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» Projects Adam Little @ CIID

Category Archives: Projects

Get Together

Get Together

Get Together, my final project at CIID, is now online. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way, whether it was acting in my videos, participating in my research experiments or putting up with a bombardment of text messages. And thanks to everyone that visited our end of year exhibition!

http://www.localhiddenvariable.com/get-together/

Prototype

Prototype

Our last class at CIID was an industry project with Nokia. In under two weeks, Nunzia Coco and I conducted user research, built prototypes and produced three different video scenarios. I just added the project to my porfolio, so go check it out!

I also updated the Thailand project with some photos, so you can check that out as well.

What is it?

Travel Global | Read Local is a library service for hotels and their guests. It aims to promote Danish culture & knowledge to visitors of Denmark by giving them access to library materials and services. At the same time, Travel Global | Read Local allows hotels to serve their guests in new ways by arranging to have library materials delivered directly to their rooms.

Who is it for?

Travel Global | Read Local is for hotels and their guests. Many visitors to Denmark are eager to find local knowledge about sights, activities, books, music and other things that suit their personal interests. Few places in Denmark provide such information to help people experience the local culture in a meaningful way.

Hotels are interested in meeting the needs of their customers and providing them a comforting and welcoming stay.

Why is it valuable?

Hotel guests are able to explore Danish culture through the library and have books, CDs and DVDs waiting at their hotel room when they arrive, all for free.

Hotels that partner with the library will have a unique service that allows them give their guests a personalized experience.

The library can continue it’s mission of providing free access to culture and information while at the same time lead the way in promoting Denmark as a country which places a high value in the sharing of knowledge.

Possible business opportunities exist for both the library and hotels to offer paid subscriptions and premium services.

How does it work?

A special library website promotes materials and information relevant for visitors and guests in Denmark. When a visitor books a room with a partner hotel, they are given the ability to reserve materials from the library website. The library will arrange to deliver the materials to the hotel and the hotel will manage the rest. A hotel guest has many options for returning books, reserving more books, etc.

What were your key learnings?

People coming to stay in Copenhagen all begin by following a very similar travel process. In general, many people who are new to an area often seek the local library because its universal services make it reliable. Many people visit a country to learn about it’s culture yet they have different tastes and interests. There is a need for local and trustworthy information that can be tailor made for specific people.

Copenhagen Central Library photo by Tobias Toft

Copenhagen Central Library photo by Tobias Toft

Week 1: The Context

Finding a design domain and building a user research plan was the primary focus of week 1. We had visits at several libraries to help generate a broad understanding of the existing system and services. We spoke with experts to gain knowledge in current trends, challenges and other issues facing libraries.

By the end of the week we chose ‘foreigners’ as a user group and made research plans to further refine this as a design domain.

We were interested in how library services could play a role with people who are visiting Denmark or who have just moved to Denmark. Plans for the following week included visits to the airport and other places where we might be able to find foreigners just arriving in Denmark.

Card sorting - one of our user research methods

Card sorting - one of our user research methods

Week 2: User Research

We conducted user research in the field and turned insights into design challenges. Most of the research took place at the airport and tourist information office where we conducted video interviews with tourists and foreigners living in Denmark. We were interested to know how they prepared for their trip and what resources they accessed once they arrived in Denmark.

After this we had the enormous task of finding the best quotes and observations from all our notes, videos and photos. For each insightful quote or observation we collected (we collected a lot), we had to answer “what does it mean?” Once this helped us understand the value in our insight, we then had to ask “so what?” As a group this really helped us figure out what was interesting and if it was useful.

The goal of this process was to create 3 well thought out design challenges that we could then create concepts for.

An early sketch by Sid

An early sketch by Sid

Week 3: First Concepts

We looked at three design challenges and created as many concepts as possible. We conducted many brainstorming sessions which included classmates not involved with our project. At the end of the week, we had literally hundreds of concepts. Most were purely inspirational but they provided material to develop several solutions and begin the process of planning how to execute an initial experience prototype.

After presenting three concepts to the class, we decided to move forward with one that involved incorporating library and hotel services. In a matter of days we were able to make a short video that communicated the idea.

Experience prototype at Hotel Fox in Copenhagen

Experience prototype at Hotel Fox in Copenhagen

Week 4: Experience Prototyping

hagen help us test our experience prototype with their guests. We prepared brochures, order forms and mini catalogs for the receptionist to distribute to guests when they check in to the hotel. We also brought 20 of our own books that the guests could borrow. The books were a mix of novels, guide books and design related photo books. Almost all of them had something to do with Denmark. We also included DVDs and a few other items in the catalog even though we did not bring them to the hotel. If a guest would like to borrow a book, they just need to fill out a small order form and give it to the receptionist. We also included questionnaires so that the guests could give us feedback about the service. Inside each book is a bookmark with recommendations based on that particular book. These include sights, other library materials and places to visit (i.e. The Danish Design Museum). For the sake of this prototype, the role of the library is not important. However we still included books and print material

We spent a few hours each day hanging out in the lobby and observing guests as they receive the brochure when they check in. The idea is to see if hotel guests, who generally only stay 2-3 nights, are interested in looking at new books and bringing them back to their rooms. We would also like to know what types of books are most popular and how the receptionists are able to manager the service.

Contents of the hotel welcome kit

Contents of the hotel welcome kit

Week 5: Solution Concept

We refined our hotel/library concept based on the insights from our experience prototypes and produced communication pieces to help make the concept clear and understandable. These included a concept video, service blueprint and system diagrams. We also began thinking about future scenarios based on the service we created and how a larger system could give travelers access to books all over the world.

This video was created for the 2 week course “Social Computing & Sustainability”. As the first of two Industry Projects we will have this year, it was a collaboration between the Interaction Design Pilot Year and Intel. Jacob, Yves and I produced this video as a mock “user research study” as a way to communicate Green House CPH, our concept for a government initiative to decrease energy consumption in Copenhagen.

I hope the video explains it all, otherwise keep reading for some more information and photos.

Read More »

What is it?

Our project is a scale that measures a food product’s environmental impact. It looks at the carbon emitted as a result of transporting the food and measures this in terms of how many trees would be required to offset that carbon over one year.

Who is it for?

The scale is an exhibition piece intended to make the general public think about the environmental implications of the food they purchase.

Guests at the final exhibition were able to use the scale and compare different food products.

Guests at the final exhibition were able to use the scale and compare different food products.

Why is it valuable?

This scale is an exploration in how tangible interfaces can be used to interact with data on the web. With the increase in usage of RFID technology and as “everday” objects become networked, we anticipate access to untold amounts of information for things as simple as an apple. With appropriate ways to interact with this data, we hope people will be able to make more informed decisions that will help build a sustainable world.

As an exhibition piece, this scale will raise questions about the food you buy, where it comes from and how it is transported. With a subject as complex as carbon emissions and the global food economy, our scale is only an entry point and is intended to raise more questions than it will answer.

This scale can also be viewed as a hypothetical kitchen appliance or point to a future grocery store service. The data it uses is important but remains hidden to most people, and we hope this will not be the case for much longer.

A scale that measures the weight of food in terms of it's environmental impact

A scale that measures the weight of food in terms of it's environmental impact

How does it work?

The scale works by looking at the carbon emitted by transporting a particular product from it’s country of origin to Denmark. Place an RFID tagged product on the appropriate arm and try to balance the scale with the tree shaped weights. The amount of trees used to balance the scale represents the number of actual trees it would take to offset that product’s carbon emissions over one year. Swap items on the scale and compare different items from a particular country or similar items from different countries.

Place RFID tagged food here

Place RFID tagged food here

What were your key learnings?

Our team experienced many challenges in assembling the scale and in gathering the data behind the products, but most of our key learnings came in the beginning of the project. Rapid prototyping and user testing were essential for our team. We learned that building rudimentary models is the best way to test rudimentary ideas. Some models told us when an idea was going in the wrong direction while other models told us this only when in the hands of people outside our team. From the beginning, our project was heavy with metaphors - a scale and weights to measure data, and trees to represent this data. User testing was the only way to know if these metaphors were the right choice.

Place trees here - These trees, made of glass and acrylic, functions as weights

Place trees here - These trees, made of glass and acrylic, functions as weights

Team Members:

Eilidh Dickson, Siddharth Muthyala, Adam Little

Many thanks to Vinay Venkatraman for working with us on weekends and evenings.

For more information about this project and course, please see my blog archive for TUI

A screenshot from the table

Screenshot from an application running on a home made interactive table

After setting up an interactive surface with ReacTIVision, we needed to create an application that would be engaging to the rest of our classmates and demonstrate the potential of this new tool. The result, which needed to be accomplished in less than a day, was a toy that allowed you to mix and match the body parts of all the Pilot Year students (plus a few unsuspecting faculty). No video yet, but keep reading for some photos…

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Face Off projection

Face Off projection

I just finished a five day workshop with Yaniv Steiner which covered many things, from toys and games to computer vision and magic tricks. Presented here is a project we spent 2 days working on which required us to create a game using motion tracking with Adobe Flash. The result was Face Off, a game where two people must work together to keep the music going by dancing at the right time.

Read More »