Alice Gunn 2014
0 Self-representation online is a world of curated information and statistics. Provided with the availability and temptation to tailor what we reveal as personal data, the result is the creation of online alter egos. But how does this effect those looking for love in the digital age? Finding ‘the one’ rests on the compatibility of the human mind and body. However, in contrast, today we look to calculate matches mathematically by calling on selfreported criteria.
In response, this project reframes the role of technology within the activity of dating, looking to enhance the power of human data rather than removing it from the love-match equation. RAW DATER is a first date service that brings back face-to-face matchmaking, augmented with technology. Using thermal imaging and heartbeat sensors and a ‘cut to the chase’ attitude, real human data is laid out on the dining table, as users search for love.
PHASE ONE - DISCOVER INTRODUCTION TO THE BRIEF // ALTER EGOS // WHICH ALTER EGO? // WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE // USER GROUP IDENTIFICATION // THE EVOLUTION OF PAIRING // THE WORLD OF DATING SITES // ONLINE DATING STATS // INTERVIEWS // PROFILE PICTURE PRESSURE // EXTREMES OF ONLINE DATING // THE MAIN ISSUE
P.01 DISCOVER // ALTER EGOS INTRODUCTION TO THE BRIEF This project encourages the exploration of technology and the human body in our digital landscape, saturated with data. Looking beyond ‘the internet of things’, the brief asks you to consider the boundaries between the human body and digital technology and how, within the next five to ten years, these may evolve. What are the future requirements of specific user groups and what new behaviours will develop? With the answer to these questions, an experience shaped by products, services and/or interactions should be designed. In response to the Digital Epidermis brief, I began by identifying five main types of alter ego. I then analysed the motivations behind the creation of these secondary identities.
For creative purposes, David Bowie created three main alter-egos. These alternate characters allow him to access different elements of his self which he ultimately expresses through performance. His mime performance titled ‘The Mask’ revealed the consuming and addictive effect that Ziggy Stardust had on the musician.
From an early age, Grayson Perry dressed in women’s clothes, and as a teen, realized that he was a transvestite. To escape from a difficult family situation and his stepfather’s violence, he would often retreat to his bedroom or his father’s shed where he became absorbed in a fantasy life, and this is where Claire was born. Claire holds huge influence on his Turner Prize winning artwork.
“I fell for Ziggy too. It was quite easy to become obsessed night and day with the character. I became Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie went totally out the window. Everybody was convincing me that I was a Messiah, especially on that first American tour. I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy.” - DAVID BOWIE
P.02 DISCOVER // ALTER EGOS
DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER
Jekyll & Hyde
D.I.D is an extremely rare mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities. Someone with dissociative identity disorder can have any number of personalities within their body, and have no say as to which is in control.
Social media platforms allow us to portray ourselves as we wish the world to perceive us. As much or as little information can be provided. This ability to curate self-representation makes social media a tool that creates an alter ego for each of us.
Fantastical gaming affords its users to escape from the real world. The power of living through an avatar is reflected in this particular case study: Jason Rowe suffers from severe physical disabilities with only slight movement in his hands. He spends eighty hours a week playing Star Wars Galaxies as his avatar Rurouni Kenshin, allowing him to have interactions with people and environments that his own body limits him from doing. â€œThe computer is my window to the world. I can ride an Imperial speeder bike, fight monsters, or just hang out with friends at a bar.â€? -JASON ROWE With relevance to the project, I decided to look at these two forms of alter egos which are afforded by modern-day technology.
P.03 DISCOVER // DIRECTION
WHICH ALTER EGO? At this stage, my research was static. To push forward, I collated a list of sayings that correspond to the human body and the epidermis. I used these as ‘darts’, firing them into my research to draw out project directions. Heart to heart In one ear and out the other Pain in the neck Head in the clouds Air head Boot on the other foot A shoulder to cry on Head in the sand Wearing your heart on your sleeve
WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE The boundaries between the human body and digital matter are blurring, and the representation of self online is a phenomena that is only growing. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is a metaphor that resonates strongly in regards to society’s relationship with information today. It suggests the notion of removing the mask - be it digital, physical or emotionalworn by those with another self; an alter ego. So what if you could wear your heart on your sleeve? Edit nothing and show everything. This would offer a new form of interaction and experience.
P.04 DISCOVER // WHO FOR?
USER GROUP IDENTIFICATION When do you need people to see the real you? Who wants to remove their mask and find others who have removed theirs? Who is it that is offering their true feelings in search for genuine empathy? I identified three user groups that answer these questions. They are as follows: GRIEVERS An individual who needs human interaction to aid them in the grieving process. DEPRESSION SUFFERERS When expression of feeling is near impossible and help is needed. INDIVIDUALS SEARCHING FOR LOVE When using social media, the virtual world allows us to portray ourselves in the ways we desire, but what about when the real you is the centre of an online interaction? My chosen user group are those looking for true love in the digital age.
P.05 DISCOVER // DATING: AN INTRODUCTION
DESIRES THE EVOLUTION OF PAIRING In response to my chosen user group and project direction, I studied how the search for a mate has changed as we have evolved. Primal instincts led Neanderthals to search for that someone who could provide what was needed. Today’s society, as reflected by online dating, suggests that our hunt for love is driven primarily by desire rather than need. With this shift, searching for a partner has been reframed as a digital experience.
“There's no cringey profile writing, because we believe that your friends know you best - so they write your profile for you!”
THE WORLD OF DATING SITES Online dating is a product of the environment in which we live, and is vast and ever-growing. With companies targeting niche audiences, online dating becomes something for everyone. To get a contextual understanding of the market, I researched some of these unique match-making sites and collated some online dating statistics.
“We're not just another dating website, we are Christian Connection®, the awardwinning website dedicated to matching single Christians in the UK.”
“This site is for anyone who leads a muddy-boots lifestyle and wants to meet like-minded, country people, be it for friendship, shared interests or dating.”
P.06 DISCOVER // ONLINE DATING STATS
One-third of online dating users admit to lying in their profile.
4.7 million people in the UK have visited a dating website in the past year.
One in five married individuals aged between 19 and 25 met their spouse online.
43% of singles say they have googled their date before meeting them.
80% of dating site users say they are looking for a long term relationship.
P.07 DISCOVER // INTERVIEW
MY TINDER EXPERIENCE After this initial research into online dating, I looked for a sample of personal accounts. With no experience of the online dating world, I spoke to Sophie Prentice; a student studying nursing, and a user of the matchmaking app, Tinder.
“I joined Tinder November last year because my friends had it and they told me it would be a laugh. They helped me to create my profile but I only put pictures without a biography, although it did take my age from facebook. I think the weirdest thing was seeing people I knew and ex’s of friends. Funny? The chat up lines. They were just general and naff. I did see someone who’s profile said that they were an ‘Xfactor’ finalist but their profile picture led to the realisation that he was the cousin of the contestant - this white lie got him a ‘like’ where it probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Online dating can be good if you do it properly, but I saw Tinder more as a craze that I grew out of quickly. The most serious outcome from Tinder was arranging to meet people on a night out, and this happened twice. One I didn’t see at all and the other I took home. I think I was in it for the curiosity and confidence boost, but after meeting someone in real life, I decided that the people I was talking to weren’t really the people I thought they were, and so that’s why I deleted my account. When you talk to someone through social media or online dating
there is a danger of building expectations and imagining them to be better versions of themselves,
and I am often disappointed when I meet them in person. I do think my profile was true to me. I chose a relatively recent picture but there wasn’t much else for them to go on. Now I’m off to get ready for GUSA ball and find a real man!” Sophie expressed an issue that I had thus-far overlooked. People use online dating sites for several purposes - some are looking for love and some for a one-night stand. Labeling yourself as either would not benefit your endeavour, and surely reduces your likelihood in finding what you desire. We reveal only a tiny and prescribed version of ourselves online, impairing our hunt for that compatible someone.
P.08 DISCOVER // INTERVIEW
2 Both Clare (43) and Jim (45) have married once before. Clare has two children and Jim has one. The pair met on DatingDirect.com and have been together for five years.
A SUCCESS STORY I also interviewed Clare Anderson, a social worker who met her partner online. As a social worker, Clare “susses out people for a living” and so was a really interesting person to converse with concerning online dating. I asked for her story.
“It’s a great story...” Clare and her friend Liz helped a friend, Rhona, to set up an online dating profile on Dating Direct. Single for ten years, Rhona wanted to be proactive and find the man of her dreams. As a shy woman, Clare and Liz wrote Rhona’s bio, listing her attributes, outlining her character, and picking the right picture. With men showing interest, Rhona would ring Clare and ask for advice as to whether to go on a first date.
We couldn’t see them so we joined to vet them! Clare and Liz set up dating profiles on the same site to preview the men showing interest in Rhona and provided their opinion. However, although not looking, both Clare and Liz found men online. Five years on, Clare is still with Jim and Liz is still with Hugh. Rhona is still single. Jim organized to go for drinks for their first date. Sitting in the restaurant of the Houston House Hotel, Jim inquired as to where the bar was. “Oh I know where it is. I got married here! Of all the places…” I asked how the date went, and Clare said that it felt like she had known Jim for years. “We just clicked.” In comment, Clare explains that when a woman has been in a longterm relationship or a marriage, that she did not require a companion.
Clare only wanted a relationship that would enhance her life. This means this demographic tends to be extremely fussy when it comes to finding an other-half. They know exactly what they want and exactly what they don’t want – and won’t settle for anything else, because they don’t have a desire to. Clare’s final point related to the perceived safety of online dating. She labeled it as paradoxical: it is not an unsafe means of meeting people. She explains that it is a lot healthier than meeting a guy on a drunken girls night out. Her age group, in general, does not go to pubs or clubs, and so online is an ideal way to remain in the dating game. Although profiles are hard to analyse in depth, Clare explained how she assessed men on their writing abilities. “With everything said with typed words, spelling and grammar became more telling of an individuals intellect.”
PROFILE PICTURE PRESSURE One photo to tell the world who you are. So what do you pick? A profile picture becomes the sole subject of first impressions online.
P.10 DISCOVER // THE ISSUES
EXTREMES OF ONLINE DATING
THE MAIN ISSUE
By examining an extreme of online dating, I hoped that more of the fundamental problems would be revealed.
Studies suggest women are attracted to men whose genetic makeup differs from their own. Having a genetically different mate increases the chances for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. However, without body-tobody interaction, relationships manifested online are not based on this human sense; instead, we are choosing matches based on likes, dislikes and face-value. This is a major flaw of digital match-making.
Catfish is a television program documenting young couples taking their online romances into the real world. When meeting face-toface after creating a relationship through social media or dating websites, the results can be shocking. Online identity very rarely matches up perfectly with real world identity. With people lying about their gender, age, looks or wealth, this show demonstrates the potential reality that the person you have fallen in love with is in-fact a fictional character created and controlled by the person behind the keyboard.
“The notion of transforming our appearances permeates our culture. On the one hand, minor alterations such as haircuts, makeup, and dressing up are seen as socially acceptable, if not socially desirable. On the other hand, the ability to truly transform oneself has been regarded in myths and legends as both dangerous and powerful.” PROTEUS EFFECT: THE EFFECT OF TRANSFORMED SELFREPRESENTATION ON BEHAVIOR
A dating site provides a viewer with everything at face value. In a world with a growing adherence to the sense of sight, in this instance, what you see is not what you get. A relationship should not be founded on statistics and your shared love of a particular film. Natural attraction is a response from the body and this human relationship cannot be simply replaced by the digital tools of our age. “It makes it too easy to find people, to ditch people, and most importantly, to date people who are similar to us.” - THE GUARDIAN
PHASE TWO - DEFINE ANALOGUE REVOLUTION // APPROACH // SCENARIO // BRIEF // DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES // DIRECTIONS // BRIEF 2.0 // USER DEFINITION // PROJECT AIMS //
P.13 DEFINE // APPROACH
WORKSHOP WITH SRULI RECHT This identified issue relates to my response to the future fiction workshop that began the digital epidermis project. Held by product and fashion designer, Sruli Recht, we were to create a story and invent for this futuristic society. With the Chinese Artificial Intelligence (C.A.I) and the Analogue revolution as the political powers in play, my outcome was directed at over-riding the domination of digital avatars.
^ BOVISTA EXIMO PUFFBALL MODEL ^ FRONT // BACK OF FLYER
Design outcome: The Bovista Eximo puffball is a genetically altered fungus that serves as a throwable dispersal method for spore-based human pheromone. The fungi has been altered to grow quickly on minimal nutrients. Above is the leaflet that is distributed within the analogue community with instructions for Bovista Eximo growth.
My project direction for the digital epidermis brief is a reigned back interpretation of this idea. Without the attitude of bracketing technology as dystopia, I look to re-introduce human data into dating and augment the experience with technology of the digital age.
Once thrown or punctured, the puffball releases a cloud of airborne pheromones that chemically alter the behaviour of nearby people, provoking congregation and communication with real human beings. On a social level, this serves to pull citizens away from their avatar-populated world of C.A.I and reinstate face-to-face social interaction apparent in the Analogue community.
“Our most basic biology and instincts should not be twisted to fit our machines. Rather, our technologies should serve us by becoming more intuitive, more social, and more sensitive to the strengths and limitations of the human body. Technology has been a mere machine for long enough. It’s about time it graduated to full humanity.” - NEXT NATURE
P.14 DEFINE // SCENARIO
OkCupid.com specifies that Joseph and Francesca do not match. They don’t like the same music, the same food, the same sports or the same ideal weekend away. But why does this mean they could not be ‘made for each other’? Joseph and Francesca could epitomise the saying, ‘opposites attract.’
It was at this point that I wrote my first draft of my project brief. WHO? Those who have not found love using online dating. WHY? 80% of dating site users are looking for a long term relationship, yet compromise their search by poorly representing themselves online. HOW? Using technology, I look to improve matchmaking by emphasising the role of the human body. WHAT? Taking the form of a product or an experience, the outcome should allow the user to wear their heart on their sleeve, curating nothing.
P.15 DEFINE // DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES
DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES Through research and synthesis, I have identified two design opportunities. These two opportunities bridge the gap between the digital epidermis and the physical epidermis.
P.16 DEFINE // DIRECTION 2.0
AUGMENT ONLINE DATING WITH DATA FROM THE HUMAN BODY
AUGMENT FACE-TO-FACE DATING WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
BRIEF 2.0 “First dates: magical moments when you realize you have a connection with someone, or the stuff nightmares are made of.”
I aim to design a first date experience, using technology to communicate data from the human bodies involved, testing compatibility quickly and effectively.
P.17 DEFINE // USER DEFINITION These are the three users for my designed experience. Although these range across several demographics, the three have encompassing issues when it comes to dating, and they have two things in common. The online dating world has not proven effective for finding their ideal mate and each is looking for ‘the one’.
THE SINGLE DAD
Clarissa is a 24 year-old professional model. From her past experiences, revealing her occupation is usually a turn off to those she is dating.
Liam is a widow with a four-year old child. Three years after the death of his wife, Liam is ready to meet someone new. He uses several dating sites but has recently limited his search to datingforparents.com. However, he is having significantly less luck on this site, and is not necessarily interested in other single parents. The issue? Liam never knows quite when to explain his situation on first dates.
Keila has been on hundreds of dates, averaging three a week. She spends a lot of time and money to keep up her search for true love. However, the excitement of getting dressed up and meeting someone new has faded and she is losing hope.
“People don’t think I am capable of a serious relationship. That, or they think they must be punching above their weight and they don’t see a future relationship with me.”
“Dating profiles are not a fair representation of a person. I keep building them up in my head and they don’t deliver.”
P.18 DEFINE // PROJECT AIMS WHAT? This diagram is an outline of what I intend to achieve with the unique first date experience.
REMOVE VISUAL STIMULI My first aim is to remove the visual stimuli of the date to examine compatibility through the analysis of raw data from the human body only. This contrasts the experience with online dating.
READ RAW HUMAN DATA I want to introduce raw human data to a face-to-face date, eradicating curated information and revealing the hidden information of the body.
Using biological body responses such as heartbeat and pheromones, I aim to create expression tools using technology, to augment the first date experience. Swapping data from the body of one dater to the other will provide an intimate interaction that will contribute to assessing the compatibility of the pair, and choreographing the date.
The technology of thermal imaging can be used to read emotions of the human body. I intend to utilize this to assess compatibility through comparing the datersâ€™ emotional response to each other.
These touchpoints could be choreographed by the waiter of the first date restaurant experience.
PHASE THREE - DEVELOP BLIND DATE // BRANDING THE EXPERIENCE // RAW DATER <BODILY RESPONSE> // RAW DATER <EMOTIONS> // WAITERS ROLE // MENU // FEEDBACK
“I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you do.”
“They come in and BAM. Judgment. That’s what makes it nerve-wracking. But that’s dating.”
“I do have a tick box system... They need to have a good physique, be taller than me when I’m in my heels. Oh, and they’ve got to have their own place.”
EXTRACTS FROM CHANNEL 4’S ‘FIRST DATES’
P.22 DEVELOP // DATE IN THE DARK
BLIND DATE The first date experience begins in the dark. This is to remove the visual element of dating, shifting the power of first impressions away from aesthetics. Through the removal of body language, facial expressions, eye contact and overall judgment on appearance, personality compatibility can be tested more effectively. If you like what you hear, will this mean you will like what you see? To facilitate for this concept, I looked at existing structures that could host the first date experience. No existing restaurant I could find provided the interior layout to accommodate the concept, so I loosely designed a traveling restaurant, purpose built for the experience.
This is the interior of the first date traveling restaurant. The layout of the building allows for male and female participants to enter through different doors, ensuring they do not meet predate. To ensure the date begins in darkness, there are two sets of doors into the individual rooms, providing a darkness chamber. Each room has independent lighting and music and the exterior of the building acts as advertisement for the service.
P.23 DEVELOP // THE BRAND
BRANDING THE EXPERIENCE Before continuing into the design and development of the expression tool or thermal reader, I focused on the aesthetic and feel of the first date experience. ‘Raw Dater’ was the name I came up with for my dating service. A play on the term ‘raw data’, this gives the experience the connotations of ‘back-to-basics’ and wearing your heart on your sleeve, the origin of this project. I chose a font that communicates this feeling.
To accompany this name, I translated the heart used on most dating sites back to the organ it represents. Using an anatomical heart shows the biological nature of the dating service, as well as setting it apart from the rest.
Following on from these decisions, I looked into colours and materials that would support the brand’s semantic. With a common use of red, pink, green and blue, most dating sites look similar. To stand out in the ever-expanding crowd, I looked to a gender neutral and honest aesthetic. With black and white as my colour scheme for 2D elements of Raw Dater, I elected for white and cork for the artefacts that accompany this experience.
P.24 DEVELOP // THE PRODUCTS RAW DATER < BODILY RESPONSE > With this branding in mind, my next step was to design the expression tools that will support this experience. PRODUCT SPECIFICATION An unobtrusive means of swapping data from the human body, to create a new level of communication in the context of a first date.
IDEA 1. PHEROMONE EXCHANGE
IDEA 2. HEARTBEAT SWAP
My first idea was to use drinking vessels to exchange pheromones at the dining table. Connected to a pad underneath the arm of the date, when the users take a drink, they can take a whiff of pheromones. However, after exploring the science, I learned that pheromones are not so much olfactory, but sensed subconsciously. Determining who you are attracted to and who you are not, being in the vicinity of someone allows this conclusion to be drawn. As a face-to-face date, this information will be present.
Secondly, I explored the exchange of heartbeats. The ability to feel anotherâ€™s beating heart would add an intense intimacy to the experience of sharing raw human data. In the context of a first date, feeling as well as hearing responses to questions would reveal an additional level of information, helping the user to learn more about their date in this short time period.
After examining the best points of contact with the epidermis to read the heartbeat, I generated objects to be worn by the daters to input the data. I ruled out head-wear and earrings as they both distract from the wearers face, as well as altering their chosen aesthetic presentation. In conjunction, I scrapped the badge and apron idea for the same reason. The object should be inconspicuous, and so I elected to use a wristband.
Initially, I did not want to literally exchange heartbeats. I was looking for a translation into heat or vibration. However, the unique rhythm of the heart means that it can not be confused for other data being communicated. I looked into a wearable heartbeat sensor to gather input of this element of the Raw Dater experience.
OUTPUT The wristband communicates with an object that can be touched by the other dater. I specified that it should not be obvious as to when your date is feeling your heartbeat, as this could add a feeling of discomfort. I explored where I could integrate the heartbeat simulator, and decided on the back of each chair. With the ability to lean back or forwards, the dater can elect whether or not to interact with the product. In conversation, this movement is natural and incognito.
HEARTBEAT CUSHION FINAL MODEL
P.25 DEVELOP // THE PRODUCTS
RAW DATER < EMOTIONS > To work in conjunction with the heartbeat expression tool, my next step was to design the emotion reader. This will incorporate a thermal imaging camera, allowing the waiter to compare the emotional state of both participants. This means he can deem the date a success or a failure and respond accordingly. As the thermal imaging of both daters is to be read, the camera needs to be positioned in a suitable place. I explored the idea of a wearable camera for the waiter but this meant the readings would only be taken if he was in the room. Manifesting the thermal reader camera as the table centrepiece makes both daters readable, while also ensuring that the object itself remains inconspicuous. Examining artefacts often found in the middle of dining tables, I modeled the form of the reader on a candle. With the users sitting at the table, only the upper-body can be seen by the camera. However, this is not an issue. Emotions are read by examining the thermal image of the bodyâ€™s core. The lower half has no value in this analysis.
Raspberry Pi are releasing a thermal camera as a component for their platform. This is an augmented version of their existing camera. The size of this product makes it ideal for my application. With a requirement of one circuit board and two cameras, the thermal reader can still remain small in size with the use of this growing technology.
RAW DATER CENTREPIECE IN SITU
P.27 DEVELOP // THE WAITER
WAITERS ROLE The staff are key to the experience as the choreography of the event is critical. The date is choreographed by the Raw Dater waiter. As well as reading and responding to the thermal imaging of the daters, it is the waiter who decides a code action with both parties, providing them the power to terminate the date at any point. With the possibility that there is just no â€˜sparkâ€™ felt by a dater, even when the thermal images match, the users have a control to call an end to the date. This is when the code action comes into play. When fitting the daters with their heartbeat wristband on arrival, the waiter provides each participant with a different code action. This could be anything from ordering a specific drink to dropping a napkin in a certain place. In response to the execution of this code action, the waiter will bring the bill to the table and the date will be terminated. MENU
RAW DATER MENU IN SITU
If compatibility is demonstrated in the first section of the date and the lights have come on, the waiter provides the Raw Dater menu. Each course description is divided by a big question. This pulls the big information out, allowing the daters to cut to the chase.
P.28 DEVELOP // FEEDBACK
FEEDBACK I could not test my project as my models are not functional, however, I sent Sophie Prentice a PDF of the breakdown to receive some feedback. “It was really easy to follow and something I’d look into myself. I think the use of the third party waiter is great and essential. I was a bit confused with how he would terminate the date after a signal though. Surely both parties know that the other will have some kind of secret signal and if they haven’t given their own then will know that its due to the other having given theirs? I really like the idea of heartbeat signals and thermo signals but is there room for error here? Say if I (as I do anyway) go red and hot just because I’m embarrassed. What if the waiter takes this to mean I don’t like the guy? Could there maybe be a chance when discussing signals with the waiter to also have a quick chat about usual reactions? All in all I think this is fab. I’ll be hoping for Harris and Sophie’s happily ever after.”
This feedback from Sophie suggested that I did not explain well enough that the date is ended by the waiter if he sees that the thermal readings show incompatibility.
I think this is a very valid point. In the pre-date meeting, the waiter should inquire about personal reactions - a sort of preliminary check-list.
PHASE FOUR - DELIVER DELIVERY TO TARGET MARKET // PROJECT STATEMENT // USER JOURNEY // REFLECTION
P.31 DELIVER // THE SERVICE
DELIVERY TO TARGET MARKET When I reached this point in the project, I explored how Raw Dater could be delivered to its target market. I decided that Raw Dater would work in affiliation with an existing dating website which would advertise this unique experience. Similarly to singles nights and speed dating, the service would be pitched as an event available to the siteâ€™s users. Introducing a new service requires user guidance - the format of Raw Dater needs to be explained to the users before the event. These thumbnails would feature online, linked with the supporting dating website, and accessed automatically post booking.
P.32 DELIVER // THE SERVICE
P.33 DELIVER // STATEMENT
PROJECT STATEMENT The digital age calculates love matches mathematically using selfreported criteria, removing the human body from the equation. RAW DATER is a first date service that brings back face-to-face matchmaking, augmented with technology of the digital age. Using thermal imaging, heartbeat sensors and a ‘cut to the chase’ attitude, real human data is laid out on the dining table, as users search for love. In contrast to existing dating services, Raw Dater creates a first date experience that is more centred around the human body than ever before. By scrapping existing dating etiquette, this experience is tailored for those with little time to waste in search for ‘the one’.
PROJECT ROLE PLAY
P.35 DELIVER // USER JOURNEY I created a layered user journey to contextualize the touchpoints and products, communicating the whole Raw Dater experience. I used two models, Harris, representing a single father, and Sophie, the multi-dater to role play Raw Dater.
THE WAITER The waiter constantly addresses the thermal reader output, positioned in the kitchen. By comparing the thermal imaging of the pair, he can assess their emotional states throughout the date.
The daters enter their respective doors to the Raw Dater restaurant and are introduced to the waiter.
If the thermal reader shows compatibility, the lights will come up and the daters will be provided with the Raw Dater menu. With ‘big’ questions dividing each course selection, this prop aids the daters to cut to the chase and address the important issues concerning their lives and their futures.
The waiter provides the daters with a wristband each. After they have decided on an individual code action for date termination, the waiter guides the dater through the darkness chamber, to the date.
The waiter views the thermal readings and turns the light up if he determines compatibility. He will then provide the daters with the Raw Dater menu.
The daters converse about Harris’ kids after the menu prompts the conversation. Harris was happy that Sophie didn’t react hugely to the news, and Sophie could tell just how nervous Harris was.
P.36 DELIVER // USER JOURNEY
3 4 5
The daters are served their starter course, and whilst in conversation, they feel each others heartbeats. This allows them to evaluate responses to questions. The exchange of raw human data allows the daters to learn a great deal about the other over the short space of time.
If one of the parties concludes that he or she does not feel the ‘spark’ and sees no future in a potential relationship, they execute the private communication action with the waiter. In this instance, Harris drops his napkin from his right hand and kicks it under his chair.
The date is terminated. Although the termination of the date was instigated by Harris, Sophie does not know this. The bill signifies incompatibility in one way or another, so Sophie accepts this outcome.
The waiter serves the starters, keeping an eye out for the termination signal from both parties.
The waiter sees Harris’ termination signal and goes to write up the bill.
The waiter brings the bill and the Raw Dater date is terminated.
Sophie asks if Harris minds that she is a vegetarian. Harris asks Sophie if she would ever leave Scotland.
RAW DATER IN SITU
P.38 DELIVER // PROJECT REFLECTION
REFLECTION My process for this project was more structured and linear than usual, but it did take me longer than I would have liked to arrive at my project direction. However, I am very happy with the means of approach. With the initial research leading to the sayings associated with the human body, I tackled a rather mundane subject of dating in a way I found interesting. I believe I handled the first week of class research rather badly. With the freedom to research anything, I should have taken the initiative to explore something I saw scope for a project within. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the future fiction workshop held by Sruli Recht. My outcome for this one-week project influenced the digital epidermis project and the outlook I had on the brief. However, my concept is a response to current online dating services and is designed for the present day. It is not an example of future fiction. Overall, I am happy with the resolution of this project given the time frame. The prototypes are developed and modeled, although not functional. It would be interesting to realise this project to get some genuine feedback of the Raw Dater experience. To get a level of branding into the project was exciting as I often do not have enough time to do this. This helped the design of the artefacts that structured the experience and made the complete outcome seem resolved when photographed in situ.
Published on Sep 30, 2014