from another person who visited the

closet earlier. This way people get to share thoughts

and feelings and in r
eturn receive what another person

has found important to share. Every hour the closet

announces what has been said to the audience around

it. The more people that are gathered around it the

louder it will speak.

The Idea Behind

Our idea builds upon some of

the values we discovered

during the research phase, and the closet thus

represents fellowship, sharing, and play


in the sense

of playing along with something unknown. The

concept aims to strengthen the feeling of fellowship at

Christiania and to bring
people from outside into

Christiania to experience these values and to contribute

to the open fellowship by sharing their thoughts with

the closet. This way anyone can be a part of the

community
-
feeling at Christiania, which may show that

Christiania is mo
re than just Pusher Street and

eliminate some of the prejudices.

2

DATA COLLECTION

Get your hands dirty!

When we were first presented to Christiania as the

research field we had limited knowledge about the

place, and many of our thoughts were influenced by

prejudices from the media. We were aware of the fact

that our prejudices could result in overlooking potential

issues or problems that perhaps contained value to us

as interaction designers. Thus it was important in the

initial phase of data collection to

lay aside these

prejudices and approach the project with openness.

Though being open was difficult and we all had to

overcome our inhibitions and shyness, the results of

addressing random people soon paid off.

Initial target group

After a chat with a
local lady who told us about the

youth club of Christiania, our attention was drawn to

young people aged 12
-
18 as a target group. We found

this group particular interesting because young people

perhaps would be more open to new technologies and

initiatives

concerning Christiania, compared to the

older generations who might be restrained by their

ideology and fundamental values from the time of

Christiania’s foundation. Because of the early choice of

target group we could focus our questions more than if

we
had created the questions for a more general

audience. Retrospectively choosing the target group

before having explored the field more in detail may

have limited us from potential insights and problems,

because we only interviewed the young generations.

Me
thods

The next step in our process was to interview young

people to get an insight into their everyday lives at

Christiania. There, however, did not seem to be any

young people at the club. One of the staffs told us that

it quite frequently happened that s
omeone came to the

club to ask the young people questions, and that they

therefore might not be interested in talking to us. In

order to engage the young people in our research we

were forced to be creative in our data collection, and

consequently we decid
ed to make probes.

Probes

To get an understanding of the local culture and to

discover unexpected knowledge about life at

Christiania (Gaver et al.: 1999) we developed two

probes: “The Question Frog” (Figure 1) and “The

Question Egg” (Figure 2). During an
interview with a

17
-
years old girl and a focus group interview with four

young girls aged 10
-
11, we used the probes


both

times with great success. As described by Hutchinson

et al. (2003) the probes helped us turn the

conversations with the interviewees
in unknown

directions and in return get useful data that we would

not have

found

otherwise.

Figure 1. QuestionFrog

Figure 2. Question Eggs

Despite the success of our probes we found that they

could not be used in every situation. The context had to

be take
n into account. This became evident to us when

we first tried to test the probes at Christiania. We went

to the skater ramp at Wonderland looking for young

people to interview through use of probes. After a talk

with some tough skater guys we realized that

it would

be too awkward to pull out the probes because the

context did not encourage this kind of dialog. Though

we had an informative talk with the guys, we clearly

sensed that they were not suitable for the ‘childish’

probes. On the other hand we receiv
ed credit when we

tried out the probes on the young girls at an after

school club called “The Raisin”. The girls were excited

to try the different probes and kept saying “it’s my

turn!” and “I wanna try that one!”. Another limit to the

probes was that they

had to be assisted and explained

before they were useful. We left some probes and

3

instructions of how to use them at the youth club in

hope of that when the young people showed up they

would find them interesting to play with and fill them

in. But when
we returned a few days later they had not

been touched.

From this we have learned that the kind of probes we

created only worked when we assisted people to use

them. But when assisted and used in the right context,

they were a great tool to make the data c
ollection phase

open and filled with surprises to discover unexpected

data.

DATA ANALYSIS

After we collected the necessary data we used Saffer

(2010, chap. 5) and some of the methods we practiced

in class to make sense of it all. First we wrote all the

fra
gmented quotes, feelings and details that we noticed

down on post
-
its and put them on the wall. By making

the data physical we were able to combine the different

pieces in themes and clusters that were somehow

related. From the organization of data four
overall

themes emerged; play, fellowship, safety and music.

Though the four themes could be seen separately, many

elements overlapped several of the themes. Statements

like “
We do not say no to anyone, we help people or let

them be”
and
“Everyone says hi t
o everyone”

combines fellowship and safety, and “
You have to be a

bit crazy to live at Christiania
” at the same time

indicates a playful nature and a shared spirit among the

Christianian inhabitants.

From the themes we tried to derive potential problems

that could have significance to Christiania and we

came up with a number of problems like “
Pusher Street

should be cleared
”, “
The lake is polluted
” and “
There

is too much dog poo
”. All considerable problems that

should be solved by the local authority or t
he

government, but as interaction designers we felt

inadequate. Therefore we decided to view our findings

in a different perspective and look at them as

opportunities instead of problems. This matter will be

discussed later in the report.

As Saffer suggest
s (2010, 95) it would have improved

the analysis phase to have a permanent space to

conduct the entire analysis. In our case we worked on

the analysis in steps cut off by lectures or that we had

to move working location. This way our post
-
its and

white
board notes had to be taken down or erased a

number of times, and every time we had to start over

again to find the red thread. Furthermore we took a lot

of pictures of drawings and theme connections to

remember them when we had to leave the group room,

bu
t when the findings and data got stuck in passive

pictures we tended to lose the overview.

Designing Without a Problem

During our process we have experienced that it is not

an easy task to create a design that supports positive

patterns. Our approach has
been not to focus on a

problem but to increase positive behavior. The

feedback we got from our presentation proved to us,

that our peers had a hard time understanding the

purpose of our design. What kind of problem were we

solving? In some people’s eyes th
e closet seemed

superficial while others found the idea unique. A few

people seemed to feel that our process and reflections

were much better than our design solution.

What we have come to realize now is that we actually

were relating to an issue or a prob
lem. We had,

however, not made this clear to ourselves. In some way

it had become background knowledge. But naturally

people were not able to read this from our faces. Our

intentions with the closet have been to create awareness

about Christiania’s spirit;

the warmth, courtesy,

creativity and craziness we experienced during our

collecting of data. The good things were already there,

just waiting to be shed light on, to show that

Christiania can be associated with other things than

Pusher Street,
criminality, drugs and unstable lives.

Some friends of the children we talked to at Christiania

were not allowed to go there without grownups

watching them. Statements like “
everyone says hi to

everyone
” and “
we do not say no to anyone, we help

them or let

them be
” gave us the idea that the

fellowship could be transformed into something

physical. With a bottom
-
up approach where people

who interacted with the closet gave meaning to it, our

idea was to show people from both outside and inside

Christiania the
values of fellowship. Our own

understanding of Christiania changed as we came to

know the field better. Our idea with the design was

therefore to give others an insight into what the Free

Town also offers.

Our design deals with the problem of people from

o
utside who only see the negative aspects of

Christiania. The closet is designed to shed light on the

positive values that also exist; fellowship and

acceptance of different, offbeat characters. Apart from

the tough environment there is warmth and caring

pe
ople. For that reason we designed the closet with two

goals in mind: People should want to use the closet so

it had to appear intriguing and also people should want

to listen. Our testing of the prototype proved that

people did have an interest in what
others had shared.

However it should be stressed that if we initially had

4

realized that our opportunity also was a problem it

would have eased our working process.

Figure 3. The Social Closet

IDEA GENERATION

Get Creative Now!

Through the phase of idea ge
neration we learned the

important lesson that good ideas do not fall from the

sky. In our attempt to get the ideas coming we tried out

different brainstorming techniques like using post
-
its,

making provocations, sketching and writing scenarios.

(Saffer:
2010, chap. 6) The problem, however, seemed

to be that we were too focused on coming up with

something realistic and ideal. For that reason we never

really got into a flow. Two days earlier we had come

up with the concept of the closet. This was in a

situa
tion, where we were ahead of time and relaxed. By

playing with a few objects and imagining that their

functionalities were something completely different we

found ourselves in a space of creativity and play. At

that time we did not have to come up with
anything.

No deadline was pushing us. Our minds were free to

wonder and there were no limitations or restriction.

The acknowledgement we have now is that we could

have benefitted from some kind of warm
-
up before

starting. This is in order to better let go
of shyness and

self
-
consciousness.

“Have all the people in the room talk about their best

(or worst) experience at a museum (…) the point of the

warm
-
up is to get brains, hands and mouths engaged

before starting to generate ideas
” (Saffer: 2010, 118).

We r
ecognize that during the idea generation we paid

much attention to how to be creative in the right way.

At this stage we recognize that there is no right way of

generating ideas. Getting the body into play means a

lot. We have found that creativity is not
only realised in

the head and brain. The role of the body must not be

underestimated. Creativity can be danced, singed,

played et cetera. "
Any thinking has the whole body

participating
."
1
It hereby means that the body is a

powerful tool for transforming
our mental state. To

move on in the idea generation process we decided to

change environment and go to Christiania. This helped

1

http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index
-
healthfitness/

weiss.shtml

a lot and we were forced to once again observe our

problem space. As Saffer writes “
An idea will come to

you when you are not in a brainstorming session


(2010, 126). This was what happened. Already on our

bike ride we felt a mental relief. Two hours later we

had four concept ideas. They were far from cut
-
anddried

design solutions, but none the less we had moved

out of our stalemate and discovered the drive we had

lost for a while. It should however be stressed that none

of our work has been a waist. Changing environment

was just the key to get the process
moving.

To optimize the idea generation process we could have

used the brainstorming techniques in an environment

where we did not have our computers, bags and

overcoat. An insight we have gained is that a way to

cope with tension in the room and self
-
cons
ciousness is

by drawing attention to movement, general talk etc.

Any sportsman will need a warm up to perform his

maximum. The game is no different in the context of

idea generation. Practice makes perfect.

We do not claim to have found a solution to how
idea

generation will necessarily work. But in future cases

we will pay attention to the involvement of the body

and the affordances of the physical environment.

IMPORTANCE OF FEEDBACK

The feedback we have had from teachers, peer students

and people at
Christiania has been crucial for the

direction of the project. Through the whole project we

have strived for exceeding our own opinions and

perceptions and therefore have made a point of taking

the feedback into account. We will now with examples

outline h
ow it has benefitted and had an impact on the

process.

After advice from one of our teachers and TA's we

decided to change our focus by searching for

opportunities rather than problems which led the

project in a quite different direction. This had a great

impact on the creative process that had been stuck in

desperate search of a problem.

The choice of the final concept was also influenced by

feedback. After having presented four concept
-
ideas

the majority of the audience chose Fællesskabet as

their favorit
e concept. They explained their choice with

statements like “
Has potential for behavior and

connecting togetherness
” and “
Encaptures a lot of

what Christiania is and your focal points
”. When

presenting the four concepts we did not have a favorite.

This made it easy for us to actually
listen
to the

feedback and not just hold on to our own positions.

While reading and hearing the responses it became

clear to us that the concept possessed qualities that the

others did not. We especially found that the
closet's

properties of randomness and sharing something

personal were in the spirit of Christiania. From the

feedback we also had some suggestions to how we

5

could work on improving the concept. Questions like


How can Fællesskabet include more people?
” a
nd


How would you avoid “nastiness”?
” made us rethink

and develop the concept.

On basis of the feedback we began the work of the

prototype. We especially had focus on how we could

prevent abuse of the closet. Because of a speaker

announcing what people
have said in the closet we

wanted to motivate a decent discourse. We did not

want to use censorship nor lead the thoughts of the

entering people on to something specific. Neither did

we want to make a list of rules to be hung up in the

closet


because 'ru
les are to be broken'. We decided to

hang up a little sign saying “What you say is what you

are” to make people think twice before saying

something bad about others. This childlike saying was

meant to 'remind' people
not
to act like kids and at the

same ti
me we thought it underpinned the childlike

feature of the closet.

We then went to Christiania to test the prototype. This

was very useful because we thought we had designed

the prototype very simple so it was easy to figure out

how to use it. However we
found that people had

problems finding out what to do without us explaining

them and therefore we realized that we needed to

redesign the interior to make it even more simple. But

more importantly testing the prototype revealed that

people really liked the

concept and wanted

Fællesskabet at Christiania. One of the consulted even

suggested that we should set up more than just one

closet. This feedback meant a lot because we had been

worried about how people would react on our concept

when it did not solve a
problem like design solutions

usually do.

All things considered it was a good and instructive

experience that gave us a lot of feedback to our concept

even though we only had a low
-
fidelity prototype to

show.

When we tested the concept we focused on the fi
rst

part of the interaction where the user makes a recording

and gets a reply in return. We did not test the 'last' part

where the closet tells what has been said


we only

explained it. Because of that the responses we got

mostly concerned the first part.

This was a mistake

because the feedback from the following presentation

of the concept showed that our peer students were

concerned that the 'speaking
-
out
-
loud' part could be

seen as a source of irritation for the people at

Christiania. In general the
feedback we had from the

presentation was very critical. People had problems

understanding our concept. This was of course very

important feedback because it showed that our video

was not capable of communicating our concept

properly. But at the same time
it was not the feedback

we hoped for. By that we do not mean that we only

hoped for positive feedback but rather that we expected

that people had understood the concept and judged it

on this basis
-

whether their responses would be

positive or critical. Ou
r lack of ability to communicate

the concept hindered us in getting relevant and

constructive feedback about the actual concept. Instead

we learned how important it is to be able to

communicate ideas properly if you want relevant

feedback.

One of the other

instructive things we learned from this

project was the importance of testing. We have realized

that what we sometimes perceived as obvious was not

at all for an outside party. Like Saffer says: ”...you

seldom get it right the first time” (2010, 184) whic
h

makes it necessary to do testing


and often several

times during the process. Even though we had read

about the importance of this before doing the test it was

an eye
-
opener to experience people misunderstand the

'simple' design of the closet.

UNDERSTANDING OF INTERACTION DESIGN

Some of the important feedback we got from the major

crit session concerned our understanding of

'interaction'. This has inspired us to write a separate

section about the development of our understanding of

the term
because we find this acknowledgement very

important now we are actually studying 'interaction

design'.

The feedback we got was that our understanding was

marked by a 'push
-
a
-
botton' understanding. To exceed

this understanding our teacher and TA proposed us

to

let the tone of voice determine what kind of reply the

user would get. This challenged and developed our

previous understanding of the term. Not that it was

totally new to us, but we suddenly related to it in a

different way. We then considered how to
integrate

interactivity at a more unconscious level as opposed to

the 'push
-
a
-
button' interaction where the user from the

start is conscious about that a certain action will cause

a reaction. We also thought about how to integrate

interaction into the tota
l use of the closet and make the

closet sensitive to more of the user’s actions. In other

words we tried to integrate the interaction with the

closet more fluently.

Despite a wider understanding that provided us with a

greater insight we still had difficul
ties with integrating

this acknowledgement in our concept.

We had tried to react on the feedback from our teacher

and TA about for instance letting the mood influence

the interaction with the closet. Therefore as mentioned

we designed the mood measurer
with which you could

indicate your mood and this would have an impact on

the reply you would get. At the time we thought the

mood measurer was a good idea but in retrospective we

have realized that it is still build on a kind of 'push
-
abutton'

understandin
g. This influenced that we were not

totally satisfied with the design when we presented it in

the end of the course. We did not feel the concept fully

6

possessed our new and more varied understanding of

interaction.

Because of our problems with using this

new

understanding and implementing it in our concept our

attention was drawn to theory about how to design for

interaction. Jonas Löwgren (2002) defines and explains

some use qualities that you can take into account when

designing. The use qualities shoul
d be used in

preparation to create 'conditions for good use'.

According to Löwgren
”Interaction design is about

creating conditions for good use of digital designs”

(2002, 1). He problematizes that there is no clear

definition of 'conditions of good use' w
hy he sees the

use qualities as possible guidelines in the designing

process.

Löwgren mentions 18 different use qualities.
To clarify

which of these that are most rewarding for us to focus

on we are now going to explain our approach to

interaction design
in this project. For this purpose we

will also draw on Saffer (2010) who presents three

major school’s view on interaction design:
the

Technology
-
Centered, the Behaviorist and the Social

Interaction Design View.
(2010, 5)

The way we have related to interac
tion design in this

project is best described by the social interaction

design view
.
In accordance with this view we have

focused on how we could facilitate communication

between people at Christiania. We have not focused

much on the technologies used. The
se are only seen as

means to
facillitate
the communication.

Our approach can also partly be described by the

behaviorist view because we have focused on
”...how

products behave and provide feedback based on what

people engaged with them are doing.”
(Saffer:

2010, 5).

We have worked on how people's different actions

could interact with the closet


or in other words how

people's actions can create different feedback.

With this in mind we will return to the use qualities of

Löwgren. We are now going to outline

which qualities

the closet already possesses and which we could work

on to integrate or enhance in the future.


Surprise



The closet contains the quality of surprise

because:



you do not know what is going to

happen when you enter the closet for

the
first time.



Even though you have tried the

closet before and know the concept

you will never know what reply you

get in return.


Anticipation



In extension to the quality above the

closet creates expectations. You enter the

closet with an expectation o
f something is

going to happen, but you do not know

what. Löwgren refers to Makasi Fujihata

who defines interactivity as
”...a

stimulation of the power of imagination.


(2002, 4) People try to predict what will

happen a few milliseconds ahead. This he

says

create a bridge between the past and

the future. We think this aspect is

contained in the concept because:



You do not know what will happen

in the future and therefore try to

predict it.



The concept links the present with

past and the future. What you

say

will provoke a reply from the past


and be played out loud in the future.


Social actability



”The extent to which a digital design

empowers you to act is called (social)

actability”.
(Löwgren: 2002, 9). We

consider it an action of speech when

people share something with the closet.

Therefore we believe the closet posses the

quality of social actability.


Playability



'Play' was one of the themes the concept

arose from why we also consider the

concept to possess the quality

'playability'. Howe
ver we think we might

work on how to integrate this quality even

more in concept and make it more

evident.

Saffer says that:
”Interaction design is by its nature

contextual...”
(2010, 4). By outlining the specific use

qualities we should focus on, accordin
g to the specific

context of the concept, we hope to ease the process of

developing the concept and design.

IF WE HAD MORE TIME...

Since we tested our concept at Christiania a lot of new

interactive elements were added, as mentioned, and the

visual design
of the closet changed. It was on the basis

of our observations at Christiania that we came to

realize that it was perhaps a good idea to match people

in the telephone with someone in more or less the same

mood. The aspect of randomness is something we stil
l

7

feel should not be neglected with thought to what kind

of place Christiania is. In the field, however, we

experienced that it made sense to match messages that

had some of the same qualities. With the knowledge

we have today we would have designed the
mood

measurer somewhat different. Our wish was never to

encourage people to be mad with a category of this

name. With further thoughts to this the category “mad“

could instead have been “thoughtful” or “critical”. Our

belief was that the closet could be a
spokesman for

general thoughts and feelings.

If we had had more time it would have been obvious

and useful to test our new prototype. This could still be

a low
-
fidelity prototype that would have given us an

insight into what aspects of the closet that work
ed and

which could be improved. “
Testing is also the time

when any wrong conclusions reached during design

research can be corrected
” (Saffer, 2010: 183).

Especially we are curious to know what people’s

feelings are about listening to what the closet says
-

meaning when it shares recorded messages a loud.

A man that lived at Christiania, who we explained the

concept to was very positive towards the concept and

encouraged us to have a mirror under the statement


what you say is what you are
”. More thought on

the

concept from our target group at Christiania would

with certainty have brought a lot of crucial insights to

the final concept.

From another angle we would have liked to go into

depth with where the closet should be placed. Our test

at Christiania
exactly showed that the messages people

gave varied from where they were located. Around the

lake people came off as more thoughtful and

philosophical. They were not in a rush to go anywhere.

At Christiania’s entry area on the other hand people

were in a d
ifferent state of mind. They were on their

way to something or someone.

More time could also have been beneficial in our idea

generating phase. We have realized that during the

process we have constantly been able to look back and

see that something could
have been done differently

and better. None the less we feel that this is a part of

the learning process. Rome was not built in a day and

neither was the closet. If our time limit was different

we would have liked to pay more attention to scenarios

and mak
ing a more in depth storyboard for our video.

This would have given us a more concrete feeling of

the concept. At the same time we might have

forestalled some of the misinterpretations our peers got

from the video. For example we illustrated in the video

t
hat an angry lady received a positive response from

another, while the idea never was that someone would

scold in the closet. This was unfortunately what we

came to show, because we were too focused on

particular effects that we wanted to show in the video
.

In that sense we acted disloyal to the concept. More

time to go in depth with a storyboard might have

prevented this inadvertent mistake.

CONCLUSION

Throughout the design process our reflections have

been improved by the fact that we were forced to take

one step of the design process at a time. By 'forced' we

refer to the instructions given by the teachers each

week, to work with a specific task of the process. But

we were also 'forced' to follow this planned process

because the time limits were so tight
that we were not

able to work ahead. This is our first interaction design

project and the steps in the process have been unknown

and new to us. Normally you cannot restrict your mind

to only think of something you have been told
-

but our

lack of experienc
e made it easy to only pay attention to

that particular place in the design process we were at.

This working procedure has been instructive and

challenging because the expectations at the different

stages forced us to overcome potential inhibitions and

res
traints. We also learned a lot from each stage in the

process. We are now going to outline the most

important learnings.

Stay Open Minded

It is difficult to design for an unknown problem or

target group. Therefore it can be beneficial to focus on

a target
group, as we did when we chose young people.

This way the research can dig deeper with the

possibility of finding something hidden and interesting.

But unless there is a certain rationale for the choice of

focus we find it important to stay open for
findings that

might point in other directions than the starting point.

Always Ask

It is important to challenge your pre
-
understanding.

You might have an idea about what people think and

feel but our experiences show that you cannot predict

people’s reactio
ns. Several times we were surprised by

the insights we got through our research. In

continuation of this we also learned the importance of

doing user
-
tests. What was obvious to us was not

necessarily obvious to an outside party. Feedback in

general is nece
ssary to refine a concept and it is crucial

that you communicate your concept properly to get

useful and constructive feedback.

Learning Through Experimenting

This project has made us realise that there is no

particular way to reach the finishing line and
there is

not a
right
way to research, brainstorm, sketch or

analyse. Our experimental approach through the use of

probes proved successful in two ways: by being fun for

the respondents and to give rise to unexpected insights.

8

We also learned the importan
ce of assessing each

research situation with a situational sensitivity. It is not

always the right solution to stick to the plan. Our

experience with research at Wonderland skate ramp

showed a big difference between planning what to do

and actually doing
it. In the situation we deemed it

inappropriate to use the probes as planned and instead

changed our research to be an observation of the field.

During the stage of idea generation we also tried a

wide range of methods to be inspired to create original

ide
as. We played with toys as an experimental and

creative method to generate new ideas. Through this

method we formed the idea used in the final concept.

Essentially we have realized the importance of keeping

an open mind and mustering the courage to walk th
e

path of uncertainty.

The Complexity of Interaction Design

As we moved forward in the process our understanding

of interaction design changed and developed. We

realized there is more to interaction design than just to

'push a button'. To fulfil the potent
ial of interaction

design we needed to observe the user's interaction with

the product as a whole and to take into account both the

conscious and unconscious interaction.

With this in mind we feel our concept could be

improved with some final adjustments a
nd we

especially feel that this deeper understanding could

have been useful in the process of generating ideas.

LITERATURE

--

Gaver, B., Dunne, T., Pacenti, E.

(1999)
Design: Cultural Probes
.

In
interactions
6:1, p. 21
-
29.

--

Hutchinson, H. et al. (2003)
Technology

probes: inspiring design for and with families
.

In
Proc. of CHI’03
, p. 17
-
24.

--

Löwgren, J. (2002)
The use qualities of

digital designs

--

Saffer, D. (2010)
Designing for interaction