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      A groupwork for the module “The Interface” By Anthony Paletta, Margot Gommers & Stefan Hellings Lecturers: Andrea Wilkinson, Jos de Serièere & Roger Weldam Interfaculty C-MD Maastricht November 2010 - Februari 2011

Table Of Content 1. Introduction 2. Defining, analyzing and understanding a. Problem statement b. Problem solving and YouTube integration c. Vision statement d. Context of use e. Defining news f. Inside-outside the box thinking

3. Product a. Design Process - Brainstorming and inspiration - First concepts - Creative methods - Illustration and division

b. Concept - Product Specifications - From Rubiks Cube to NewsCube

c. Prototype - Paper prototype - Look - Experience

4. Research a. Target group survey b. Persona’s c. IDEO

5. Business Plan a. b. c. d. e.

Customer segments Value proposition Channels Customer relationship Key activities and partners

6. Resources and enclosure


1. Introduction During our modules we have been taught that we could use three ways of working on the STAMPMEDIA project. These three ways were creating an interface for either collecting, generating or distributing content. We have chosen for an interface to distribute content by the use of a smartphone application. In this paper we will explain what our appliction is all about and how it works, we will also explain how we came up with the idea.

2. Defining, analyzing and understanding a. Problem statement Our product is needed because news is always brought in a subjective manner. There is practically no way of bringing news in an objective way. It is always viewed by a journalist and so it is brought by her or his point of view. As we found out from our survey, just half of the youngsters understand that news is subjective. Our product is intended to reach all youngsters, especially those who don’t understand the subjectivity of news. We want to offer those young people a critical way of viewing news by presenting them different sources of one subject. We also find that news is too much viewed in boxes. People only view the news they are intested in and are not open to other newscategories. Our application lets you discover news again, even the news you normaly would not look at, by hiding the newscategories you view the most. This way we encorage young people to think outside their box. Also by showing the viewer that there are multiple answers to one subject, different points of view from different sources, and that not every one of them is right. This way we try to transform our target group from a passive news-follower to an active follower who goes out and searches for the truth. On the other end we give them more insight on certain subjects which makes following things that seemed boring at first much more interesting. We see a resolution for these problems in our product. Our NewsCube Application is a fun way of exploring news and consuming it with a critical view. We saw an application as an ideal tool. We should be able to access news everywhere, by anyone and without restrictions. So the solution should be portable. Yet we don’t want young people to carry more with them than they already do. They already have to carry already their wallet,


keys, … and mobile phone. Our application uses a device we already bring with us every day, our mobile phone or future orientated tablet. We also see a development in youngsters who have a smartphone. One out of three youngsters already have a smartphone (according to our survey) and the smartphone user percent is growing rapidly.

b. Role of STAMPMEDIA and YouTube The role of STAMPMEDIA excists out of gathering different audiovisual sources of a newsitem, it total we need 4 sources. In other words, the task of Stampmedia is gathering videos and putting them into the cube. The big advantage of our product is the fact that STAMPMEDIA does not have to work alone on this. STAMPMEDIA can work together with different news agencies since every subject needs four sources. Working together means less time to “find videos” for each agancy and offcourse it becomes cheaper since all agencies can split the costs. The role of YouTube is simple. YouTube can provide the space for the videos of our NewsCube. This will give it an instant interactive feature, since people can visit the YouTube links if they want and reply to them. We also know that STAMPMEDIA offers workshops to teach youngsters how to become active, good journalists and photographers. Young people have the ability and knowledge to upload videos to YouTube. This means that they can provide STAMPMEDIA with user-generated content.

c. Vision statement We see a future where we don’t swallow everything that is shown to us anymore. Where everyone is more critical and checks out sources before they believe them. A future where people get that not everything that is shown on TV news or in newspaper is immediately true. This future holds a high standard for consuming news and young people who actively use news by having their own point of view, their own interpretation of facts by analyzing different sources. We see almost all people using our application within 5 years and hereby they will become increasingly more critical on how they perceive the world.

d. Context of use Our product will be mostly used occasionally. When people are waiting for a train, have a dull moment during class, during their breaks, … The application can always be accessed as long as people have their smartphones with them. It will be used in a normal day-to-day working/learning situation. The application can also be a social object, because you can recommend certain things to your friends. You can have discussions about a news item and give your opinion about it. For the application to work you also need to have an Internet connection (but 90% of people who own a smartphone have access to Internet everywhere). The


NewsCube is very easy to use and when you start up the application for the first time, a small tour is given. During this tour all aspects of the application are shown and the goal of the application is well explained.

e. Defining news For this we started by mindmapping our thoughts about what exactly news was. The conclusion of this mindmap was that to us, news means as much as any form or data that has value for an individual person or society. This means that news can be personal, because some data has a higher point of value for an individual than another. For example the results of a volleyball game from a persons favorite team can be very important for that person while for someone who does not care about volleyball it isn’t interesting at all. On the other end news can have a level of value for a society or a group of people, for example a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center of New York. This terrorist attack was broadcasted worldwide, which made people aware of possible attacks in other cities.

f. Inside-outside the box thinking “First impressions you have become an opinion. It is difficult to rid yourself of your own reflection and impressions. You can’t see what other people see = tunnel vision. It’s important to take in the world around you and this includes people too.” (Campbell high school journals) This excerpt about tunnel vision from a school newspaper teaches us that first impressions are very important. Therefore, the way you receive news has a major impact on the things you see as interesting and the way you look at things in life. Somethimes things may seem boring at first, but when you gain more insight you might become interested. You can start following a certain subject more often resulting in a better view of his world. This is our vision about “inside the box thinking”. The reason why we mention this, is because it is very difficult to pull people outside of their "box" while it is perfectly possible to "open your eyes" by widening the tunnel vision. This might eventually lead to "outside the box thinking", which STAMPMEDIA wants the target group to achieve.


3. Product a. Design Process - Brainstorming and inspiration When we first learned about our task we started to brainstorm. This brainstorming resulted in a large amount of creative ideas. This was the first fase of our design process. Our ideas: *Digital wall of news at school *News on the bus/busstand/social spaces.. *An interactive punchbag that you have to hit to see news (you get a newsfeed when you are getting aggresive because the bus is late. If you punch the bag you will hear when it arrives) *Everyone has a device which shares information with people you pass by and have the same device. This gives sharing news a unique experience. *Short newsfeeds; a system that reads newsarticles and makes an visual summary of them *Bluetooth application, if you walk past a press-store you will receive messages if you want to buy a local newsfeed. *Augmented news application. F.E; if you take pictures of trees you will receive nature-news. *RFID tags that store tags of places you physically visit. You will receive feeds of these places. Geotagging. *Newscomparisson device that compares different sources and creates one unique outcome. *Slang-newsfeed-generator. *Ingame newsfeeds, instead of fictional news you receive real time newsfacts. *Interactive beerfelts *Rating system on newsfeeds *Customized paper through the use of custom rss which is sharable a newsfeed screensaver so that if you come back you’ll have a glance of a newspage (afterwards we were told in class that this already exists) *An application that changes the right column of facebook to relevant newsfeeds. *A radio that plays newsfeeds as soon as you press the snooze function on it. *Newsfeeds that react to your body temperature, heartrate,.. *Website that uses all the metatags you have collected on your computer to generate news *Mah-Yong puzzle; news becomes a game. You have one block with a title and have to find the rest of the article in the other block.


- First concepts After we made a definition of news and we analysed our target group, we started to come up with a number of possible concepts. Which resulted in the following: We already brainstormed for ideas but unfortunatly a lot of these seemed to lack either on functionality for STAMPMEDIA or provided difficulties when we thought about how we could translate the concept in a prototype. We wanted to make something that STAMPMEDIA could actualy use. The only idea that seemed realistic was the concept that uses metatagcollecting to create personalised news to the user. It seemed like a really good idea, but unfortunatly it was really hard and time consuming to create a program that was able to do this. It was also a difficult idea to work on because there were a lot of legal issues we had to concider. So we had to try something different. In order to create something good for STAMPMEDIA we had just decided that we would contact Stefan Kolgen to find out what exactly he wanted. (Un)fortunatly Stefan didn't reply to us with what we had expected so in order to make him work a bit more cooperative we mailed some of our concepts to him to gather his opinion. We got a reply we could work with but perhaps the most important parts that got us thinking was: “How do you get people to think outside the box?” and “Your ideas are the sauce, now you need the spaghetti”. Offcourse one could give different meanings to “thinking inside the box” but it was our responsibility to give it the right meaning (see analysis above). We also listened to what Stefan Kolgen's collegue at STAMPMEDIA, Ann Laenen (, had to say and she thought us that “The laws of journalism are being broken all the time and that news is in danger of being to subjective.”. Along with those two comments we could understand that for STAMPMEDIA, user-generated content was really important. - Creative methods At school we have learned that there are a lot of creative methods to come to a solution for a problem. The creative method we have used is “assosiation”. We got an e-mail reply from Stefan Kolgen, in this e-mail Stefan talked about “Your ideas are the sauce, now you need the spaghetti”. When reading this there popped up this very particular image of a stopmotion video named “Western Spaghetti”. We are very gratefull that Stefan fed us with inspiration by using a sentence that stimulated our imagination and creativity. We were watching this stopmotion video and during this we were thinking about “outside the box thinking”. The only thing in the video that looks like a box was the rubik cube. In the concept chapter you can read how we used the rubic cube for a product that satisfies all our needs.


- Illustration of the process and division Design process illustration: A: Brainstormsession about what news is and possible future products or ideas. B: The first feedback session learned us that we had to keep in mind that we needed a product to satisfy STAMPMEDIA and was possible to work out in a prototype. This made us brainstorm some more and contact Stefan Kolgen for more information. At the same time we received the first results of our survey, so the ideas became wild again. We also decided that we would choose the part of “collecting and distributing news”. C: The reaction of Stefan Kolgen together with the usage of the creative method “association” resulted in the idea of the NewsCube. D: Finding out in what ways we could link the NewsCube to the needs of the target group and the needs of STAMPMEDIA seemed to be good. Also paper prototyping resulted in some ideas on how the interface should work. E: The first presentation gave us the feeling we were on the right track. Now we had to find some answers to new questions which we got from our tutors and collegues. F: A bit more chaos as we had to find a good working and easy to learn program to create our application with. G: Learning the application syntax seemed to go well and the new designs looked good too. H: Finding solutions to our last interface problems while the deadline came closer. I: Final presentation the application-prototype and interface should be done.


Design process task division Research - 20th to 30th December - : IDEO methods - survey (create questions relevant to task - distribute (surveymonkey) – analyse -> rapport; visualise results) Concept - 30th December + 1 - : Decision time (target group - what medium (collect news - write news distribute news, application, interactive newspaper, rfid, metagging) Design Rapport - 5th January - : Analyse, research, solution, prototype/product, design process. Conceptual model of the interface. (Entity-Relationship model) Prototype - 20th January - : Paper-prototype, look-prototype, programming/animating infograph/ Presentatie - 3th February : Deadline

b. Concept - Product Specifications After analysing and defining we came to the point that we were able to figure out a product that would be capable of satisfying our customer by simply setting up what our product needed to do: * Our product offers different sources of information so that there is a more objective view on news. * Our product offers different sources/views on one subject because this leads to more insights, which makes following news more interesting at one end and expands the “box” on the other end. * Our product is a better way to distribute mainstream content in order to reach youngsters. - From Rubiks Cube to NewsCube The NewsCube is an audiovisual cube that looks much like a rubiks cube, it had 6 sides with 6 newscategories. The Rubik Cube itself is our unique selling proposition as we know from our survey that our target group, youngsters, like technology to have a “play” factor. This means that our NewsCube should be able to transform from a NewsCube to an interactive Rubik Cube the user can play with. This added play-factor will hopefully convince the consumer to buy our application. First we thought it would be a great idea to create a real cube with interactive touch-screens, but it seemed like a daffy idea afterwards since everyone is already carying lots things with them. After all you cannot sell a product if the consumer doesn't have place for it in his pockets.


Why did we go for a cube? Apart from the play-factor, our USP, a cube has a big advantage when it comes to distributing news. This advantage is that a cube has six different sides. These six sides offer the possibility to link them to the six main categories one can find in any newsjournal. Here this 6 main categories and how they are places within STAMPMEDIA. Most Media: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

National News International News Sports Media Politics Culture

STAMPMEDIA: Blinkvanger Samenleving Sport Cultuur & Media Politiek Opinie/Columns

We can see that STAMPMEDIA puts culture and media together. If we would do the same thing to the six categories of most media, than there will be one side of the cube free. This free side can, if wanted, be used for personalising the cube for the user.

c. Prototype - Paper prototype When we knew exactly what our product should be capable of doing, we had to create the look and the interface (see enclosures). Logically we started off with a paper prototype on which we brainstormed how the application should look like and how it worked. First of all we decided that we would need at least two “buttons”; One button for going to the game-part of the application and to return back. Another button to go to the history of a category. We made the application for touchscreen-devices where we could turn the cube by the use of our fingers but we thought of a separate non-touchscreen interface as well. The next thing on our paper-prototype was how we could distinguish the different sides of the cube. Since every side handles one topic it is important for the user to know what he is looking at. We thought that it would be easy and logically to give each side of the cube a certain color. It was a weird experience to notice how we did not think about this very important part of our application before we started to paper-prototype. We also thought about how we could switch between “menu’s” or sides of the cube etc. If we would put the categories that the viewer finds the most interesting at the front, he wouldn’t have a reason to look at the other side


of the cube. This means there is no widening of the tunnel vision of the youngsters. Therefore it was important for our application to hide the interesting parts at the back so that the user gets forced to look other sides of the cube as well. - Look For the look of our application are colors, fun and ease of use an important factor. The application should be easy to use and navigate through. In the enclosure there are some images that illustrate the application and that explanes how it functions. - Experience For the actual prototype we used a combination of several programming languages. The application is mostly made with javascript but also uses xHTML, HTML5, CSS(3), JQuery and Java. Together these form an excellent platform to test and fast prototype the newscube. All code was written with Eclipse, a strong and fast text-editor with autocomplete libraries, a flexible working environment and world wide pluginsupport. The core of the application rests on an ADK (Android Devellopment Kit) provided by PhoneGap (a mobile platform devellopment package for Android, iOS, Droid, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Palm WebOS). The PhoneGap package allows us to devellop the application for one system (like Android) and export it for all mobile systems. For the testing of the code we used a standard class A webbrowser (Google Chrome is best suited because of the similarity with Android Webkit), AVD or Android Virtual Device (a software package of Android that simulates all types of android phones) and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (P1000) running on a custom Android 2.2 Froyo system. While writing the code there were lots of difficulties, mainly around the 3D rendering of the cube. Complex algorithms and matrices were acquired to generate and animate a 3D cube with touch capability. We chose not to use Adobe Flash for this function because (1) the working environment does not allow a fast workflow, (2) Actionscript 3.0 is not stable enough with 3D output (Flex is needed but it was too complicated to work this out during the small amount of time we had to create the application) and (3) not all mobile devices support flash or a 3D GUI with Flex.



4. Research a. Target group survey Survey about newsuse Who are the users? Our users are all people who own a smartphone. We mainly target young people between 16 and 26. But everyone who has a smartphone can use our application. How do they see and feel news? Our survey shows that 45,5 % of the questioned youngsters find news to subjective. They also find that there is a lot of unuseful news that is sometimes boring. They also thing there is a lot a repetitive articles. Where do they watch and read news? Most youngsters see news on TV. They also read it on the web. They don’t really read newspapers anymore and 2 out of 10 uses his phone for keeping up with news stuff. When do they read or watch the news? Most of the youngster occasionally read or watch the news, when the news is coincidently on TV or when there is a newspaper lying somewhere. Almost half of them only read news or watch it when there is a dull moment, for example when they go to the toilet. But there are also a lot of young people who do follow the news at regular intervals, each morning with breakfast, or the 7 o’clock news on TV. What news interests them the most? Young people find national, international, music and news about science the most interesting. Sports, finances, showbiz and regional news score the lowest of all. Do they find news interesting? 82 % finds news very interesting. They want to keep up with news and want to know what is happening in the world. They see it as an important factor in their life. Do they talk to their friends about news? Most of the youngsters talk about news to their friends. It is a stereotype that young people don’t find news interesting enough to talk about. They don’t talk about everything, mostly about things that they find interesting or abnormal.


What can this mean for our product? The results of our survey show that news is an important aspect in young peoples life. They use their phone to keep up with news. They also find that news is very subjective and that it should be filtered more to find interesting things. We notices as well that not a lot of youngsters read papers anymore, therefore we think that they prefer news to be audiovisual. Our application provides news in a more objective way. You can play with news by turning our rubric cube. News is fun and a discovery again. We also make that people are going to explore news on a different way, they will come across things they normally would not have looked at. The application can be use during dull moments like waiting on a train, or at regular intervals. Everything is show on a very colorful and audiovisual way. You can personalize the app as well by placing your favorite categories of news in there.

b. Persona’s Since we our target group to be youngsters we have created a persona of a seventeen year old gamer (Robin Kings). We also thought that our application might be used by users different than our target group, so we made also a persona of a middle aged man named Marco Dippens. With these personas we tried to create fictional users and their media and news usage. These personas can be found in the enclosure of this paper.

c. IDEO We also did a long-range forecast which can be found in the enclosure.

5. Business Plan a. Customer segments The goal of our product is to create value for our customers. Our customers are mainly youngsters who own a smartphone or tablet. But we expect much more people who own a smartphone will use our application since the news we provide can be interesting to everyone. With this application we want to offer young people a critical way of viewing news. They can now decide for their own what subjective view they lean closest to. By selecting news from different sources about the same object they can compare the news statements. It’s like the youngsters are now playing the journalists. We choose to distribute the application though the website of STAMMEDIA. This way everyone has free access to the application and STAMPMEDIA does not have to pay to distribute the application. Our main target are still young people from 16 till 26 because this is the target group of STAMPMEDIA as well. We keep their target group because STAMPMEDIA


will be our main supplier of news, as young people themselves make it. The market we are approaching is a very diversified group. Youngster are still trying to find themselves and do not yet really know where their goal in life is. They have lots a different needs and expectations. Our most important customers are the ones that are interested in news. And what we learned from the survey is that 82% of our target group finds news interesting.

b. Value proposition The NewsCube offers news in a totally new way. It shows one news item from four different points of view. This way the subjectivity of the media influence you less. You can compare sources and find the view on the news item you can correspond the most with. Not only is it a more critical way of looking at the news, our interface also offers news on a fun and colorful approach. With our application our customers are becoming a journalist themselves. They have to see what source they find the trustworthiest. They have to go explore the truth among all different points of views on news and make their own interpretation. This way it becomes clear that news is always subjective and that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

c. Channels The most important channel we use is the stores of the application, the one of Apple and Android. This is where everyone can download our app. A second channel is our website where they find more information about the app, what it does, for who it is and so on. Also STAMPMEDIA would be a channel, they would promote our product on their website and during their workshops. They are the main provider of our news. Offcourse this can be done by partners who work along with the application as well. We can also use Google AdWords to approach our target group via search results and related websites. As youngsters are very active in social media, this also proves to be a very important channel we can use for promoting our application. Offcource can traditional media be used as well, like magazines for youngsters (Flair, GameMagazine, …) and newspapers (Metro, …), for getting our product out there. Another very important aspect is that young people are very social, they talk a lot about things they find interesting. We want to create word-ofmouth. If our customers are satisfied by our application they will spread the word, which will lead to more sales of our product.


d. Customer relationship Our customer will expect that we will offer them different sources of news. This way we offer a critical way of looking at news, they can interpreted everything for their own. We have to make sure that our application stays objective and we don’t decide for them what the right point of view is.

e. Key activities and partners The key activity of our product is to offer customers the possibility of comparing different views on news. These different views have to come from different sources. STAMPMEDIA will always be one source of providing us a view on news. The other sources can different depending on de object of the news. Potential sources can be: De Morgen, De Standaard, BBC news, New York Times, De Telegraaf, De Metro, Le Soir, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Allgemeine Zeitung, …

6. Resources and enclosure Resources Western spaghetti - pez: Campbell high school - tunnel vision: 94068/newspaperid/1782/Tunnel_Vision.aspx Persona’s: Vision statement: STAMPMEDIA: Enclosure Our Survey: G2h1Vaiw8hxhoKuBo9i6aNY3SA%2bE1eI%3d#q1 The results of our survey:


ER diagram of our application:





First view of the application:


Final view of the application:











The Interface Learn: Long-Range Forecasts

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Poster of the application:


Infogram of the results of the survey:

The Interface

For this  module we  wanted to  find out how  young people  see and feel  news

Survey about newsuse by youngsters

43,8 %%

61,7 %%


é(25,0 %% Do you talk to your friend about news

HTC, Nokia, ....



To Repetitive

To subjective


      out of                    youngsters has a smartphone Much unuseful stuff


21,2 %%

Politics, culture, media, weird stuff Sports, finances, showbizz, regional

39,4 %%

45,5 %%

55,9 %%

50,0 %%

What do you think generaly of the news

82,8 %%

National, international, music, science

17,9 %%

What news interests you the most Tv       Web   Paper Smart    Cellphone        Phone

Do you find news interesting 82,1 %%

Occasional    Dull moments    Regular intervals

è!78,8 %%

6,5 %%

16,1 %%

61,3 %%

87,1 %%

87,1 %%

Where do you read or watch news

50,0 %%

53,1 %%

When do you read or watch the news

Yes                    No

Respondents could give more than one answer (percent dont add up to 100)

Want to check out our survey :


The Newscube  

Project for interfaculy C-md "the Interface"

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