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So, I’m almost done reading the Falk & Dierking paper about creating museum experiences and I felt compelled to write this blog post about my feelings towards it. Before I even stop, let me first pay my respects to these museum curators and apologize, once again, for my narrow-minded view on museums and the arts. I know in a past blog post, I admitted my wrong for believing the arts were a useless field but now I must say that I now realize that I didn’t really pay much attention to the care and love that museum curators put into making museums an experiences, especially since they are dealing with a very broad audience that they want to cater to. Just reading this paper gave me a headache. I didn’t realize that museum curators had to take everything like these elements into consideration in order to give the best possible experience to their customers. Even if they aren’t following these elements down to the letter, I can understand how frustrating it can be for you to have a vision in mind for an artifact; but your visitors disclaim it and form their own vision. So, kudos to the curators!!

But getting to the actual passage of the paper, I wholeheartedly agree with what was said in this passage. A lot of things that Falk & Dierking pointed out really sat with me in a deep way, but one that I completely felt like needed to be highlighted, italicized, bolded, and capitalized would have to be on page 141, PDF page 4 where it says,

“Museums need not try to compete with
Disneyland, but they should accept that they are competing
for visitor’s leisure time and they need to be attuned to the
needs and desires of their consumers.”

True, museums are in competition with places like Disneyland and I understand that in order for them to face up to them, they have to make the necessary changes to their exhibits to pull in visitors. But there is a fine line that is set between the fun you have strictly for fun and the fun you have strictly for education. When I have a museum in mind, I don’t picture an arcade. That, to me, would be a waste of my time because I’m there to get something specific such as an educational piece for me to use in my daily life. To me, I believe a lot of people think like this and if museums try to compete with a fun activity in another spectrum, that could lead to ruin. Personally, I feel that museums are the one with the advantage versus Disneyland. Disneyland is seasonal, tickets are expensive to get in, you must pay to get on certain rides, if you’re hungry you can expect to pay an arm and a leg and let’s not factor in gas money and travel fees. Museums are the places that people go to when they know they don’t have the money to indulge in the reckless fun so they go for the fun they can afford and get something out of it.

 

For my final paper I kinda wanted to revisit Folkmann, but I am unsure if this is enough for the purposes of the paper.

So here is sort of the breakdown of what Jeff talked about in class yesterday with regards to my overarching topic: Interaction design in public spaces

Note this is sort of the Why of my capstone, but I can’t separate them…

  • Why
    • Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to visit various cities and countries, as well as many museums in different places. The interactive installations and public art projects I have experienced have left a big impression on me. While these events have been impactful on the way I see the world, I believe these type of projects are scarce, in the sense that public spaces are normally quite static. I want to bridge this gap, and create everyday aesthetic experiences. My interest in ubiquitous computing and embodied interactions fit in this space, as I see an opportunity to bring interactive experiences into public spaces, and add to the aesthetic quality of life.
    • The why in terms of contribution, I do see a trend in more tangible interactions in space. Be an app that guides you through a store, or in-store experiences, I think technology embedded in our environments is in a way inevitable, but the execution could be overwhelming and overbearing, or well executed and aesthetic.
  • What
    • I seek to understand how public installations create meaning and build memorable experiences for people, with the aim of providing design principles for ubiquitous technology.  Too broad ? (perhaps)
  • How
    • I think the how is what might be different to my capstone, since there I am building something, and have talked to ppl and done a bunch of primary research. I think in understanding several designs more in depth, and I think Follkmann is a way in that seemed more natural for the type of design (meaning looking at sensual-phenomenological, conceptual-hermeneutical, and contextual discursive platforms). So would looking at say 5 installations and break them down into their components, and see what patterns emerge be enough? (what say you?) I think an underlying claim is that in understanding how installations create such experiences, we can design better ubiquitous technology or something like that.

So in terms of what things I need to look into, it would be something like:

  • Explain Folkmann’s platforms
  • Show why it ties well to this type of designs, or why I think it can be used (find the value in a way)
  • Find if someone has used this for some other ulterior motive(s)
  • Talk about 1 example of how it is used
  • Summarize findings from doing this 5 times or so

I think the paper structure I am using as a basis is the defamiliarization paper (explain what technique is, how it is used in some cases, drop some principles).

Any concerns/criticisms/worries/show stoppers you can see?

 

I’ve really struggled with choosing something to write about for the final paper. I tried a collection/survey approach with my prewriting as practice for the type of paper I thought I wanted to write later in the semester. The prewriting was a total botch job, and I’ve been in a holding pattern since then. Thankfully, Jeff’s diagram in class today helped me put the pieces together of something else that’s been floating around my mind for a while. This paper might be a chance to dig into it further.

I’d like to make the claim that digital learning applications, services, and technologies represent the means to begin thinking about new ways to approach education at all levels. I cite Khan Academy, Duolingo, Wikipedia, & Glerb as examples. These are also the interactions/designs I’m interested in exploring in my paper – specifically, their educational components (more obvious in Khan, Duolingo, & Glerb than Wikipedia, perhaps).

Based on my survey of these designs, I’d use the paper to propose one possible “new way” to think about education. While I’m sure my thinking will evolve once I’ve done a more careful analysis of the designs, my existing knowledge of this space suggests that I may be able to reference the same Monroe Beardsley quote Jeff shared in Foundations, and that served as early inspiration in my Capstone problem framing:

“We must be careful not to lose sight of our main purpose, which is not primarily to increase our knowledge of the arts, but to improve our thinking about them.”

I think digital learning tools may give us the means to restructure the role brick and mortar schools and universities play in education. How can we use the very different but equally valuable strengths of modern technology and physical classrooms in concert to improve education?

Some readings I’d leverage off the top of my head: Bardzell IC paper, the recent Barnard reading, perhaps ‘Cinema as Skin & Touch’, probably Carroll, and probably the Design Way.

I’m having trouble focusing my thinking, but I also only put all this together myself a few hours ago. What do you think? How can I scope down the discourse I’ll need to work through? What frameworks of analysis might you recommend to help understand the value, educational or otherwise, of a design within the scope I’ve defined here? Is this a bad idea for a paper?

So I finally get a chance to say what I feel about this subject. Yay me! Where to start? I guess I should start with my stance on the combination of horror and humor as genre’s, especially now and today and that stance is…don’t do it anymore. Seriously, please don’t do it anymore. Perhaps I have a different feel of what horror is compared to others but I am a horror movie fan to those movies that I deem worthy. Nowadays, horror is just consisting of a killer going around, mutilating everything in their wake, a main character that somehow ends up coming across said killer, and them trying to figure out how to escape while trying to kill the killer. Sadly, horror nowadays isn’t the genre it used to be. It’s completely watered down. When I think ‘horror’, I think of something that frightens me. In fact when I watch a so-called ‘horror’ film nowadays, I don’t find myself scared but rather I laugh out loud hysterically seeing blood and guts splatter everywhere and a more expensive showing of ‘1000 Ways To Die’. In this retrospect, I guess you can call me experiencing the comedy side of horror versus the fear. Horror films nowadays are just that: a joke. They are constantly repetitious and some of the elements that happen in horror movies have just become cliched. For example, why–TELL ME WHY!!!–there is always a dumb character that walks in the woods by themselves, ends up lost and with a broken car, starts running with the killer behind them and decide to slip and fall, the one and only black character dies protecting everyone (truthfully, most black people get highly offended by it because they would end up abandoning their own mother to survive, let alone a friend or comrade), the killer walks at a slow pace and no matter how much running the main character does, they end up getting killed; and somehow they manage to squeeze in a sex scene between characters right before the man then the woman (most times but it can be vice-versa) gets killed by the killer. Personally, I feel that in order to experience horror and humor first one must fix the horror side, at least to my standards. In fact, Gore needs to have its own genre to keep people from being confused about what is true horror.

In my opinion, the movie exemplars given by Carroll to me isn’t horror. Many of them are comedy movies/sitcoms (<– and that’s stretching the word ‘comedy’ too much for some of the films)  with horror movie elements. I can’t order a large sized meal from Burger King then get a diet Coke and say that it’s a healthy meal just for the diet Coke (<–that’s intentional. ‘Healthy’ is stretched a lot for diet Coke). There may be some elements like tomato and lettuce on your sandwich and the Coke but speaking realistic, it’s not healthy at all. That’s what I see with many horror/comedy movies nowadays. It’s not done right. Heck, sometimes I question the comedy aspect just as much as the horror.

I agree with Stuart Gordon when he states that ‘The thing I have found is that you’ll never find an audiences that wants to laugh more than a horror audience.’ but the only reason I agree with him is because I’m already biased as to how horror movies should be. To me, horror movies are to test someone’s will to survive when they have absolutely nothing and the situation seems totally desperate. That’s right, NOTHING! No guns, no shovel, no laser gun, no army, no knife, taser, mace, or brass knuckles. You are naked as an individual to protect yourself. That’s how horror movies should be, it should portray helplessness to the extreme. You can’t fight the enemy, all you can do is run, hide, and hope that they don’t see or hear you. THAT’S horror. None of this bullcrap nowadays can make me feel the fear of the character lost in a place that they’ve never seen before, surrounded by multiple enemies that when spotted, they must run for their lives. In that retrospective, I can’t say that comedy needs to be in it. True, I do want to laugh when seeing how pathetic the character is and that they are screwed with absolutely no hope of making it out alive; but laughing takes away what makes horror so awesome in the first place. There is no relief, there’s only suffering and no hope for getting out of the situation.

The only two names that come to mind when I think of these are in fact videogames. Honestly, it makes it much more scarier because you ARE the character that’s helpless. This is interesting because all last night, I watched the walkthroughs for both titles after looking up the top 10 scariest games of all times list on YouTube and a reference from a friend for a more recently released game. Both of those titles are called ‘Outlast’ and ‘Amnesia: the Dark Descent’. After hearing how scary these games were from my friend and knowing how much of a Boss I am, I was like, “Man, grow some hair on your chest and quit being such a punk!’. First I watched Amnesia, without any commentary (usually I hate hearing people talk while the game is being played) and found myself screaming more than watching to the point where I couldn’t even watch the first 10 minutes. It was too quiet and had me on edge so I had to find a video with commentary to make things easier. Needless to say, I didn’t finish it. So when my friend said ‘Outlast’ is scarier, I didn’t believe him…until I watched the first few minutes of it then called it quits. Those are true horror genres. When grown men with deep voices are so frightened that they scream out 6 octaves higher, that’s real horror. People truly forgotten what it’s like being caught off guard and surprised then realize that you have no means of protecting yourself. You can’t laugh at that. But with my sense of crude humor, it is possible to instill comedy in it to my liking, but like I said before, it’s got to be done right.

Sorry for the long post! You can tell I’m passionate abut this subject. 🙂

Hopefully this is a bit more coherent than my last post, though my brain is a bit hazy right now. That is, I know at some point prior to now I’ve had a better conception of the topic, but I wanted to get some of it down now in order to start the process, get some feedback, and at least get some of it in order.

So generally, I want my topic to focus on the body acceptance movement – the radical notion that fat people are, well, people (That quote doesn’t work as well here) – It’s something that I’ve been introduced to through my wife, and has really opened my eyes to many forms of discrimination, and yet often seems downplayed even in feminist contexts. I also think there’s a really neat connection in what we discussed today, and that perhaps the dualistic disconnect from mind and body contributes to this stigma, and perhaps a way of thought which holizes self in both mind and body would be beneficial (or at least is crucial for design (Well, anywhere. But here where bodies are the focus, there’s no way around it)). Regardless, I want to avoid any medical issue, and approach it from social and ethical direction.

I’m not entirely sure how I want to focus the HCI-side of it however. I’d considered focusing on one of these body data fitness devices that have come up in class a few times, like the FitBit, question what values it’s promoting (and since I’m going to disagree with them, posit values that I feel it should be promoting). However, this seems like a bit of a low hanging fruit. Of course the fitness industry is going to produce devices which devalue people while promoting a social image of beauty. That’s the entire point. More importantly, I’m not personally interested in these sorts of devices, or this industry, and find the issue more important from a social or personal position.

Reference wise, I think I’m pretty well off. I have good resources for body acceptance writings from my wife, and I think tons of the readings that we’ve done across many classes apply. I’d be especially looking at the 3rd wave foundations papers (esp. Feminist HCI and Critical/Cultural Design), and many of our IC readings (perhaps Folkmann to get at the social/ethical dimension, Dunne and Raby’s ideas of design as a way of looking for alternate/possible futures, and what do you know, this accultured body idea (The Film Theory paper in general) seems pretty damn important. Shusterman and Somaesthetics will be crucial as well. Basically, I believe I have a bunch of good material (Though more would be great) – but not a solid direction/lens/example to examine through.

So I just got finished with the reading for today and I felt compelled to write a thought that I had of the reading, so here it is! So the reading talks about how people avoid skin to skin contact with everyone other and the movie Crash signifies how people miss that touch. I want to offer another way of thinking about skin.

Think of skin as a barrier, something to protect your inner self, a test to pose to other human beings before you open up to a person. If someone cannot accept your outsides as they are, then how can they accept your insides? Your skin poses the question, “Can you accept me as I am physically before I show you who I am spiritually?” Think about it. When you accidentally bump into a person, you apologize. Why? Especially if you do not know a person, it is seen as offensive; but if you know a person and bump into them on accident, you can make a joke out of it and there won’t be any offense taken. Unlike a friend, a stranger does not know or accept you whereas a friend accepts who you are on the outside and inside and can tell joke to humor who you are on the inside.

With regards to the example of the woman being sexually assaulted by the police officer, I want to also state my opinion about this predicament. To me, I think of sexual assault as being someone trying to force a person to expose their inner self. This action looks to break away the ‘skin’ aggressively, making you show who you are by using fear. This is why I believe sexual assault to be as horrific as it is. Who would want to expose their soul to someone who would be as vain as to break away your barrier that protects your most vulnerable self?

But this is just my personal interpretation of this concept.

Before I begin, I would like to confess that being without internet for a month and a half really tested my sanity for a bit. So if I sound a bit ditzy, just know that it’s not really me talking, it’s the time I had to deal without my anime, manga, and YouTube. So instead of being caught off guard at me, applaud me for withstanding the time I had to be a sage on the verge of enlightenment.

 

So as far as the reading goes, for the most part, it makes sense to me. There really isn’t any part of the reading that left me with more questions than answers, so I assume that that’s a good thing. But I do have one comment that I would like to make with regards to the 3 qualities of an interpreter. For those of you who haven’t read or have yet to read that part, it states:

1) understanding a painting. picture or diagram requires that the interpreter understand the convention that
marks. lines and shapes on a two-dimensional ground represent something the world.

2) a potential interpreter must possess the ‘kinds of interpretative skill … that
the mind brings to a picture or a painting

3) one brings to the picture a mass of information and assumptions drawn from general experiences

As I said before, this all made sense so I’m not confused or anything, however I will say that I believe that these rules are a bit too vague. In essence, I can replace the word “interpretation” with multiple other words and the 3 statements would make sense. I’m not sure if these guidelines are in fact supposed to be universal to apply to anything since interpretation doesn’t have to necessarily be applied to the art field. I’m just saying it because it somewhat bothered me a bit. For example, let’s say instead of ‘interpretation’, I decide to say ‘Pokemon’ (Don’t judge me. Like I said, a month and a half without Internet…I rest my case). To have the qualities of a Pokemon Master, you must understand that:

1) A Pokeball is understood in the Pokemon World that it is an object to capture Pokemon with (<– This is an example of some of the conventions that as a Pokemon Master, you must understand and abide by)

2) To be a Pokemon Master, you must develop a set of skill to help your Pokemon to develop (<–skillz, skillz, skillz)

3) Past experiences and information help shape you to be a master of all Pokemon (<– Gotta catch ’em all!)

Like I said, I’m not saying I disagree with what they are saying and perhaps what I am saying is the intention of the author, but I will say that if it isn’t the intention and interpretation must have a set of unique guidelines, then perhaps some constraints is required so that someone like me doesn’t try insert Pokemon into it.

The Basic Argument

Claim: Models are too simplistic when it comes to behavior change

To Whom: Interaction designers

  • What do they believe: Models have their place (first and second wave), Holistic design is important.
  • What do you want to change: Breaking down a problem into sub parts and trying to solve the sub parts independently. NOTE: I am not saying you have to consider everything, I am saying you should at least try to look at how the parts may influence each other, or how things left out may interact with the parts in the model.
  • Technical vocab: Model, Holistic, Slow change (It’s new).

Supporting claims

A simplistic model leads to incorrect assumptions.

  • It is almost always assumed that lack of motivation, and the lack of awareness is the issue.
  • It is assumed that people are lazy and just need the right push at the right time.
  • Knowledge of their behavior will lead to improvement.
  • Change does not have to be so hard.

Tackling an individual part of a model independently may result in an ill-defined solution

  • More motivation through social media, peer pressure etc can in fact be considerably harmful.
  • Awareness can lead to overwhelming.

Issues/areas to explore:

More papers on Models and where they are applicable and when they are not. I stumbled into the claims towards the end. I was more focused on trying to show that body data was a bad idea! But now, my approach is to ultimately show that the way we are deploying body data driven solutions are overtly simple.

I need to find other papers in which body data has been used to solve health related problems. This will help with identifying other types of models out there.

There may be a super claim here that body data driven solutions force designers into using simplistic models as the data they can show a user has to be simplistic. But I need to research more to be able to claim this. Any ideas on how I could proceed?

So here is what I have so far. It is not completely clear yet and I am doing another grand skim and ideation tomorrow to maybe change directions or solidify this. Any help is greatly appreciated.

I am researching Bodydata specifically in personal health and fitness. It is more of an overarching look at how designers design for the use of body data. I looked at a few papers on how they try to use body data to motivate people to be active. I then essentially critique the methods and guidelines provided.

The one claim: Bodydata reifies humans into a computer model (incorrectly). As in, a human functions the same way as a computer. Action, reaction….

To whom: Bodydata app designers (interaction designers)

What do they know? Models (wave 1), Situated Action (Wave 2), Holistic design (wave 2,3?)

What do you want to change: The notion that awareness equates to improvement is not necessarily correct. The model(s) used to motivate people to exercise are not holistic.

What do they need to know: Maybe a basic understanding of how a computer program works.

Supporting claims: (this is where the inner connections become weak)

  • Any time, any number of times
    • Programs can be run any time and any number of times. (Example: I expect photoshop to work at all times of the day). The designs assume that the products can motivate us to be healthy all times and any number of times throughout the day. Motivate to eat better, motivate to walk throughout the day, motivate to exercise and go to the gym etc. It ignores the fact, that our energy supply is exhaustible. We can in fact run out of self control and no amount of motivation can bring it back instantly.(Research!)
  • input “a” will always give output “b”
    • A software does the same thing every time given the same inputs. Similarly it assumes that we will respond to data the same way every time. It ignores open interpretation. “you have 400” steps for the day means something different based on the context. Therefore the reactions are also context sensitive. The same data will cause different end results (unlike computers).

I am not sure how I am connecting all the dots. And i definitely going to do another pass on my collections.

My biggest problem is getting to the claims. I have tons of evidence to support these claims…but I am seriously struggling stating/articulating the claim.

Hey guys, thought I’d share my pre-writing thus far.

My idea is to look at Tabletop Role-playing games, and the aspects of them that make them different/exciting, look at them in online situations, compare those across CSCW guidelines of collaboration, and fill in with in pieces of aesthetics and experience that we’ve been talking about. I think the main idea is to talk about failings of virtual table tops such as Roll20 (or simply using Skype), and to motivate further guidelines for these types of applications/

So, I’m pretty comfortable with the amount of evidence I’ve gathered – at least as far as gaming is concerned. The CSCW side may be a bit lacking, so if anyone has pointers there (And I’m hoping to talk to Norman Su to see if he has an idea.). But if anyone has an idea how to explore this further I’m definitely open to suggestions. Really though, I think I need to start pulling out quotes and start making connections.

Basically the motivation for this (and I’ve heard similar comments from other gamers, including Nathan) is that I’ve been in a very long gaming session with some close friends since… November 2012. It’s the longest game I’ve ever been in, and one of the most detailed worlds a DM has constructed. And yet I *still*, even as the game is wrapping up, don’t think of it as fondly as many other games, including ones that I’ve played for maybe a week. I can definitely point to a disconnect of engagement of myself and Taylor (my wife), as we’ll do other things as we play (Draw, work on homework, browse the internet, etc.) and there’s certainly an issue there, but even sessions where everyone is on point, it simply can’t match the in-person collocated experience.

And I suppose the question is what are the factors of the experience which make it so difficult to connect, and what’s the best way to create something to enable that connection better?