Unpacking Interviews + Prototype Ideas

Today we (finally) got around to unpacking all of our interviews. We had unpacked them each individually previously. Now though, we took all the interviews and unpacked them. (PS – if you do not understand what I am talking about, this post is in relation to my design challenge) We unpacked the interviews using a larger version of the design distiller from our playbook, and along the way noticed how similar all the interviews were. They all focused on student creativity and freedom being both promoted and increased. Unstructured spaces need to become more prominent, and students need to have time to relax. Now, we are taking what we have learned from these interviews and figuring out how to apply them to our prototype. Below is our unpacked interviews:


Previously, we decided to test a prototype for our challenge, and brainstormed ideas and solutions for all the current and future prototypes. Here is our brainstorming:

IMG_1717 IMG_1718

Lightbox Experiment

Finally! The plan is coming together! Our video has now been edited and has music, our presentation is being polished, our timeline is up-to-date until December (wow!), and we now have a game plan for our food test. Phase 1 of our food test is being implemented tomorrow; we are bringing in some granola bars to test the effect food has on people; i.e. whether or not it improves peoples concentration and creativity. To observe this, we plan to film this, along with ethnographing ourselves. We have also run through out presentation today – which has come a long way from where it began. And, I finished up brainstorming for our concession stand test, and made an “Experiment Plan”.

Here is the Experiment Plan:


And this is the brainstorming/planning for the concession stand and food test:


We will be starting to finish up phase 1 tomorrow; updates on the experiment coming soon!

User-Centered Experiment Q & A

After watching the video footage of our experiment, the facilitators prompted us to brainstorm a list of questions based on what we saw that the video would help to answer.

So far, we have this list of questions and to-be-continued answers:

  • What do people use the lightbox for?
    • talking
    • ping-pong club
    • faculty meetings
    • admissions events – tour days
    • studying?
    • eating – fuse15
    • social events
    • concerts
  • What do people gather around?
    • games
    • kitchen/food
    • places to share information/food/laughs
    • where people are
    • information/knowledge
  • Where in the school do people gather?
    • Media Center
    • Overlook
    • Lightbox
    • classrooms
    • locker bays
    • art room
    • lunch room
    • art gallery
    • conference room
    • hallways
    • gym
    • sports facilities
    • green space/quad
    • patio
  • Where do people gather outside of school?
      • parties
      • people’s houses
      • Starbucks
      • the mall
      • weddings
      • family events
      • kitchen table
      • the park
      • church/mosque/temple/other religious center
      • internet – tumblr, twitter, facebook
      • movie theaters
      • restaurants
      • pool
  • Why do they gather there?
  • When do people gather?
    • weekends
    • during the school/work day
      • in classrooms
      • conferences
      • meetings
    • after school
    • special events
    • free time
    • work time
  • How can we tell if someone is relaxed?
  • Are vending machines all we need for a relaxing environment?
  • Where to people tend to gravitate to?
    • What do they do there?
    • talk
    • play
    • share
    • collaborate
    • innovate
  • Should game tables be a more prominent feature?
  • Why do people prefer tables over chairs?
  • Why do people not use chairs even though they are provided?
  • When people are given a choice versus a more “forced” area of relaxation, which do they relax in more?
  • What is the value of playing games during the work day?
  • Do people people prefer sitting on tables vs. chairs? Why or why not? Are there situations for either?

Reflection on Design Challenge

The design challenge my group has been doing has been a series of ups and downs, loops and swirls, backtracking, turning around, screeching to a halt, then racing ahead. (To see an overview of my design challenge, follow the link here). Each stage has been totally and completely different and yet altogether the same. My team started out with me, Colton, and Nolan. Our idea was to implement more vending machines. How? We didn’t know. Why? Well, to get food to the people. What was the problem? A lack of food. Who had we interviewed? Umm..no one. Altogether, not a very put-together idea. Then we joined forces with the rooftop cafe group (Emmy, Mitch, and Brady) and our ideas as well as our presentation began more clearly defined. But, we soon realized we had too many ideas. We wanted students to have more food and freedom, we wanted them to be themselves and relax, and we still wanted the vending machines. Why? No one really had an answer except that it sounded cool. Needless to say, our first pitch did not go all that well. But in a way it went really, really well. Because we realized how disorganized we really were, it propelled us to do better. But, what really helped, was all the feedback from not only our peers, but the facilitators as well. Through out peers, we realized that we needed to improve our presentation, refocus our ideas, and get some more research. The facilitators feedback was feedback we asked for even after the pitch. This helped us to redefine our HMW, focus our group and get on the same page, and actually figure out how to start. After a bit of a rough patch figuring out what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how we could all get along and focus, (due mostly to the help of the facilitators) we finally got into the swing of things. Suddenly, we were researching, measuring, moving furniture, ethnographing, interviewing, emailing, presenting, planning, assigning roles, creating models, and collaborating like mad. We had gone from a group that said “Hey, we should probably work,” everyone agreeing that yes, we should probably work, half-heartedly working for 15-20 minutes, to a group that was much more focused, that would work then at the end of iDiploma, come back, share what we did, and plan for the next iD session. It really was a turn-around! Now, we have accomplished three interviews, redesigned our presentation, created a CAD model of our idea on SketchUp, put quite a bit more research backing up our idea, created a “To Do, Doing, Done” board as well as a weekly plan, and rewritten our HMW to be more focused and not as broad. Now, we hope to be able to implement some of our experiments in the next week or so to test out some of our ideas to see if they are “real-world” compatible or not.

Design Challenge Moment Snapshot

To see the summary of my design challenge follow the link here. One moment that was pleasantly surprising was right after our first pitch. We all got together as a team and sat down and discussed our project. In doing so, we learned more about each other, and as a result, became more functional as a team. Now, we have made significant progress as a team, redesigning our HMW, rewriting our presentation, researching more, and simply accomplishing more. Because we sat down as a team and really talked about our shortcomings, what we have accomplished, how to be more productive, and what our goal of our design challenge really is.