Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pigford: Extra credit

Andrew Zahn

Pigford: Installation

            I found her installations smart and informed, as well as simple and fun. The first piece consisted of one computer hard drive triggered by a motion sensor. When I approached the piece, the HD started to spin. I felt the wind produced by it on my face. I feel this installation as about humans interacting and using information. It could have been improved if it sensed how long you stood in front of it and maybe spun faster the longer you stand in front of it.

            The second piece consisted of several dozen computer HD’s, all spinning at different rates and times. This was also triggered by a low cost motion sensor. When no one is in the gallery space, the piece goes silent. The clacking sounds begin as you step into the space, and more and more HD’s are triggered as you walk near the piece. This piece could be improved with more specific sensing through a more sophisticated motion sensor (maybe an ultrasonic sensor). This piece was also about the information age, but it better conveyed the idea of multiple layers of information and large numbers of users in society using high tech memory and storage.

            The final piece was a sound piece. It consisted of about a dozen wooden mallets triggered by a single push button. A single press triggered a short sequence of mallets playing. The longer I pressed the button, the long the sequence, and more complicated the pattern. I felt that the user would be better served if they were to press the button once and only one mallet triggered. This way the user could discover the patterns more slowly. Or if the user was able program their own sequence with a record function, it would improve the interactivity of the piece.




Final: See DVD

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Learning log 6:B Future of Design

They speak about "SPIME" objects, they define them as, "Networked, context aware, self monitoring, and self documenting." Wearables - sensor heavy technology that we bring with us wherever we are. Soon, this type of technology is be so integrated into our society that we will  no longer notice them. This is part of what they define as "UBICOMP" - Ubiquitous computing that is EVERYWHERE. Everything (almost) will have this feature, a networked society that is self-aware and intelligent. 
I hope to live long enough to see they day that a computer is almost a clone of the human brain... This time is coming - Ray Kurzweil calls this "The Singularity" - the moment that machines become self-aware. 

Learning log 6:A Future of Design

I found interesting how they speak about computer moving from behind monitors to all around us. I have always been fascinated with future technology and the way our society is adapting with it. The reading talks about robots preforming tasks that humans preform normally. Also about artificial intelligence. I am a big fan of Ray Kurzweil, and the inevitable merger of humans and robots. As he predicts, we will eventually merge into one, indistinguishable entity. This is what they are getting at in the reading. 
All areas of our lives are changing at a rapid, accelerating rate, due to technology. The IPHONE, and other portable, wireless technology is proof that this is coming faster than we previously thought. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LEARNING LOG 5:2. Situated Types

I loved this reading, connecting a global community with technology has always fascinated me. Here they talk about digital communications being used to share ideas through a global network. Touch screen technology,  surveillance, etc.. are elements that bring the word together in a kind of global cafe. 
But non-digital forms of meeting is also a topic. Weather it be in a cafe, bar, mall, at home, or in a workspace, we can gather and share ideas. 
Overall this reading talks about where we gather and what the space in used for. For example, right now, I am typing this blog entry in a cafe off Rittenhouse square. There are other people working on laptops, reading, talking, or writing. This is a type of space for information sharing a meeting.


As I sit here and read and write - it directly relates to the reading. Overall, this is about how humans function in different space, and how we use those spaces, either real or virtual.

LEARNING LOG 5: Service Design

I found that all of the variables of service design interesting. I don't normally think about how many factors go into a "Service". All of the intangible elements and time related fluctuations that account for a service are things that one would not normally think about. 
How the environment itself also creates affordances is interesting. This seems to me to be a crucial element that is often overlooked. The easier, more simple, and using less thinking to navigate through the environment all play a part in how we view and use that space. Research and analyzing the space before deciding on the final design is important:

Taking photographs, video, mapping all play a role in this research. Looking at all of these elements as a whole are good indicators of what can be done with that service space.
Designers must look at all the "Touchpoints" to make informed decisions: 

. Physical locations

. Specific parts of locations

. Signage

. Objects

. Web sites

. Mailings (e-mail and regular)

. Spoken communication

. Printed communications (receipts, maps, tickets, and so on)

. Applications

. Machinery

. Customer service

. Partners

All of these elments can come into play - It seems that service design can be more varied and in depth than one might think off the bat.

Also, something else that stuck out to me was the role-playing that goes into designing a service; ie, acting out and putting yourself into the role of a customer can be very important in making decisions about how that service will function.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 7 Log: Refinement

This refinement refers to the constraints of time, money, and resources. As well as knowledge. This chapter gets more in depth with how the process of design works. It starts with an idea a research. Then the work flow comes into play. The physical constrains, ie; materials, etc.. affect the process as well as the end product. Speaking in terms of physical controls, we deal with buttons, dials, switches, latches, and motors, ect... Digitally, we speak in terms of scroll bars, drop down menus, check boxes, ect... More advanced interfaces include, Voice, gesture, and presence. 
It can be very fun to design products or interfaces that use many or all of these elements. This chapter really got me thinking about project that I might want to work on in the future. 
Choosing the right elements to give the user the right feedback and affordance can be the creative part. But this can also give new uses for a product when a mistake is made during the design process. A mental model is great, but if a product does not do what we want it to do than the process can be a waste of time. Using research as well as storyboards, and web charts can be a clear way to get the process started. Once we decide to go in a certain direction, the design process starts. Employing all these design factors can make the process much faster and cleaner.