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Achieving positive experiences in human-food interaction design

Intro

Human-food interaction

  • “Experience is a stream of feelings, thoughts and action; a continuous commentary on our current state of affairs.” [Hassenzahl]
  • “Experience” isn’t something that is experienced only during special moments like seeing a special exhibit at the museum, attending a party, going to an amusement park for a day, etc. [Nardi]
  • It is something that is a part of one’s normal life.
  • Something else is that is a part of our daily experiences is technology.
  • As McCarthy and Wright say, “We don’t just use or admire technology; we live with it… technology is deeply embedded in our ordinary everyday experience.” [McCarthy]

o   We use computers and cellphones everyday. Even if one scorns those technologies, we are surrounded by many ubiquitous technologies such as lights, cars, even the zipper on your clothes. Most likely, there is some sort of technology in your life that you are interacting with.

  •  “…our interactions with technology can involve emotions, values, ideals, intentions, and strong feelings.” [McCarthy]

o   This results in some sort of experience.

  • Something else that is important in our everyday lives is food.
  • Food isn’t just for nutrition to keep us alive. It also a huge social factor.
  • As Comber said, “Food is, and always will be, something that connects people together and which has the potential to inspire and engage us in new and exciting experiences.” [Rob Comber]
  • “Food-related behaviors respond to a complex of situational factors and choices that people make in these steps are neither always consistent (microwave dinner on one day, elaborate meal at the weekend), nor easy to understand.” [Comber et al]
  •  “Various physical, social, cognitive and physiological factors have to be considered when designing for what we grow, eat and throw away. These factors are influenced by our own values, social norms, culture and socio- demographic backgrounds.” [Comber et al]
  • “Given the importance of food in our daily lives [along with technology], it seems equally important to understand what role technology currently plays with regard to food and indeed what roles it can be imagined to play in the future.” [Grimes et al]
  • This is the space of human-food interaction. This is a design challenge for interaction designers and the HCI community.
  • In this space, food and technology is brought together to create an experience.
  • Currently there is a focus on corrective technologies [Grimes et al], which are designed to correct some sort of problem.
  • There should also be a focus on the more neglected path of celebratory technologies [Grimes et al], which focuses on creating positive experiences with their interactions with food and technology.
  • This paper will quickly introduce the space of corrective technologies and celebratory technologies.
  • It will follow by the exploration of two projects with the goal of achieving the creation of a celebratory technology: Food Media/CoDine and The Telematic Dinner Party. It is a look at their designs and their process to see whether or not a successful celebratory technology was created.
  • Finally, the paper will give a prescription of one way to achieve positive experience within the human-food interaction space.

 

  • Many HCI researchers in the field are focused on fixing problems.
  • They “sought to examine how technology might alter human-food interaction… uncertainty would be turned into certainty, inexperience into aptitude.” [Grimes et al]
  • This is what Grimes et al calls, “corrective technologies insofar as they attempt to fix undesirable behaviors.” [Grimes et al]
  • “That work which has been done has focused primarily on the problems that people have planning meals and preparing and consuming food.” [Grimes et al]

o   Examples:

o   “Kalas supports decision making by allowing users to leverage information such as others’ recipe choices, comments and ratings as they decide which recipe to choose.” [Grimes et al]

o   “Cook’s Collage captures a visual record of cooking activity and thus if the cook is interrupted he or she can view this record and be reminded of what step in the cooking process they have reached.” [Grimes et al]

o   “…U-kitchen system, smart devices communicate with each other and share the context via a kitchen server, including RFID tags in appliances so the system can identify appliances being used, and ubiquitous services which help the user with the grocery management, cooking and give healthy dining advice.” (CoDine)

o   “The Ambient Kitchen integrates data projectors, cameras, RFID tags and readers, object mounted accelerometers, and under-floor pressure sensing, to construct a supportive environment for food planning, preparation and cooking.” (CoDine)

o   “Playful Tray is embedded with an interactive game play over a weight-sensitive tray surface, to recognize and track the natural eating actions of children in real time, thus the children’s eating actions are used as game inputs for reducing their poor eating behaviours.” (Food Media)

  • Has element of playfulness but it is still there to correct behavior
  • But food isn’t just about the corrective experience.
  • “Socially, food is something that brings people together – individuals interact through and around it.” – Andrea Grimes
  • …points to the possibility and necessity to see technology and design interventions in this space as more than simply corrective.”  – Rob Comber
  • “…HCI community can begin to imagine another, much neglected path of research: one in which individuals’ current experiences with food are seen not as undesirable, but as positive, productive, even delightful. “ [Grimes et al]
  • “We certainly agree that individuals do encounter problems in their interactions with food, but…they enjoy their food, relish the practice of making it, and above all celebrate the sharing of it.” – Andrea Grimes et al
  • Human-food interaction should design for this positive experience.
  • Grimes et al calls this, “celebratory technology; technology that celebrates the positive and successful aspects of human behavior.” – Andrea Grimes et al
  • “By drawing from social science research on how people live with, consume, and conceive of food, we come to suggest six positive aspects of human-food interaction that can be designed for… creativity, pleasure and nostalgia, gifting, family connectedness, trend-seeking behaviors, and relaxation.”  – Andrea Grimes et al
  • I’ll explain each section
  • This is a framework that can be used to look at design, help design for positive experience
  • Many designers in this space are beginning to emphasize this positive experience in their design.
    • Examples:
    • “NetPot takes on the challenge of creating a communal cooking experience for remotely located participants. This project recognizes that the sensory experience is impoverished in mediated group experiences. The traditional communal nature of cooking around a Chinese hotpot is incorporated with gaming.” (Barden)
    • “The Netpot brought the focus of the participants on the pot for cooking.” (Barden)
    • LiveForm: Telekinetic projects (Barden)
    • “They performed a telematic dinner party between Amsterdam, Netherlands and Toronto, Canada.” (Barden)
    • “The dinner was comprised of interactive devices: networked wine glasses, saltshakers, and tabletop video projections.” (Barden)
    • “While this performance was situated around food, it was more of a celebration of the technological feats than an attempt at supporting the guests in sharing a dining experience.” (Barden)
    • “‘Mamagoto’ is an interactive and context-aware dining system which encourages small children to “play” with food, using their curiosity towards food to expand their sensory experience while eating.” (Food Media)

Projects that want to design for experience (Critiques if they succeeded or not, why)

  • Now I will present two projects with goals of designing “celebratory technology”.

o   Food Media/CoDine

o   Telematic Dinner

  • Both want to achieve playfulness, connectedness, and an experience with their amazing show of technology but with varying degrees of success.

o   Project’s goal, how match 6 positive aspects of HFI

o   Project’s process

o   Did they achieve goal?

o   If not why? [mostly because of process, they didn’t allow for the design of experience before the technology was made]

Food Media/CoDine is concepted as a celebratory tech but fails at it through the process of its creation (celebratory framework eval throughout, look at process to see why did or did not achieve)

  • What is this
  • Goal: how much of 6 positive aspects they want to achieve
  • Process
  • “Food Media” is “an intuitive multimodal interaction platform to engage remote people into social communication and entertainment within the telepresent family dinner context.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “…CoDine system, a dining table embedded with interactive subsystems that augment and transport the experience of communal family dining to create a sense of coexistence among remote family members.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “CoDine connects people in different locations through shared dining activities: gesture-based screen interaction, mutual food serving, ambient pictures on an animated tablecloth, and the transportation of edible messages.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “Rather than focusing on functionality or efficiency, CoDine aims to provide people with an engaging interactive dining experience through enriched multi-sensory communication.” – Jun Wei et al
  • They are two different papers about the same design
  • They want to create an experience with their prototype but their process was not best way to design for experience
  • Reasons why: prototype, test prototype, assume target audience will feel the way they want them to feel, next step is user study to make sure they feel the way they feel (lots of quotes and annoyed critiques about this)
  • “Compared to interacting in a virtual environment, we believe these physical movements of plates or cups physically on dining table convey more delicate human emotions and stronger feeling of warmth, which contributes to the enhanced sense of co-presence when user take the served dish from their remote dining partner, even though they do not share the same physical dining table.” – Jun Wei et al [My comments: They did not test this on their audience to see if they really do think this, it is them speculating.]
  • [prototype first than see if your users will feel the way you want them to feel, they built elaborate hi-fi prototype, how much are you willing to change if people don’t feel the way you want to? Does not acknowledge others.] “While we have conducted prototype tests during the implementation to verify the CoDine modules function, our next step is a user study to assess whether CoDine enhances engagement between fellow co-diners.” – Jun Wei et al
  • [the design is not everyday habit, design not shown how people react to it in home] “Our research explores how interaction with familiar but intelligent everyday environment and artefacts can be used to enhance meaningful interactions in dining situation, going beyond ambient sensing and computing, to the level of subconscious connection between human beings.” – Jun Wei et al
  • [more features = people feel more connected, that is what this says to me] “In the future, more interaction channels can be included to increase the feelings of connectedness, awareness and playfulness, to enhance the shared social entertainment experience beyond verbal or video communication.” – Jun Wei et al
  • Why didn’t actually achieve “celebratory design”

Telematic Dinner Party is a celebratory tech but still lacked some experience they wanted to achieve (celebratory framework eval throughout, look at process to see why did or did not achieve)

  • What is this
  • Goal: how much of 6 positive aspects they want to achieve
  • Process
  • Both of these designs are critique through the lens of design experience
  • Both, the technology should be mediators to bring diners and family members closer to each other
  • “Here we consider, among the others, the creativity, togetherness, pleasure and playfulness, associated with food and mealtime.” – Pollie Barden et al
  • “The Telematic Dinner Party (TDP) aims to support remote guests in experiencing a sense of togetherness, and playfulness and sharing in a dinner party.” – Pollie Barden et al
  • Their process better than above
  • They tested with their audience
  • They held activities with audience to see if they get the goal experience
  • They were iterative: traditional dinner party, pilot study, hi-fi prototype
  • Still found issues with experience and how people felt with prototype that they have to address
  • They built it all but some experience they wanted to achieve didn’t work
  • “Our observations of the TDPs and guest feedback indicate that the social structure is central in creating a sense of social presence between participants, and that this cannot be achieved by the quality of the technology platform alone.” – Pollie Barden et al
  • Why closer on track than previous design, Why still off

To get the experience right, the process needs to focus on the experience and getting that right first before the technology.

  • “Human-food interaction requires much more attention to the people and the ways in which they engage with food than efficiencies and novelties new technologies may provide.”  – Rob Comber

There are many ways of achieving this but I would like to propose the usage of achieving positive experience through low-fidelity prototypes first before creating high-fidelity prototypes.

o   Sketches, low-fidelity paper prototypes are low cost

o   If it fails, it is easy to change something quickly and test again

o   Sometimes if the features look too complete or work too much like a final product, further ideation and changes to the design will be less likely to happen

o   It doesn’t have to be used only for testing usability, this can also test what kinds of experience your user will have

o   Since the focus should not be emphasized on the technology, it is the concept that makes the experience and that is what we should test

o   The low-fidelity prototype can be used to simulate, make sure people are having the positive

Example of a process that used low-fidelity prototype to achieve positive experience: Food Journey (Capstone): a way to design for experience first

  • Want to “support relationship-building activities and extend them to distant dining situations… support [couple] bonding, communication, and social togetherness.” (CoDine, 23) Minus the remote participants
    • See how people act together collocated first before remote
  • What: design for the experience
    • Focus on the positive experience instead of technology
  • Tech mediator

o   aim for overall positive experience

o   make sure it is there before higher fidelity

o   couples are unique and will interact and respond different

  • Why: technology is just the mediator [unremarkable computing (Grimes)]
  • Concept

o   people grow up with different preferences and tastes

o   relationship together

  • bring their backgrounds together
  • possible to explore their preferences together
  • try new things
  • fun experience together

o   Food Journey helps initiate this experience to bring two people closer together [celebratory technology]

  • 6 postive aspects
  • don’t know where journey take them
  • aim, prompt conversation, expand horizons, develop positive food practice
  • Five parts: exploration, Adventure: The Hunt, Adventure: Create, Adventure: Eat, Keeper
  • How: low fidelity prototype, paper prototype with post its

o   simulate the journey

o   so far with three young couples (various status, various pickiness and control)

  • young couple already use smart devices like smartphone on regular basis

o   Allow focus on how couple interact with each other and engage with activities, how felt throughout the experience

o   Less focus on technology breakdown

o   Next step would be higher fidelity prototype to look at UI

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A bit better Jeff? I think I am focusing on what would make a good celebratory tech but also to get there what would be a good process. The critiques I think I will do will probably focus on the process of how the artefact (goals seem to fit celebratory tech but they don’t always achieve it) came about and because of the process, if it ends up as a good celebratory tech or not. Hope this is an OK line of thought.

 

Human-food interaction benefit from Third Wave HCI/Experience Design

Human- food interaction emphasize fixing problems

  •  “That work which has been done has focused primarily on the problems that people have planning meals and preparing and consuming food.” – Andrea Grimes et al
  • …points to the possibility and necessity to see technology and design interventions in this space as more than simply corrective.”  – Rob Comber
  • “We certainly agree that individuals do encounter problems in their interactions with food, but…they enjoy their food, relish the practice of making it, and above all celebrate the sharing of it.” – Andrea Grimes et al

Human- food interaction should also focus on positive experiences and connecting people

  • “Food is, and always will be, something that connects people together and which has the potential to inspire and engage us in new and exciting experiences.” – Rob Comber

  • “…our goal is to explore a different path for food research in HCI, one that focuses not on the problems that individuals have with food, but rather on the ways in which people find pleasure and success in their interactions with food.” – Andrea Grimes et al

  • “Human-food interaction requires much more attention to the people and the ways in which they engage with food than efficiencies and novelties new technologies may provide.”  – Rob Comber

 

Framework [Celebratory]

  • “This design space is characterized by what we call celebratory technology; technology that celebrates the positive and successful aspects of human behavior.” – Andrea Grimes et al

  • “By drawing from social science research on how people live with, consume, and conceive of food, we come to suggest six positive aspects of human-food interaction that can be designed for… creativity, pleasure and nostalgia, gifting, family connectedness, trend-seeking behaviors, and relaxation.”  – Andrea Grimes et al
  • I’ll explain each section
  • This is a framework that can be used to look at design, help design for positive experiences

Projects that want to design for experience (Critiques if they succeeded or not, why)

Food Media/CoDine is concepted as a celebratory tech but fails at it through the process of its creation (celebratory framework eval throughout, look at process to see why did or did not achieve)

  • “Food Media” is “an intuitive multimodal interaction platform to engage remote people into social communication and entertainment within the telepresent family dinner context.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “…CoDine system, a dining table embedded with interactive subsystems that augment and transport the experience of communal family dining to create a sense of coexistence among remote family members.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “CoDine connects people in different locations through shared dining activities: gesture-based screen interaction, mutual food serving, ambient pictures on an animated tablecloth, and the transportation of edible messages.” – Jun Wei et al
  • “Rather than focusing on functionality or efficiency, CoDine aims to provide people with an engaging interactive dining experience through enriched multi-sensory communication.” – Jun Wei et al
  • They are two different papers about the same design
  • They want to create an experience with their prototype but their process was not best way to design for experience
  • Reasons why: prototype, test prototype, assume target audience will feel the way they want them to feel, next step is user study to make sure they feel the way they feel (lots of quotes and annoyed critiques about this)
  • “Compared to interacting in a virtual environment, we believe these physical movements of plates or cups physically on dining table convey more delicate human emotions and stronger feeling of warmth, which contributes to the enhanced sense of co-presence when user take the served dish from their remote dining partner, even though they do not share the same physical dining table.” – Jun Wei et al [My comments: They did not test this on their audience to see if they really do think this, it is them speculating.]
  • [prototype first than see if your users will feel the way you want them to feel, they built elaborate hi-fi prototype, how much are you willing to change if people don’t feel the way you want to?] “While we have conducted prototype tests during the implementation to verify the CoDine modules function, our next step is a user study to assess whether CoDine enhances engagement between fellow co-diners.” – Jun Wei et al
  • [the design is not everyday habit, design not shown how people react to it in home] “Our research explores how interaction with familiar but intelligent everyday environment and artefacts can be used to enhance meaningful interactions in dining situation, going beyond ambient sensing and computing, to the level of subconscious connection between human beings.” – Jun Wei et al
  • [more features = people feel more connected, that is what this says to me] “In the future, more interaction channels can be included to increase the feelings of connectedness, awareness and playfulness, to enhance the shared social entertainment experience beyond verbal or video communication.” – Jun Wei et al

Telematic Dinner Party is a celebratory tech but still lacked some experience they wanted to achieve (celebratory framework eval throughout, look at process to see why did or did not achieve)

  • “Here we consider, among the others, the creativity, togetherness, pleasure and playfulness, associated with food and mealtime.” – Pollie Barden et al
  • “The Telematic Dinner Party (TDP) aims to support remote guests in experiencing a sense of togetherness, and playfulness and sharing in a dinner party.” – Pollie Barden et al
  • Their process better than above
  • They tested with their audience
  • They held activities with audience to see if they get the goal experience
  • They were iterative: traditional dinner party, pilot study, hi-fi prototype
  • Still found issues with experience and how people felt with prototype that they have to address
  • They built it all but some experience they wanted to achieve didn’t work
  • “Our observations of the TDPs and guest feedback indicate that the social structure is central in creating a sense of social presence between participants, and that this cannot be achieved by the quality of the technology platform alone.” – Pollie Barden et al

Inform future experience design for Human food interaction

Food Journey (Capstone Process): a way to design for experience first

  • Want to “support relationship-building activities and extend them to distant dining situations… support [couple] bonding, communication, and social togetherness.” (CoDine, 23) Minus the remote participants

o   See how people act together collocated first before remote

  • What: design for the experience

o   Focus on the positive experience instead of technology

  • Tech mediator
  • Comber: Human-food interaction requires much more attention to the people and the ways in which they engage with food than efficiencies and novelties new technologies may provide.” (182)

o   aim for overall positive experience

o   make sure it is there before higher fidelity

o   couples are unique and will interact and respond different

  • Why: technology is just the mediator [unremarkable computing (Grimes)]
  • Concept

o   people grow up with different preferences and tastes

o   relationship together

  • bring their backgrounds together
  • possible to explore their preferences together
  • try new things
  • fun experience together

o   Food Journey helps initiate this experience to bring two people closer together [celebratory technology]

  • 6 postive aspects
  • don’t know where journey take them
  • aim, prompt conversation, expand horizons, develop positive food practice
  • Five parts: exploration, Adventure: The Hunt, Adventure: Create, Adventure: Eat, Keeper
  • How: low fidelity prototype, paper prototype with post its

o   simulate the journey

o   so far with three young couples (various status, various pickiness and control)

  • young couple already use smart devices like smartphone on regular basis

o   Allow focus on how couple interact with each other and engage with activities, how felt throughout the experience

o   Less focus on technology breakdown

o   Next step would be higher fidelity prototype to look at UI

 

This is the skeleton of my outline of what I want to talk about in my paper:

Human food interaction require Third Wave/Experience Design

Framework [Celebratory]

  • Positive experiences

Projects that want to design for experience

Food Media/CoDine

  • Goal with experiences
  • What they did wrong

Telematic Dinner Party

  • What they did better
  • What they still did wrong

Inform future experience design for Human food interaction

Food Journey (Capstone Process)

  • Focus on the experience people have
  • Low fidelity/simulation to get the positive experience before build high fidelity prototype

 

What

‘Film instances as a rhetorical devices to explore social and cultural issues with a technology.’

This is inspired from Pastiche scenarios that draws on fiction as a resource to explore the interior ‘felt life’ aspects of

User experience and complex social and cultural issues raised by technological innovations. There is a detailed and very interesting paper written by Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright on the topic ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Pastiche scenarios as described in the paper can be generated by ‘ cutting and pasting lines of source text and then modifying the story line to allow for the introduction of the technology in question.’ For my final paper, since I am focusing on films which is rich media in terms of visuals, I have decided to use film instances (screen shot of film scenes) to explore the social and cultural issues. I am not sure if these instances can be called as pastiche scenarios.

Also, I have picked ‘Indian films’ as a case study for my capstone (final paper is derived from it) and I am choosing films based on Mumbai culture, specifically those scenes that I believe have captured the context and cultural specificity very well. (I am placing myself as a strong subject in this.)

Why

  1. Films meant more to me than a just another source of entertainment. I feel deeply moved after watch some of the Indian films mostly due to the richness of context portrayed in it. It’s the groundedness of these films, story lines, music and actors acting in it that left a long lasting impression on me. I knew I had to do something about it in my capstone.
  1. Almost in all of my RDSC projects, I have used stories to communicate design. These story, I felt, weren’t very rich. Of course , user experience designers are not graphic artists but I thought we could still stretch our imagination to think about different ways a technology could be used/adapted by people considering different social and cultural context during ideation.
  1. Expansion of third wave HCI that stretched beyond workplace and started considering user experience holistically.

One of the quotes from ‘Critical and cultural approaches to HCI’ paper from Jeffery Bardzell –

‘Cultural HCI should have less to do with telling us about culture and more to do with helping us improve culture. It would be wrong, I argue, to see cultural approaches primarily as another research lens to tell us what is out there in the world; the social sciences are a better fit for this direction of inquiry. Cultural approaches should be used to help HCI improve our lived environment and improve ourselves.

Prior work/sub-domain of HCI

My research and audience group is hugely influenced by these two papers

  1. ‘Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design ‘ by Mark A. Blythe *, Peter C. Wright

In this paper, pastiche scenarios have been used to for three purposes and explained in details by three interesting case studies:

  1. Pastiche scenarios are used to explore ‘felt-life’ issues.
  2. Pastiche scenarios are particularly valuable in participatory design situations, since they engage users in the way that characters in novels might.
  3. pastiche scenarios can be used to explore social and cultural issues with imagined technology.

I am more interested in exploring the third purpose and appropriate it by using films.

  1. Design Documentaries: Inspiring Design Research Through Documentary Film by Bas Raijmakers, William W. Gaver, Jon Bishay

I liked how they started. Their approach really helped me articulate why I chose ‘films’ as a medium to understand and explore cultural and social issues.

One specific quote that resonated the most with me –

” We suggest that, for design research in HCI, film can be much more than a note-taking tool; we can use it as a means to explore, understand and present the everyday, and benefit from film’s capabilities to preserve ambiguities and paradoxes instead of resolving them into univocal conclusions.”

How

I am planning to make a card deck of film instances and conduct a small activity of ideating and exploring different possible technological solutions.

My intention is to help designers empathize with and consider different cultural and social issues that could shape the usage of the technology they design.

” It is possible for designers to shape how technology is used but not to determine it.” – Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright in ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Besides these, few papers that I am planning to refer are:

  1. Critical And Cultural Approaches To HCI by Jeffery Bardzell
  2. ‘‘A great and troubling beauty’’: cognitive speculation and ubiquitous computing Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell
  3. Interaction criticism: An introduction to the practice Jeffrey Bardzell
  4. MACHINIMATIC REALISM: CAPTURING AND PRESENTING THE “REAL WORLD” OF VIDEO GAMES Jeffrey Bardzell
  5. Cinema and touch
  6. Crafting User Experiences by Incorporating Dramaturgical Techniques of Storytelling
  7. A User-Centric Adaptive Story Architecture – Borrowing from Acting Theories
  8. Carroll
  9. Elliot W. Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education

These are some of the collection I have. I am going to refer readings from Foundations, Experience design and Interaction culture paper.

If you have some advice on the paper, or suggestions, or critique, I will be happy to receive it .. 🙂

It is my intent to start the bulk of my pre-write this Sunday for my paper. I have been pondering about the idea for my paper for a bit of time and I keep circling back to the idea of aesthetics and accessibility designs. I remember when it first entered my mind when I argued in front of Eli that the collection of accessibility-minded video game controllers were aesthetically ugly. He challenged me on that idea and I couldn’t think of answer on the spot. This thought has gone through numerous different ideas where at one point I was questioning whether it was ethical to design a one-handed video game controller. I have been looking at one other designers have designing in this space, including the post Zan made earlier on Facebook and Scott’s Prosthesis legs. However while I feel I could be looking harder, I haven’t found many other examples that are beyond a “utilitarian focus.” So it may be a direction on my final paper. However, a working prejudice I have working in my head is that aesthetics in accessibility design beyond utilitarian are desirable and improve the well-being of both the people with disabilities and those who interact with them.  I’m not certain yet where video game controllers will fit into this argument, but these are some of my thoughts at the moment. . .

Not entirely sure what the question I have here is, I’ve re-written this a few times,and it’s not entirely concrete yet.

But based on something Jeff mentioned offhand – “Our field has struggled with adopting phenomenology for sometime”, I want to question either who’s doing it right, or rather what the best way to do it is?

We instinctively categorize in order to make sense of… well anything. The very phenomenological readings we’ve had have still introduced metaphors or models as a way of making sense of our felt lives. In many ways these separations are important for the author to even make their point at all. Dewey’s idea of experience is, while phenomenological, still dualist! It’s Feeling of Experience vs. “That other non-experience stuff that’s not as interesting”.

And this gets at the issue of language reinforcing this dualist way of thinking – but if you have to, say, write an academic paper, how do you construct a good phenomenological argument without a) breaking things down into disparate categories, or b) basically saying “Well, everything is holistically important, guys.”

In some ways choosing a focus or topic at all seems… against the belief. and yet building it up like this is a straw-man. Help me, I’m going in circles!

I will admit, I knew the area I wanted to work, but not the topic until I pushed myself to get through all the material and research I had collected.  Did I want to look at Fandom, online interactions, there are a long list of things.

However my breakthrough came on Tuesday night with an ethnography I found about punk culture and the hierarchical structure from within — based on possession.  Things such as, “Oh you have that on CD, well I have a first pressing vinyl.”  I saw this and had an epiphany of sorts.  Topic: Technology Changing Experience. Argument: Technology facilitates methods to avoid hierarchical social structures.

Working with online identity and fandom, I am wanting to make an argument similar to, “when you are on the internet, no one knows you are a dog.” When enter an online fan forum, no one knows you just saw this movie yesterday.  Take for example, the first time someone attends a live viewing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, they are declared as being a Rocky Horror Virgin and must go perform certain tasks before the film starts — throughout the film, people interact with each other and the film.  I will admit, the first time I saw it, I had no idea what was going on and had to rely on watching other people to see what to do.  The way the DVD release of Rocky Horror changes this is making an option to turn on/off interaction cues.  “Throw Rice,” or “Place Newspaper on your head” now can show up in the closed captioning.  The person who plans to go see it can now go prepared and avoid the situation of someone labeling them as a total noob — avoid the situation where you feel shame sitting next to a person who is seeing it for the 50th time.

That is where I am at now. Brain storming session continues…

Audience: Social Informatics, New Media, Interaction Design

Structure: Intro, Definitions, History, Hierarchical structures, Technology combating these hierarchical structures, Conclusion

I still have a ways to go, but I feel more confident in the direction now.  Any tips on moving forward from here?

I took an interest in looking into Molecular Gastronomy and found a lot of things relating to experience. There were quite a few quotes that were similar to quotes that I found reading about Human-Food Interaction. I just wanted to share where my train of thought is at right now with the Argument Outline.

Claim: Molecular Cuisine has an experiential factor that Human Food Interaction can benefit from.

To Whom: Human Food Interaction designers

2-3 key support

  • New Sensory Experience
    • New ways to cook
    • New combination
    • Not just taste but include all human senses
  • New Interactions
    • M.G. allows experimentation
    • Evolution of how we view food
    • M.G. Restaurant offer interesting restaurant experience
      • Fat Duck extend that experience digitally outside of restaurant
  • Health
    • Food Examples
      • Fruit desserts
      • Back to Wild Plants
      • Experiment with healthy foods (olive oil)
    • Experience good tasting food that is also healthy

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?

(In the spirit of sharing our writing concerns… I am stuck, but I am also procrastinating)

So something I have been struggling with is picking the right thing to do that will benefit my capstone indirectly (since I am not writing the paper), but I want the research to help in some way to what I’m doing (so it is not a waste of time and life).

So here are 2 tracks. Originally I wanted to do interactive architecture as a topic, and just see how this relates to experience design. I have a book on that that I have been procrastinating on, so I have not read that.

On the other hand is this thought that I feel there is something about, but at the same time I don’t think it is that original. So I am convinced that art projects, interactive installations etc are appealing in a way, because they are somewhat incomplete. (I’m sure people are tired of me talking about this, but I just don’t know how to show this is the case!)

So they are incomplete in the sense that the person experiencing them, visiting, watching them, interacting with them, make meaning and complete the experience by themselves. But I feel perhaps this is the end of this thought… I spoke to one of the curators from the SF exploratorium last Friday, and when I told her this, she also said she believe a lot of art projects, installations are incomplete. But I am not sure where to go from here…

I have looked at McCarthy and Wright, and Dewey, Aesthetic Interaction – A Pragmatist’s Aesthetics of Interactive Systems by Petersen et al. So we have the idea of doing and undergoing we see from Dewey, McCarthy and Wright say “consumers are not passive; they actively complete the experience for themselves.”, and “Aesthetic Interaction is not about conveying meaning and direction through uniform models; it is about triggering imagination, it is thought-provoking and encourages people to think differently about the encountered interactive systems, what they do and how they might be used differently to serve differentiated goals.”  … but I don’t know. I don’t know if this is worth taking further… So perhaps the road of interactive architecture is the way to go here…

any of these will give me stuff for capstone…