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blog By Will Amesbury

DE1082 - W14020442

My blog My blog has been completed in an application called ‘Day One’. The reason for this is that I found it easier, more convenient, and suited my style of both working and recording infomation. If there are any questions, contact me any time.

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13-11-17 -- The start For my final major project, I initially started of with the intention of ‘redesiging a traditional product’. The reason being is that I ideally want to have a product that reflects me as a designer, which I can exhibit at New Designers. But, also, I like the idea of redesigning a product. After a quick though and chat, I came to the conclusion that the direction was very vague. As a result I set about looking into different things.

15-11-17 -- I’ve come up with three directions The first is luxury coffee equipment. I like coffee and I want to make something visually engaging. Therefor I like this from the off. My thinking behind this was that I didn’t think there was much luxury equipment, even though there were plenty of luxury coffees. Shouldn’t luxury coffee have luxury equipment? The second direction is related to technology and how we use it. With mobile phones taking up a bigger role in our lives, it’s too easy to communicate with someone without a moments desitation. People are finding it too easy too communicate virtually, but when they communicate face to face they lack the confidence and social skills. The use of the home phone has also gradually changed within the last 10 years, due to the introduction of complex mobile phones and large contracts that accompany them. There used to be a balance between work and personal communication between both mobile and landline phones, with landlines occupying personal calls. the two distinct lines of communication have gradually blended into one device, the mobile phone, thus leaving the concept of the home phone redundant. Therefor is there a way to re-instill the essence of meaningful communication throuhg modern technology and old principles? Out of the two, I prefer the latter as it makes me more curious and intrigued with the possibilities.I feel that if I design something for coffee, it’ll just be another concept without much depth. So... What is meaningful communication?

16-11-17 -- The experiment I decided to do an experiment, by limiting my use of my mobile phone. For the next week I will only receive and start phone calls, as awell as emails. No texting or social media. I feel this’ll help me figure out my relationship with technology, communication and the issues associated with it.

17-11-17 -- The First day (of experiment) Yeah... It’s a bit weird. I keep looking at my phone checking for messages. However i’ve turned all notifications off, apart from emails and phone calls, therefor I won’t know until this time next week how many people i’ve ignored. Initial observation is that it’s quite liberating not having to worry about texting people. I’ve made a couple of calls, and conversation seems to me be more meaningful already as a result of not texting.

19-11-17 -- Day two and three I could get used to this. It’s pretty peaceful. As well as more in depth phone calls, face to face coversations are also improving in meaningfulness. Lack of communication seems to result in more communication...

20-11-17 -- Organisation I’ve realised that i’ve missed a couple of group things since not being active in the group chat. Additionally i’ve also got to remember timings more. I can’t just text someone to find out and although important, I don’t feel it justifies a phone call.

21-11-17 -- DCA I talked to Joe and Laimis from DCA about my project. The talk was all about trying to find new directions to persue. A key thing that was mentioned was to look into different forms of communication and how we use them. I’m going to create a questionairre to find people’s behaviours and preferences as well as loooking into differnt situations.

22-11-17 -- Small Observation Do we rely on out mobile phones too much? A few times recently I’ve tried to call people only later to find out they have ran out of battery. I’ve also gotten used to this no texting malarkey. It’s pretty peaceful and i’m enjoying not receiving messages that can be said face to face later when I meet up with them in person.

23-11-17 -- Last Day The whole process has changed my behaviour. I have no intention to turn notifications back on. However, I realise the importance of texting. Although I don’t necessarily agree with it, it is very convenient. Too many times throughout the week people couldn’t talk due to being to busy. Therefor is there a way of improving texting? However, I also feel I need to know more about people\s behaviours and preferences. I’m going to do a questionairre.

key findings from 1 week experiment

27-11-17 -- Questionairre I’ve come up with a questionairre to aid me in understanding people’s behaviours. The questionas were designed for me to try and get a better understanding of people’s behaviours. I wanted to know whether they relied on their mobile phones, used the same device for work and social, their use of social media and whether they have a preference towards texting or calling. I sent it off to people of different professions and ages to get a broad understanding and unique insights.

27-11-17 -- Talk with Neil I talked to Neil about my current situation and my thoughts surrounded my proposed area of interest. Main point was that he said he didn’t think I was narrowing my ideas down enough, with them being very vague. Neil gave the idea of trying to tackle some insights with sensory elements to add another dimension. This is something I had considered but couldn’t figure out their application. I looked into sensorial design. It enhanced my thinking and directions.

28-11-17 -- Interim For the interim I had 3 directions. One was to improve conversation through overcoming confrontation. The second was a question ‘how could I enhance the experience of talking over the phone?’. And thirdly, it was trying to establish a better work/life balance through communication. The feedback was good but the directions were said to be vague and that i’m not familiar with my user enough to make good enough directions. Fair enough. I’m now making a survey to send out to people to get more information and a greater understanding of my user.

29-11-17 -- Survey 1 I chose 5 methods of communication. Texting, phone calls, video call, email and face to face conversation. The objectio of this was ‘do people fo for convenience and about confrontation over a more meaningful communication?’ Each question was a different scenario, and the user had to choose their preference between the 5 choices of communication.

key findings from questionairre

4-12-17 -- Yep... another survey I want to know people’s preferences of communication and what communication people this is the most suitable for sifferent situations. Each question was asking the user which is the most... meaningfulness/convenient/awkward/they used/ professional/social. I chose 7 types of communication for this. These were; phone call, landline, texting, email, letter, face to face and video calling.

5 -12-17 -- Survey 1 - results Interesting. I found people do go for convenience. But some comments were that people prefer texting. Text was by far the most popular and showed up in all but one question. People prefer texting, but they voted it the second worst for meanignfulness. I’m not thinking that it’s possible to addd an extra dimension to texting to improve it’s meaningfulness.

6 -12-17 -- talk with jack I had a talk with Jack about his phone being broken and how he coped without it. I had found it interesting that he subconciously had the same thinking about communication that I have. Good insights as well included trying to sense someone’s emotions clearer through texting. He talked about a friend that was depressed, at the time he couldn’t tell however when he was told, looking back it was clear.

7 -12-17 -- Survey 2 results This survey made me realise the importance of different communication in different environments. Furthermore it also proved that the most convenient is also deemed the least meaningful... but the preferred choicce. The result of this made me think more about the direction I want to go in. As a result it’s made me want to look into convenient communication and see whether I can add as extra dimension to it, to make it meaningful.

8 -12-17 -- Change of direction i’ve done some more reading around communication and found things that said people liked being connected ti people through mobile devices, but never actually felt connected. So could making people feel more connected enhance the experience? I also saw a chance to use my sensory research again. I’m still wondering whether there is a possible change to add another dimension to a convenient form of communication, such as texting.

results from survey 2

9 -12-17 -- Personas I’m going to create personas based on research and insights to help me create problems and potential directions.

10 -12-17 -- Brief 1, considerations I came up with considerations. This is because it’ll suit the persona more, but also help me narrow my thinking. I need to do more research into the medical side of things. I think I want this to provide updates and communicate vital signs of the patient.

10 -12-17 -- Personas - done. I’ve done three personas. Each one has their own insight created from combining research, experience and other insights. Each persona is a different age and has a different occupation. These should help finalise a direction from the three i’ve outlined. These are; helping people communicate in hospitals, improving long distance relationship communication and finally improve the work/life communication balance.

11 -12-17 -- 3 Methods To make it discreet and on-the-go I thought of three methods to build into. A pager, key ring and phone case for brief 1.

12 -12-17 -- Brief 2. Trying to make more convenient communication more meaningful... I’ll look into what makes a meainngful communication and more persona work. I feel If I develop it further i’ll see the requirements and design considerations. Also i’m going to do some more sensory research. I think sensorial design could aid this project.

13 -12-17 -- Final design for brief 1 I came up with the final design for brief 1, that is a key ring with a haptic motor inside which communicates the patients heart beat to the user. I see this being given out by hospitals to patients and a chosen recipient. I quite like it.... but unsure about it’s potential.

15 -12-17 -- Brief 2 - intention I’m going to use sensory design in a way that adds anothing dimension to texting. I found that texting could be interpreted through text recognition software. Playing on the insight of the texts and miscommunicating emotions, sensorial design can help the user understand texts/add more feeling to a flat message. So my intention now is to design something to improve the meaningfulness of a convenient form of communication for long distance relationships.

3 personas used for mini briefs.

16 -12-17 -- competitive products So... long distance relationship products. Lots of sex toys... not the direction I want to go in. However, the ones that aren’t sex toys, are intriguing but very different. The only thing that connects the two is the ‘personal’ element The kissenger and pillow talk are the two that I analysed in detail. I feel the pillow is the better of the two products, but is triple the price. Price could play a big part in this product.

18 -12-17 -- Brief 2 - Final Still work to be done to develop it after exploration, but definitely happy with the potential direction and development.

21 -12-17 -- Brief 3 I’m looking into the persona more. I think more development and understanding is needed. I didn’t, from the survey, come to the conclusion that social is texting and phone calls where as work is email and phone calls. Maybe I can use that for my proposition for Brief 3.

22 -12-17 -- Brief 3 Development I looked into the presona and figured out what he needs. It needs to suit an onthe-go lifestyle with being discreet in a working environment. It can’t be a burden or a nuisance.

26 -12-17 -- Brief 3 Intention After form finding and iterating I designed a keyring that splits apart. One part goes into the phone and the other remains on the key chain. The idea is for the device to partition communication methods and contacts to create a clear work/life balance.

30 -12-17 -- Final Direction I’ve chosen to go ahead with brief 2. I like the potential and I feel i’ll learn more during the process as well, developing me as a designer.

3 - 1 - 18 -- Development I’m going to do more research into sensory tech. Also how it can benefit or develop this project. Also need to look into materials at a later date. Form finding. Size experiments, price tests, battery powered? designed for on the go?

some products I evaluated

5 - 1 - 18 -- Hand-in Unsure whether I tried to do to much work or not for this hand in. I feel a lot of people have done effective exploration through doing less design work and more dedicated research work. Perhaps if I took a step back from the designing I could have had a much more refined direction at the end.

15 - 1 - 18 -- Talk with Ian First day back. Chat with Ian for a brief proejct catch up. Still waiting for feedback, however some general generic pointers on how to develop in the meantime. He re-iterated the point about trying to figure things out. Such as size tests, price point, sensory elements (do I want sound?). Possibility to ask more people what they’d want from this product. Either way... experiments needed!

16 - 1 - 18 -- Progress Doing a bit of mind crunching and realised a few small details I need to decide early on. Power - I’ve chosen rechargeable not battery power. Reason being is that thinking how to take out and replace batteries is another design consideration i’ll need to consider., and potentially could compromise the design. I’ll look into wireless charging. Form - with it being for couples... I thought perhaps there should be two. the idea being is that one will be larger than the other, that’ll stay at home. The smaller will be taken with the partner. Idea being is that when the ornaments are ‘reunited’, the bigger of the two will charge the smaller. Reunited - when the two ornaments are together, there’s an opportunity to give it another sub-function - such as a mood light. Thus adding value when not in use for communication purposes.

26 - 1 - 18 -- Talk with David I had a talk with David O’Leary today. I said how i was concerned about how limiting my concept was. I wanted more for the interim, and also didn’t feel the one I had after exploration was adequate enough. I liked the thinking behind the ornament. I liked how it was trying to develop a better communication/connection in a relationship. David told me for the next interim, to come up with loads of different scenarios of interaction between couples that wouldn’t be the same if one of them wasn’t there. After this I looked into scenarios to ideate from.

27 - 1 - 18 -- Making a focus group I decided to make a focus gorup. The reason for this is to get acurate, honest feedback and insights. The focus gorup is made up of 5 couples. There are couples about to experience, are currently and have experienced long distance relationships. My first Interaction was to ask them about scenarios.

29 - 1 - 18 -- Making the scenarios I made the scenarios from the feedback and personal experience, having previously experienced a long distance relationship. The wide variety of ideas (28 in total) were very different and subjective. However, a good and accurate foundation to work with. I now need to make visuals that best represnt them. I will do this on a graph with 4 axis’s.

31 - 1 - 18 -- concept generation Using the scenario graph I came up with 2 concepts. I now have 3 (still including the ornament). The first is the write light. The idea was to creat a personalised message, playing on the idea of the scenariof of ‘leaving notes, wish your partner a good day and waking your partner up’. The second is the hand pod. This is based on the scenarios of holding hands and relaxing together. I like the hand pod the most and it’s very original, simple and encompasses what I set out to achieve at the start. Providing a meaningful communication - in this instance you can communicate the feeling of reassurance and comfort.

2 - 2 - 18 -- Interim Feedback was good. The 3 concepts presented were well evaluated and understood. It confirmed my thinking about the ornament, I am going to commit to dropping that concept. I’m going to develop more concepts based on the scenario graph. I like the hand pod the most, and I like the idea of providing a convenient connection to people over long distance.

5 - 2 - 18 -- New Brief Based on the feedback and concept generation the brief has evolved. It is not ‘create a user focused product which provides a convenient connection for long distance relationships.’ I like this - although niche, it’s still broad. More concept generation required to devlop current ideas/take forward new ones.

the scneario graph

7 - 2 - 18 -- concept brainstorming I created more concepts based around the scenarios in the graph. I came up with the ‘cuddling cushion’, ‘emotive interaction’, disruptive home hub’, ‘long distance whiteboard’, and a ‘hug coat’. Some are very conceptual but I think there are elements in some that can benefit others. At this point my favourite still is the hand pod.

11 - 2 - 18 -- Storyboarding I did storyboards for all 7 concepts created in the previous excersise. I used these as minor stress-testing for small development opportunities. Furthermore this excersises provided the chance to carry out a ‘process of eliminiation’. I used this test to identify the concepts I want to take forward.

14 - 2 - 18 -- Chosen concept After the lo-fi storyboards I chose to take three concepts forward. I came to this decision through personal preference and which matched what I originally set out to achieve in regards to personal goals. Each concept inhibits a value that I feel reflects a good relationship. Disruptive Home hub - Humour, Emotive Interaction -

18 - 2 - 18 -- Storyboarding p2 I did more in-depth, better visualised storyboards to help me do minor stress-tests on the 3 chosen ideas that are to be taken forward. This was a good excersise and highlighted key areas that could be changed. However the findings didn’t feel that much different to what I thought i’d get.

22 - 2 - 18 -- Video Prototyping I did lo-fi videos to develop my thinking and stress-test concepts. I found this a good excersise. It highlighted to me that people’s instinctive interaction with the product needs to be considere and intuitive. The video prototyping was hugely beneficial. It highlighted key areas that I had forgotten about, but things I presumed and got wrong.

25 - 2 - 18 -- Final concept The concept I have chosen to take forward and develop for my final major project is the hand pod. The reason being is that firstly, it matches all the personal goals I wanted to achieve at the end of this project. Secondly, it matches the original intention of crating a meaningful communication. And thirdly, more importantly, I like it. The concept intrigues me.

26 - 2 - 18 -- 40% Interim I think the interim went well. I presented my concepts, which recevied good feedback. A key topic was the products ‘language’. The current concept is far to literal and there is a potential to play on the behaviour of holding hands. I need to look into people’s behavaiours and habits when holding hands with someone. There is a possibility to implement these habits as gestures and a way of interacting over long distances.

2 - 3 - 18 -- What’s to be done? After the interim I had a reflection on the feedback and decided on the next steps. The interim confirmed to me that I need to seek further external validation outside of my focus group. I’ve been searching and found Gjis Huisman, some one who specialises in interaction over long distances. He also collaberated on the HEY bracelet, a product I critically evaluated during my product analysis.

7 - 2 - 18 -- Talk with Gijs The talk with Gijs was immensely helpful. He varified that my concept has potential, and is excited to see the end outcome, whilst also willing to help and contribute along the way. Key points that I took out of the conversation is firstly his suggestion about involving forms of haptic feedback as a way of tracking hand/finger movements whilst holding the product. Secondly, he mentioned looking into the biology behind skin and how different receptors on the skin receive different types of social interaction. Thirdly, he said to look into the potential of saving/recording touches. I also want to get in contact with some behavioural psychologist, to help me figure out the correct interactions and aesthetic language I need for this product.

8 - 2 - 18 -- What’s next? The next steps for the product itself are to finally get hands on with electronics and model making. In addition to this, I will want to be received further external validation for this product. A behavioural physchologist and, if possible, further industry experts to help me develop this product. I’m hoping at the end of this project to have a working prototype adequate enough to use as a film prop.

Hand pod - Chosen concept.

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