Project #3: Research Methods

Project 3: Interactive Floors

Part 4: Research Methods

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Shadowing – Tag along with people to observe and understand their day-to-day routines, interactions, and contexts.

  • Shadowing would certainly benefit the concept we’re developing because it’s a very basic idea that will improve upon a daily routine.  Shadowing people to bus stops, elevators, and waiting areas would help us understand what context they’re in during the commute.  What kinds of interactions do people have with each other and their devices.  What sort of things prompt users to look up from their devices or other entertainment to interact with others?

Conceptual Landscape – Diagram, sketch, or map the aspects of abstract social and behavioral constructs of phenomena.

  • Doing this could be a useful way of figuring out how to fully utilize the affordances of a digital floor that involves graphics.  If we map out everything it is capable of and how we want it to link people together, we can build upon that and make it better.  Similar to facebook or other popular social network sites, if we make it a flexible, customizable system easy to the user, maybe we can figure something out about helping physical interaction in general. Doing this could help us figure out some social link outside of the devices.

Affinity Diagram – cluster design elements according to intuitive relationship such as similarity, dependence proximity. Etc. This method requires observations on the interactions between people and their surroundings.

  • Making a non-social product into a social product requires the change of the product’s property that can affect the behaviors of the people it comes into contact with. Therefore it is important to understand the relationships between people’s behaviors and the catalysts. From these relationships, design elements can be established to form the catalysts for desired behaviors. For example, what are the similarities of all the bus stops? And what does these similarities entails people to do at the bus stops? Another example is the difference between the way how people act depending on where they stand in the bus stop.

Word Association – Ask people to associate descriptive words with different design concepts or features in order to show how they perceive and value the issues. This method requires interviewing people or questionnaires.

  • People are social toward each others for many different reasons. These reason are also subjected to the surroundings of that person. More importantly, people are made to be social creatures by nature. Their reasons for socializing are often unclear which are affected by many different factors that are related to each others. Acquiring the associations people make with words in certain context can help the designers to understand how people weight and consider the different factors for socializing. These findings can than be used to shape the features of the product to promote the social incentives created by certain associations.

A possible list for words for association: Attractive, Hobby, Fashion, Age, Sex, Similarity, Ethnicity, Unique, Habit, Occupation, Friend, Date, Acquaintance

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