Friday, January 26, 2007

New product development

Anne Bruseberg and Deana McDonagh-Philp (2001) New product development by eliciting user experience and aspirations International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 55, Number 4, October 2001, pp. 435-452(18)

Abstract Industrial design training is embracing the need for designers to elicit user needs in order to support the development of successful new products. This paper highlights the collaboration of an ergonomist and two industrial designers in the development of a range of mainstream domestic consumer products. It documents the experiences gained in applying and adapting focus group techniques to inform the designing process directly, and illustrates how a variety of techniques (e.g. product handling and product personality profiling) can be incorporated to elicit user needs, aspirations and emotions.

Emotional relationship with products

McDonagh D, Bruseberg A, Haslam C. (2002) Visual product evaluation: exploring users' emotional relationships with products. In Appl Ergon. 2002 May;33(3):231-40.

Abstract This paper discusses an industrial designer's approach to eliciting user perceptions and emotional responses to products through visual evaluation and stimuli. Whilst the authors accept that product functionality is crucial for product success, the appearance, use of materials, shape and form provide the most immediate product data for the user. Less tangible issues such as emotional bonding of users with products, cultural perceptions and social value systems, provide valuable insights for the product developer to help expand knowledge and understanding of the users' need beyond the functional. This paper presents product personality profiling as a new technique for design researchers/designers, and discusses it alongside other emerging approaches such as mood boards and visual product evaluation. The authors have used these techniques during focus group sessions with users to elicit individuals' needs and aspirations towards products. Such a user-centred approach is fundamental to applied ergonomics. Experiences, benefits, and limitations of these techniques are outlined as well as the opportunities for further development.


Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces

A conference that seems to bridge product design methods and HCI. The next one happens in Finland, Helsinki.
Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces 2007, August 22 - 25, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland.

Description UE+/User Experience Plus

"User Experience" has become a key word in design over the last decade. It articulated disappointment with usability research in the 1990s, bringing to the fore designers traditional skill, an ability to create products and interfaces that are a joy to use and, at best, exciting. In many ways, the concept has been successful. It has become a cornerstone in many leading design programs all over the world. It has generated theoretical discussion. It has rejuvenated philosophical debate in design research. It has found a home not just in research, but also in design education.
However, as all concepts, this notion has been gathering dust over the years. Designers and researchers in many parts of the world have been going beyond user experience. While taking the lesson from what has been learned, they prefer to use more specific concepts, including concepts such like affective interaction, rich interaction, and co-experience.
Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces 2007 will welcome contributions that explore these developments. It encourages:
Conceptual contributions backed up with designs and empirical research.
New innovative research that builds on user experience, but add t it.
Methodological papers and designs that extend user experience research.
Theoretical reflections.

List of sessions
Session I: My Fingertip's Just 1 Bit of Me! Enriching Product Interaction through Skilled Actions
Session II: Luxury in User Experience: Designing and Consuming New Luxury
Session III: The Aesthetics of Interaction
Session IV: Imagined Qualities of Products as Constituents of Experience
Session V: Things that Come Between Us: Social Interaction as Design Material

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Interaction design from product design

In Sept. 2006, I referred to the work of Tom Djajadiningrat. Tom Djajadiningrat is both industrial designer and researcher. He works on interaction design and considers product design methods.

Figure extracted from the paper on Rich Interaction: issues.

I selected two other papers of his that look at interaction design from a product design point of view.

  • Frens, J.W., Djajadiningrat, J.P., & Overbeeke, C.J. (2004). Rich Interaction: issues. EUSAI2004, pp.271-278.
    Abstrat The topic of this paper is rich interaction. Rich interaction borrows from tangible interaction and the concept of affordances. This is achieved through integral design of form, interaction and function of products. It is applied to interactive consumer products. A digital camera with a rich user interface (RUI) was designed and compared in a user study to a digital camera with a more conventional user interface. Several issues concerning rich interfaces are discussed.


  • Wensveen, S.A.G., Overbeeke, C.J., Djajadiningrat, J.P., & Kyffin, S.H.M. (2004). Freedom of fun, freedom of interaction. Interactions Magazine, september + october, pp.59-61.
    Introduction The modernist tradition still drives our society and our scientific endeavors. Modernity stood for technology push, progress through industry, linearity, money, the abstract, and the logical. But it has resulted in a feeling of uneasiness, even coldness. That is why, we think, there is now such a drive to get human and societal values back in the equation: Think of human-centered engineering, the experience economy, funology, and the like. In this article we give an exam- ple of the direction interaction-design research might take. We describe an approach that exploits all human skills, including perceptual-motor and emotional skills. We then reflect on the question of why industry has been slow to adopt this approach.


  • Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    RSS feed: current issue for better design!

    Dear you who read my blog via RSS feed. Apparently, while I modified my catalog trying to integrate labels (for a better later use of the blog) you received an avalanche of old posts from my blog. Well, this will be solved very soon.
    Sorry for the inconvenience of reading my past!
    Cati @ architectradure

    Video making: technology vs face-to-face

    Moving Pictures

    Recently, Kimberly Smith contacted me to discuss my work on Textable Movie. Textable Movie allows, by improvising movie-stories created from a personal video database and by suddenly being projected into someone else’s video database during the same story, to be surprised during the visualization of video elements corresponding to a story that correspond to someone else. I later introduced him the different stages of design from Textable Movie, Moving Pictures and Terraria. Review on these projects.

    I originally created a methodology for international workshops on creative media making and sharing. My workshop is designed to engage teenagers from around the world in digital media making using the “textable movie” tool set. The workshop features a design cycle that begins with concept development and continues onto storyboarding, video production and editing; as it is realized, participants test and evaluate their video-stories using Textable Movie. Textable Movie is a graphical interface that takes text as input and allows users to improvise a movie in real-time based on the content of what they are writing. More about my workshop
    The workshops global strategy focuses on fostering intercultural visual communication and play. One goal of the international program is to generate a cross-cultural study focused on the creative construction of media by teenagers.

    Kimberly and I talked about the art of motion pictures being a language in itself.
    For the past fifteen years, he has been passionately involved in using improvisation as a method for sharing what has been discovered about the language of motion pictures. His main concern is finding ways to emphasize the human element and de industrialize the process. He works with diverse groups of people ranging from severely disabled to experienced filmmakers.

    All of his thinking tends to revolve around the idea of empowering people to acquire eloquence and skill with visual language and to be able to take control of the frame and thus the audience's attention. Responsibility for community and each other can be learned through this creative process. So it is more about social renewal and human development as it is about making movies, dixit Kimberly.

    Kimberly sent me some samples of group movie making activities. All of these games use the same guide lines -or rules- found here.
    I had integrated a few of these ideas in my international workshops with Textable Movie, but some of them are inspiring and new to me.

    Ping Pong The idea is to move the audience's eye from left to right on the screen. This can be done a number of ways. dialogue is the easiest. Simply jump cut from one actor to the next and frame accordingly. Or pan from left to right. Or get the performers to move from left to right in the frame. Now the challenge is how do we smoothly accomplish this in a group where each individual gets a turn with the camera? We need common movie making language. In this case, each time a person hands off the camera, they have to tell the next person which side of the frame the visual focus was on. Thus the continuity is maintained. People learn very quickly when it is not. This game requires alertness almost the same way as something like Zip Zap Zop does. It can be timed or not. I've even had two teams compete.

    In The Moment The idea is to emulate a fast paced current event news show. I did this one with the Irondale Ensemble in Halifax. We had a couple of cars so we were able to go to various locations across the city and stage "Live" interviews with group members posing as ordinary citizens. We payed attention to our framing (either left or right) and we shared the camera round robin. All edit-in-camera. Everyone had to pay close attention all the time and try to remember what had happened in the previous location as well as keep on top of the framing. The energy level was quite high. Our finished movie looked like a real live news show.

    First Shot, Last Shot This game is built upon the idea that each individual shot contains an action that moves a story forward. So the first thing I do is have all the individuals in the group write down on little scraps of paper single shot ideas. For example: "angrily throwing a wad of paper in a trash can" or "biting a delicious apple or a bad one". I encourage the group to save these shot ideas on little scraps of paper that can be kept in a box or a hat. These can be used in a variety of games, but in this one, we break into two teams. Each one picks a first shot out of the hat -then a last shot. the object of the game is to create a story sequence that gets from the first shot to the last shot in twelve shots. The camera is passed from individual to individual. No one is allowed more than one shot at a time and each shot has to be no longer than thirty seconds. All members of the team must appear in front of the camera at least once. Again this is all done edit-in-camera. So everyone has to be on their toes at all times. The game can be timed or not and the sequence can have more than twelve shots or less. We've done this as an easy going, inclusive recreational activity on a Saturday afternoon and the movie was played after a pot luck supper.

    Power Shift This game is challenging for performers and shooters because it requires strategic freezing of the action without losing the flow of the movie. Other games do this too, but this one emphasizes the problem. This requires a group of five or more. Three or more people must be on camera at all times. The idea is to have a spontaneous feeling, dynamic group discussion or argument where individuals come and go because they have been bullied out or are pulling a power trip. The point of focus with the camera is to be aware of the axis at all times. So when a person hands the camera to the next person they can pass the information along and maintain directional continuity. This is an advanced game and again it can be done like a team sport with two groups competing within time parameters or limited numbers of shots.

    Beam Us Up This game requires a tripod. The idea is to use "lock-off" camera positions to create Star Trek like transporter special effects. The dramatic point is something is wrong with the transporter - some people disappear and new ones emerge. Again the camera is shared round robin. So this is what changes up the personnel, but the real challenge is trying to remember how people were positioned in the last location so when they re emerge, they are still in the same physical relationship with each other. Its harder than people think, but kids of all ages love this game. The way it works is the camera is rock solidly framed wide on a certain empty location and you record a few seconds. Then you bring the group in and have them freeze in transporter position. Simply roll the camera again without moving it a millimetre and the group will appear out of nowhere. Some cameras have an overlap dissolve which makes the group seem to fade in. Its fun and the dramatic possibilities are wide open. This idea can be combined with other games like "In The Moment" to create wild, Wellsian stories.

    Who Am I? This is a P.O.V. game. Again it is edit-in-camera and passed round robin from individual to individual in the group. Camera operators choose a certain P.O.V. either dynamic or static and the actors interact with the camera in such a way that the identity of the camera is implied, but not expressly given away. I usually remind the players not to hog the camera and figure out how to create connecting shots so the camera can be passed to the next player. All the visual rules remain the same. This game is played in teams. One group has to watch the other's sequence and correctly identify the camera's character.

    I found very interesting his approach, developed from Viola Spolin's Theatre Games.
    All of them are designed with specific points of focus and they also accelerate the process of learning the language of motion pictures. But more importantly than all of this is the breaking down of the industrial hierarchy. My main goal is to foster inclusiveness, community pride and creativity.

    For a researcher in HCI, who designs new tools and technology to allow improvisation, collaboration and creativity, it is very exciting to hear what video makers & educators invest and develop from a day to day basis on these subjects.

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Old French jewels

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Touch · Sensitive Apparel

    What if objects that people carry with them and even carry on them could offer this sensory comfort that they seem to seek?

    Together with Yas I have codevelopped a touch-sensitive apparel for massage and sensory therapy. The research focuses on the material - how the structure and the embedded components of the garment participate in pushing its function to become an envelope or cocoon for one's well-being.

    Touch·Sensitive is a haptic apparel that allows massage therapy to be diffused, customized and controlled by people while on the move. Made of modular garments, it applies personalized stimuli. Touch·Sensitive aims to provide individuals with a sensory cocoon, a comforting and alerting apparel with a feedback system. Our design for the Touch·Sensitive apparel comes from the observation that people need to sooth their body to protect themselves from everyday aggressions. Touch·Sensitive is a matrix made of clothing elements that allows diffusion of tactile information through heat sensors, mechanically-driven textural sensation and liquid diffusion.

    The following is a series of our Low-Fidelity prototypes.


    This wired apparel alerts the user by mechanically shrinking the fabric onto specific points of tensions on the body.


    The second low-fidelity prototype of Touch·Sensitive is made of buttons with silicone.


    Manually inflatable vinyl pockets can be used to receive a comforting pressure


    Structure flex

    Touch·Sensitive allows the diffusion of tactile information through computational and mechanical technologies. It is a computerized touch therapy apparel whose modular pieces can be integrated within the clothing. We have taken advantage of the growing miniaturization of computational components to integrate them seamlessly within the fabric.

    Keep tuned!

    Touch · Sensitive Apparel work-in-progress 6 pages paper has been accepted to CHI 2007. Come see Yas and I in Saint Jose from April 28-May 3 2007!

    Touch·Sensitive is a haptic apparel that allows massage therapy to be diffused, customized and controlled by people while on the move. It provides individuals with a sensory cocoon. Made of modular garments, Touch·Sensitive applies personalized stimuli. We present the design process and a series of low fidelity prototypes that lead us to the Touch·Sensitive Apparel.

    Download pdf of the paper

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Remembrance of an absence

    In my sculpture work, I combine the material representation of a souvenir and its effect over time. I print on plaster molds a series of clothing on life-sized frames. The pieces of clothing carved in the plaster come from people I care for. Their prints represent their passage in my life at a point, and the mold essentially keeps the shape and the textural significance of the clothing.

    final installation (2007)

    More pictures.

    My paper on a selection of sculptures for Helen Mirra, VES, Harvard University, (Cambridge, MA, USA. December, 2006). Remembrance of an absence

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Pure Nomade

    Since I work with a pure nomad Yas, I revisit my assumptions about my moving around furniture and stuff. Today I found on the internet this interior design modular system for an aestheticized nomadic life ...

    The "Hotel" box concept is a brand new product to the market. It is neither a box, nor a piece of furniture, but all in between. Through years the industrial designer: Lilian Adler stuffed all her latest treasures of shoes, as we all do, in randomly shaped boxes and, again as we all do, into the far-end corner of the closet. Hard to manage, tough to stack. As time passed by and the space became even more tight, she just had to come up with something smarter. A shoebox which could be towed away when not in use, and put at display when requested

    More on Pure Nomade