City Go Round is a project initiated in the Mind the Gap workshop with students from Royal College of Art. Further development and execution of the idea are done by our team in Taiwan.
City Go Round is an interactive design incorporating cultural arts, information engineering, and tourism. Adopting the idea of a slot machine, City Go Round randomly picks four recommended places for people to visit with a pull of the lever, saving time on the action of planning and deciding. City Go Round allows people to kick-off their adventures with actual “Fun.”
City Go Round is a group project, Ting-Hsuan Chang, Yen-Chi Ho and Yu-Hsuan Lai are co-designers. Ting-Hsuan Chang and I designed and built the machine and the user interface. Yen-Chi Ho developed the website. Yu-Hsuan Lai worked with people in London to construct the exhibition.
We worked with Tainan City Government to improve the tourists' experiences in Tainan train station. Tainan train station is a public transportation hub in Tainan city. It is a place that every tourist will visit when they arrive in Tainan. However, the information systems in the station were not very friendly to tourists. People easily got lost or feel overwhelmed by the complex, unorganized information. Therefore, We decided to focus on the design of the information system, which integrates with local tourism and public transportation.
There are three simple steps to use City Go Round: shuffling, exploring and sharing.
CITY GO ROUND WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY
City Go Round cooperates with local businesses to hold events or provide special discount for users. By combining tourists, local businesses and city, City Go Round creates a local community.
We want to keep the map as simple as possible, so we only provide information about the name, address, a rating score, as well as three adjectives that best describe the place. Also, the map is a foldable postcard. People can share their journey with their friend after visiting the places on the map.
SLOT MACHINE MECHANISM
To generate a feeling of playfulness, we focused on developing a mechanism to mimic the sound and touch feedback of a slot machine. Also, we used wood to create a comfortable sensation.
USER INTERFACE PROTOTYPE
We did a paper prototype to stimulate the using process and the switch between the physical interface and the digital one. After that, we ran it on the actual device to get feedback from others.
CITY GO ROUND IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
City Go Round will be installed in every transportation hub such as train stations and bus stations. Tourists can find City Go Round within a one kilometre. As a result, they don’t need to worry about where they should go next and have a wonderful traveling experience.
LONDON DEIGN FESTIVAL
In London Design Festival, we introduced City Go Round to the people who came to see the show. People used City Go Round machine and printed out adventure map of Tainan.
The design brief is developing a system to help design agency to save brain waste. The idea is based on the observation of design agencies spend hours to come up with tons of different ideas for every project, but only one idea will be executed at the end. The unchosen ideas could have a powerful impact in different contexts. Therefore, we design a system for design agencies to store and be inspired by the ideas.
We are all familiar with the moment that an idea occurs to our minds and we scribble it on a piece of paper next to us. Ideas strat to grow from the moment we put it down. In order to collect every possible idea, we define our product as a platform to integrate the physical and digital ideation process.
The physical component is a framework that provides guidelines for recording ideas. The digital component is a website/app for recording and reviewing ideas.
The BlankBank wordmark serves more as a placeholder for categories of ideas rather than a stylistic logo. Its bold yet simple quality is reflected on the entire system, where ideas are valued more than anything else.
We use Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ Super and Medium for type throughout the BlankBank idea archiving system. When using the Super weight, only uppercase letters are used, and this weight is used on more important information. Akzidenz is simple and neutral, performs great in smaller sizes and doesn’t take away too much attention.
The physical component is two stamps. One has the framework of recording ideas; the other is an approval stamp that people can use for selecting worth saving ideas.
The framework stamp assists users to clarify ideas within a sentence: This is a___that___for___. Also, it reminds users to write down the key information for the future search.
The stamps can be applied on different sizes of notebooks, papers or anything users want to write on. This feature makes recording ideas easy and accessible.
The digital component is an app that can help users to record, review and share ideas in different scenarios. It has four functions: search, discover, collect and archive.
Search: search ideas with full-text search or create filters to refine the search results.
Discover: discover ideas by choosing different brownie's tags. (Brownie's Guide to Expertly Defined Ideas)
Collect: collect ideas that suit for the current projects and export them to the idea board.
Archive: record/digitalize ideas that might be useful in the future.
This is a research/ graphic design project I did at Verdes for Haven Life. The design brief is as followed: Haven Life just moved into their new office, and they are looking to create an intuitive, and connected environment. Therefore, we are going to design an inter-office communication tool for them to nurture the office culture.
The inter-office communication tool must be made out of the cut off wood cube from the office furniture.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SAY?!
In the office, we conducted an internal investigation into messages that people want to leave to one and another. We found out that there are two different kinds of messages: Individuals status and group dialogue. However, individual’s status can be observed through behaviors. For example, if someone puts up a headphone and look at screen seriously, that means the person is concentrated on the work. There is no need to create another layer of communication to deliver the message of "I am busy." Therefore, we decided to focus on the "group dialogue" type of messages, which are less obvious in the office environment.
Based on the internal communication research, the messages are composed of four fundamental elements: punctuation, action, object and time. Through assembling these four elements, writing messages can be simple and interesting.
Before diving into icons design, we collected some empirical data from Haven Life's office. We gathered photos of their office and did a survey with their employees to get a better understanding of what the office conversation are so that we can create a series of exclusive icons for Haven Life.
We analyzed icons based on two qualities: expressive versus abstract and relevant (to Haven Life) versus irrelevant. We aimed to design icons that are more abstract and relevant.
Reimagining the personalization.
Nowadays, people have abilities to change products' colors, textures, forms, and even functions. Design becomes more personalized than it had ever been. What else can we do to create a more personal experience through the products? If we think carefully about designing products again, we will notice that there are some elements, which unconsciously affect our feelings toward products. The experience of products heavily depends on our senses, such as touch, sound, and how we use products. We never pay attention to the weight of products until it suddenly changes, or we won't notice the water boiling if we change the sound of kettles. All these minor details deeply influence our using experiences. So, let's figure out how to use these invisible elements to create better-using experiences.
The user experiencea are defined at the very beginning of design process. In this stage, designers do research that leads to the design concept and final outcomes. Therefore, the beginning is the most crucial part of design process, which set the tone of the design. Therefore, users should get involved at the beginning of design process By making users from passively choose products into positively contribute to the concept, we can create better end-user experiences.
What's the role of users in the co-design process?
During the concept generating process, designers use a lot of pictures to describe their understanding of the project and try to translate abstract information into a concrete concept. Also, some designers tend to use words to link the feelings. These methods make design concept real and shareable. So, if users can use this methodology to share their ideas, the design itself could be more active.
SENSING OBJECTS is a platform for users and designers to co-design product. For users, start with choosing and sharing experiences, based one products and words, they can learn a different way to perceive products and build their understanding of d esigning products. Later on, they can start to design products and contribute to design process. For designers, the more people get involved in design process, the more variety they will bring into the design. With others contribution, design will become more and more engaging!
For beginners, they can start by implementing to evaluating and giving feedback on the design. For amateurs, they can try to develop the solution for the concept and improve the current ideas. For professionals, their challenges will be developing design concepts.
Co-designer: Rodrigo Guadarrama
VOCAL is a product + digital platform for empowerment through storytelling and social integration. First, it provides the user with cards that aid in the process of finding a topic by probing the user’s experiences and interests. Then, it guides them through the process of generating a script by using a series of prompts to elicit thought. Once the script is done, VOCAL is used as a recording studio and sharing platform.
Skills: Contextual design, The integration of physical and digital platforms.
Design for aging population is a broad topic. Therefore, we decide to narrow down the scope before we do the research.
We analyze the possible topics that we can address within the aging population. There are three main topics: social challenge, physical challenge, and mental challenge. Social challenge means the external force that makes older adults feel alienated. Physical challenge indicates the change of body that causes more efforts in their daily lives. The mental challenge is about the culture and background that shapes their ways of perceiving things. These three topics are interrelated.
Based on our team interest, our research focuses on the area in between the mental and social challenges. We define our area of interests as empowering older adults through education.
There are two parts for primary research. First, the observation of the environment of the retirement community. The environment includes the tangible facilities and intangible systems. The second part is the workbooks and interviews. The purpose of the workbook is to find out the role of learning in their daily lives. The interviews reveal the general interests of the activities in the retirement community.
1. Learning technology is a hot topic. As a group, they value the idea of learning new, technology-related skills to keep up to date with family, friends, and society.
2. Learning must have an immediate, perceivable value. They won't invest time learning something might be useful in the future.
3. Communities play important roles. They like to be attached to a specific interest group, such as gardening group, reading group, and movie appreciating group.
1. Guidance and assistance are necessary and crucial for learning. It helps them to overcome mental and physical challenges.
2. Something familiar. It's easier to use something they already know as a metaphor to introduce a new idea.
TAILOR TO OUR USERS
The participants we worked with have the common interest in reading and they are both learning computers in order to communicate with others.
During the interview, when we ask them about their opinions, and thoughts, they are not very revealing. However, once we started the topic about their past experiences, they were willing to share more and we build our trust through storytelling.
The conclusion is older adults desire company and human interactions, but they are passive on building connections with others. It might be due to them lacking confidence. Therefore, we decided to design a system to empower them to share their stories and build connections in a fun and innovative way.
Vocal is a podcasting system designed for older adults that integrates physical and digital platform. There are three elements in the system: cards, recorder, and website. Vocal cards are a series of questions/hints to guide users through the process of generating podcast contents. The recorder is a simple, convenient product that facilitates the recording process. The website is a place for older adults to be heard; it's also a platform for family members to interact with older adults.
DESIGN VOCAL CARDS
The purpose of vocal cards is to assist old adults to go through the process of defining, preparing and organizing materials for the podcast.
There five types of question:
1. WHAT: What topic is interesting to be covered?
2. HOW: How to structure a podcast?
3. WHO: Who can talk to? Who can bring in the resource?
4. WHY: Why would you/audience like this episode?
5. WHICH: Which format can you use to present this topic?
DESIGN VOCAL RECORDER
The recorder can be a small handheld device, a computer program, or a booth. But "What's the best form/setup it can take?" we kept asking this question to ourselves. Based on the insight we got, the device should be something familiar to older adults. We decided to take the direction of designing a device that is similar to radio.
DEVELOPMENT & USER TESTING
We did several interviews and workshops with our participants to make sure our design meets their needs. Also, we ran a user testing workshop to tailor the products to older adults, such as font sizes on the cards, the button on the recorder, and the usage of microphones.
VOCAL RECORDER AND CARDS
There is two type of recorder.
Main device: It has on/off, forward, backward, stop, pause, play, volume up and down buttons. Also, it has a layer of felt that can wrap around the device and click on the machine.
Satellite device: Portable recorders that older adults can hang around their neck in order to get better recording quality.
VOCAL DIGITAL PLATFORM
There are two types of users on the VOCAL website: storyteller and audience. The website aims to integrate the two different using scenarios.
GROUP RECORDING STUDIO
In conjunction with a satellite device to be used for recording larger groups, it includes everything they might need to share in a single device with a simple and intuitive interface.
BUY ONE GET ONE FRIEND
The system provides people with material benefits as motivation to make people start to interact with others. In addition, the shopping system corresponds to every stage of shopping process and offers information or incentives to facilitate the interaction.
UNDERSTANDING THE "SHOPPING" PROCESS
The ideal shopping experiences happen more often in the Taiwanese's traditional market rather than the westernized supermarkets. Shopping in the traditional markets, people have more interaction with others. We bargain with vendors, we share food with strangers, and we talked about our lives. The fun of shopping is based on the human interactions. I wanted to design a system that brings back the interactions between people in the supermarkets.
There are five stages of shopping process: need identification, information gathering, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. Information gathering, evaluation, and decision making are the crucial parts of creating opportunities for interactions. Touch points are the moment that people exchange information, make connections and make decisions. Therefore, the system is focused on these three stages.
Using a storyboard to illustrate the shopping process and identify the touch points. The "buy one get on friend" service has three main component: member card, scanning device and the digital platform in the device.
Member card: The barcode on the card helps the machine to identify the person and find the past shopping information.
Scanning device: A device that can scan foods and search for the matching results.
Digital platform: A platform integrating the physical and digital experience.
It's a hand-held device that has a magnet on the back which can be easily attached on the shopping cart.
There are five stages for the interactions.
First, starting the shopping process. In this stage, users use the device to find the member's information and using the shopping list function to get items they need.
Second, finding the discount. When the device detected that someone is buying the same on sales items as the user, it will automatically match and show the location of the other person.
Third, bonding moment. When they find each other, they have to shack devices together to connect.
Fourth, receiving discount. After the connections, each one of them will receive the discount confirmation and they can check out separately.
Fifth, maintaining connections. Once they go home, they can log in on the website to leave the reviews in the community and share their shopping experiences.