NIRD

We came up with a Design Process Model called NIRD – a Non-obtrusive way to Integrate Reflection into Daily practice. This was a collaboration with Anna Eaglin, Chris Basham, and Xiying Wang.

The Problem

According to Donald Schön, being reflective about the decisions you make as a designer helps a person understand why they do what they do, and it also helps them build a repertoire that will aid when encountering new design situations.

However, we found from our primary research that designers understand the value of reflection, but do not reflect because of three main issues:

  • They are not sure when to reflect
  • They are not sure how to reflect
  • They are not sure what to reflect upon

Based on the issues uncovered, we created our solution that had designers reflecting five times a day via short activities.

  • When: Morning, before lunch, during lunch, after lunch, and at the end of the day (five set times).
  • How: Blog post, twitter, text message, post-it note, sketch, video commentary, etc.
  • What: The current project.

Testing this method ourselves, we found that it did not work for the following reasons:

  • The when was too structured and did not allow for flexibility
  • The how was too varied and provided too many options
  • The what was too specific; Often projects can move slowly and we found we were struggling to come up with things to reflect upon

In order for our model to be successful, the following changes were integrated:

  • The when is flexible
  • The what is any event in your life
  • The how is a specific activity

Based on our insights, we created a Non-obtrusive way to Integrate Reflection into Daily practice (NIRD).

Using a pen and a post-it note, the designer keeps a log of any event in their day (personal or professional) in the form of a mind map that grows throughout the day. Then, at the end of the day, an overall reflection can be written on the back of the Post-It.

This final incarnation of the model has a very low barrier to entry, is quick and simple, and the materials are ready at hand. The Post-Its can be kept within a notebook or sketch book, daily planner, or organized in many other ways.

We also found this model is flexible enough to allow people to incorporate it into their lives in many different ways. Below are four variations:

After Effects Projects

I took a class on Program Graphics and Animation in Spring 2010. We explored using Photoshop to create graphics and Final Cut Pro to create basic effects. We spent the bulk of the semester looking at After Effects to create various types of animations. Below are the 3 main projects I created in the class:

Shoot Now!

I self-published a book on Lulu.com about basic photography principles, using the Canon SD 1200 IS as a model. The book is aimed primarily at beginners using point-and-shoot cameras, introducing them to concepts such as:

  • Holding the camera
  • Focusing
  • Composition
  • Positioning
  • Shooting Indoors and Outdoors (White Balance and Flash control)
  • Importing and Displaying photos

I also created a Letter-sized foldout guide that contains the most salient principles of the book for easy access and referencing while in the field.

The book is available in both print and PDF on Lulu.com.

Pirate Navigator

Overview | Team | Role & Responsibilities | Skills

Overview

We designed a museum exhibit that engaged participants in 17th Century navigation techniques. Set in the form of a pirate treasure hunt, participants found artifacts and learned little-known facts about historical pirates. The project took seven weeks to complete.

Research

We started by visiting the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to find out for ourselves what qualities engaging various exhibits had on people. We found that:

  • Immersive environments made for highly-engaging experiences (especially role-playing)
  • Engaging experiences led to higher educational value
  • Immersive and engaging experiences were highly enjoyable

As this project required full consideration for universal accessibility to our exhibit, we also researched and prototyped three different disabilities (cataracts, tinnitus and ADHD) that each team member would experience in order to draw design insights.

Concept

From our observations, we determined that the core of our design would need to be immersive,  enjoyable and educational, as well as incorporate role-play. After brainstorming various themes, we decided to do a pirate treasure hunt using navigational techniques employed by pirates and sailors of the 17th Century.

First Prototype

After researching various historical navigation techniques, we made a quick prototype of an indoor exhibit that employed a modified version of “dead reckoning”: navigation by “the stars” and determining distance by human paces. After several rounds of usability evaluations, we realized that our method would require tools similar to those used in an actual dead reckoning technique, as pacing distances varied from person to person. We also realized that familiarity with the space we were using for our prototype skewed the participant’s experience.

Second Prototype

We decided to provide participants with a compass and a spool of knotted rope (inspired by a chip log) , and relocated our prototype to an outdoor location. We tested two pairs and a group of four to determine collaborative qualities in the experience. The tests were done both in the day and night to determine the prototype’s feasibility in various lighting conditions.

The results were very favorable; teams enjoyed the experience, and suggested that we expand the scale and difficulty of the treasure hunt, improve initial training of the navigational tools, and introduce mini-puzzles to be solved before revealing clues.

Team

Chris Basham
Pan Yue

Role & Responsibilities

Facilitator – led the team through the design process
Videographer – shot and edited experience design video

Skills

Ideation
Videography
Photography
Prototyping
Usability testing
Video editing/animation
Presenting

Cultural Probe

Overview | Team | Role & Responsibilities | Skills

Overview

For our Interaction Design Methods course at Indiana University, teams were tasked to design a cultural probe to send to a group of elderly citizens in San Francisco. The goal was to understand their beliefs, desires and preferences, in order to aid our design of a public interactive art installation to encourage their engagement with the city’s nightlife.

Cultural probe 1

Cultural probe contents. We provided a clay bird house that our audience could paint on as a warm-up to the rest of the probe's contents, and a packet of toy dinosaurs to encourage whimsical thinking about visiting museums.

Cultural probe 2

We provided a specimen thousand dollar bill and asked our audience to write down in the notebook (provided in the probe package) what activities would they engage in if they were in downtown San Francisco at night.

Cultural probe 3

Instruction contained within dollar bill

Cultural probe 4

We provided a postcard with questions to encourage our audience to respond and mail back to our design team. The questions were: "What place does music have in your life?" and "What is the most important thing in your life?"

Cultural probe 5

We provided a set of invitation cards to simulate our audience inviting their friends to an event downtown, and asked who they would invite, and what type of party and activities they would engage in.

Team

Ravikumar Jayaraman
Evan Lipton

Role & Responsibilities

Facilitator – led the team through the design process
Photographer – documented the team’s design process through images

Skills

Ideation
Photography
Prototyping
Usability testing
Paper write-up / editing
Presenting

Football Tablet App

Overview | Team | Role & Responsibilities | Skills | Downloads & Links

Overview

We designed an application that would allow football coaches to review video clips of previous plays in order to provide richer visual examples as they coach their players. The app would wirelessly download video clips from a central video server to a tablet PC, and both players and coaches can review, pan, zoom, pull up specific information (and related video clips) of a particular player, and annotate information that can be passed around to other team members for quick dissemination of information.

Football tablet first screenFootball tablet second screenFootball tablet final screen

Progression of screen states for the Football Tablet App

Team

Ravikumar Jayaraman
Evan Lipton
Chenchun Lee

Role & Responsibilities

Photographer – documented the team’s design process through images
Usability test facilitator – conducted the usability test with several users

Skills

Ideation
Photography
Prototyping
Usability testing
Presenting

Downloads & Links

Download usability test documentUsability test document