Archive for January, 2010

Project Evaluation by Willem

Briefing, Media Strategy and Conceptual Design
When I think back of what we did during the briefing the best thing about it was the formulation what cross media really is. At first I had no idea, but what we formulated back then was usefull during the whole project. It was indirectly used a an evaluation definition for the conceptual design and because of the the definition we added the part to the project that made it more ‘transmedia’ what we called the pure form of crossmedia: the part of the project where users themselves can decide where the rabbits should be placed. The briefing was a useful tool to confine our design borders so that we could formulate a direction of our conceptual design. The persona’s could be used better though, or I just missed the part where we really focused on our target group. On the conceptual design I haven’t got much to remark on, only that we could have investigated more what the types of media really are. What is a poster, What is a flyer, how does it function, what are its ways to people etc. The concept itself: maybe I’m not a mayor fan about it, I’m still happy with the result.

Detailed design & Design evaluation
the task flows and analysis were performed in the right way to my opinion. The task flows were  a good tool to get an idea about the complexity of all the different steps in the media usage and the links between them. Although it was complex to translate them all to wire frames and design points, I think we did a good job. It is a good thing understand the difficulty of this. The website made it really complex. The key is a good overview, although it’s hard to keep it at all times. Some flaws were already found in our end design according to our design evaluation and  survey, and this proves my point. It shows that every design should be evaluated, nobody can do it right at once.  But it should be noted that Thian made beautiful visualisations. The survey itself was fun to do and gave some unexpected outcomes, but next time I think it should be more structured and more thought of. Now it is more the tip of the iceberg that it should be, still the outcomes were useful. The questions were open and that gave an extra difficulty to the survey. An observer was a good idea.
The movie storyboard was really fun to do. I discussed every step of the way with my fellow group member Floris. We started with one storyboard which was evaluated at least 4 times, every time changing big or small time. I think it is really thought through and I’m happy about it. The same counts for the presentation movie, although I only wrote the spoken text and found the background music.

All in all, I’m happy about how the project went!

Enjoying the Chaos

Falling in love with media is a group of four Industrial Designers who all participate in the course Cross Media Interaction on the faculty Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology. In this post we will shortly explain how this blog has been structured.

If you want to see everything we found and developed, scroll down and read the posts. Using the categories can make understanding the progress easier.

Have fun, enjoy the chaos, and please contact us if you need any more information.

About us

This blog displays the results created by designteam Falling in love with media. This designteam has been created to participate in course IO3010, Cross Media Interaction at the faculty Industrial Design of Delft University of Technology. Falling in love with media consists of four Industrial Designers, being:

Thian Lim
Floris van der Marel
Rashna Mourillon
Willem Span
The course is based on a design assignment. The assignment is split up in two parts: an analysis part and a design and evaluation part. However, the two parts are disconnected from each other in that the design and evaluation part does not necessarily build on the information that the students themselves have gathered during the analysis part; there will be a fresh start of the design and evaluation part, based on information provided by the staff. This is to avoid that a failed analysis part automatically results in a failed design and evaluation part.

The following issues will be dealt with during the course:

  • Designing for usability, user experience and co-experiences
  • Setting up and conducting usability, user experience and co-experience evaluations involving users
  • Cross-media (visual) information issues: graphics, colour, composition
  • Issues of interactions between users, their (physical and social) environment and network applications/services
  • Corporate identity issues in relation to cross-media presentation of information.
  • Authoring (e.g., HTML, XML, PHP, CSS, cross-media compatibility)
  • Software tools (e.g., Dreamweaver, Flash, JavaScript)

Photo pole visualization

Here is an example of a photo pole situated on the railway platform. The photo pole is there to indicate there was a bunny in the neighbourhood. A picture from the website will be placed on the pole with a funny or interesting quote from the discussion on that particular bunny.

When you look through the hole, you are looking at the area where the bunny was placed.

Another example of a photo pole on top of the Irenetunnel.

Evaluation of the design

Setup of the evaluation

Our evaluation setup is based on the findings in the book Designing for interaction: Creating smart applications and clever devices by Dan Saffer. According to our interpretation of the book the following research and prototyping steps should be taken:

  • at least one Hunt statement is to be formulated,
  • On that basis a Prototype should be created,
  • A research survey is to be set up,
  • The survey is taken by our target group,
  • The results should be processed and conclusions drawn.

Research questions

Research questions are to be formulated as hunt statements. A hunt statement is a good tool to narrow down what to research and why. The more specific a hunt statement is, the better (how better it narrows down).

Our hunt statements should be about the adequacy of our information, both textual as well as visual. Does our website inform the visitor enough so that he understands the meaning of the project and the actions he should take? Is the website clear enough so that the user is able to navigate through the most basic steps to find information?

The following two hunt statements can be formulated:

  • We are going to research the information on our website so we can improve the understanding of our project.
  • We are going to research the basis of our website lay-out so that we can improve the understanding of our website and thus of our project.

The study

The shape of the study was that of a survey taken orally supported by an investigator. The subject took a survey with open questions on which, if necessary, the researcher provided additional information. This was especially the case with the part of the situation sketch. The subject had the opportunity to express its views and responses to the researcher. Subsequently the subject was also asked about his or her opninion, and there was room for discussion about the project, the survey and its content. Especially during this  a lot of useful information came up to consider. Of course also some errors and ambiguities in the survey came up. All in all, survey lasted 30-45 minutes.
Open questions were chosen because of the nature of what we wanted to find out. The open questions and their answers, comments and discussions were the most useful tool to get information about effectiveness of the information flow.

The number of subject got stuck at 3 due to time constraints. However, they were varied 3: a man of 55 + (person 1) and one female student (21 – person 2) both not from Delft. The third person was a male student from Delft (23 – person 3). What was interesting that the non-Delft persons made comparisons with similar situations and projects in other cities (Maastricht, Utrecht).

Conclusions:

  • At certain point  individuals 1 and 2  became uncertain about the words ‘active’ and ‘resolved’  (‘actief’ and ‘opgelost’) on the ‘rabbit page’. First they thought that  a rabbit appeared when active uneasiness would and once the uneasiness was solved the rabbit would disappear.  initially it was not clear when rabbits are active and when they would disappear.
  • The information is missing that rabbits are actively placed in the streets.
  • Person 2 and 3 were wondering how much time sat between the rabbit placing and its disappearance (make way for work).
  • It was noted that you can upload pictures, but could they also be downloaded? (no download button).
  • The title ‘train rabbit’ (‘treinkonijn’) strongly suggested it only involved train travellers according to individual 1.
  • All individuals understood  clearly that when they took part in the online discussion they were thinking and talking about the uneasiness and their solutions.
  • During the whole survey individual 1 continued to doubt about whether he did understand exactly what he should do during the project.
  • Both persons 1, 2 and 3 thought that the rabbit is the only form of communication of the inconvenience of the building activities to the outside world. 3 person noted that it would be annoying if you had to look for rabbits in this situation. Person 1 missed an overview in this situation.The map was interpreted by individual 1 and 2 as the place where the nuisance is resolved.

Final conclusion: from the different conclusions of the study can be concluded that the information about how the project functions is inadequate. What is striking is that links in the project are certainly understood, but the overview is missing. This has the consequence that the significance of links may be distorted. For example where  person 2 first realizes that rabbits represent future changes, but this alters after seeing the rabbit page. The person then concludes that the rabbits represent current construction and that they will disappear when they are “resolved”. A structured and clear explanation of the project is desirable, at least improvement of the current information flow

Conclusions about the survey

  • the use of the word passengers  (reizigers) in combination with in the images of the brochures and poster gave the impression the project is only about train travellers, accorind to person 1.
  • Person 1 and 2 were both strongly inclined to comment on the functionality of the posters and flyers after seeing the pictures of it.
  • The paper survey is not the proper means to test the functionality of the layout of the website. Only  person 3 had almost all the buttons and interactive features correct. The comments about not being able to intuitively explore the site indicate that there is a lack of an interactive prototype.

Improvements

as concluded the information about the project should be improved. We’ve done the following suggestions to improve the website, our main information source. We’ve taken the conclusions of the study into account.

  • Showing a modified version of the movie presentation. When the website is visited (for the first time) the movie will be shown in advance of the homepage. This movie is the same as the presentation movie (see link), only the spoken text will be adjusted to a specific audience, namely the participants. The function of the film is to inform visitors about the various links in and the progress of the project. The video presentation has pretty much the same purpose and is therefore suitable, in a modified form, for this purpose.
  • Inserting a descriptive text for each page, with the focus on the present issues. At the moment there are hardly any descriptive texts about the content on the various web pages. It is assumed that the  content is clear. You usually can click on the headings to get information about the header and the corresponding section. If we give the information directly (in abbreviated form) the comprehensibility of the subjects improved. There will be no uncertainty about entitlement such as the project name ‘train rabbit’ ‘and heads’ active’ (‘actief’) and ‘dissolved’ (‘opgelost’) rabbits. It is important to notice that the layout of the site is not affected if this is applied. You could solve this by a popup to display information. The new site recognizes a user and then only popup is displayed when a new user visits the site. If this popup is clicked away, it will disappear into the corresponding button, so users know where you can retrieve this information again.
  • Giving an overview page. Making a page fully dedicated to describing the project, which is linked  to the homepage in the same form as the home page and overview rabbits. This way, all information is gathered and easy to find.
  • Some facts about the project are currently not known. These can be detected by an extensive analysis of the information from the website. What is already known to be unclear:
  1. the duration of the project,
  2. the time between the placement of a rabbit and the disappearance (and thus the start of construction),
  3. the absence of the knowledge that the rabbits are placed actively by project ‘Treinkonijn’,
  4. that ‘Delft Bouwt’ is the official channel of information about the construction and that our project is not the major and only information about it.

These facts can be added to the given information in one of the above suggestions.

iPhone app visualization

For the lucky iPhone users, we have an iPhone application which allows you to perform the most important functions from the site. You can log-in, view photo’s, view the message threads, upload pictures and place comments. The visual style is more or less the same as the website mixed with some standard iPhone styling.

Website visualization

Here is an overview of our www.treinkonijn.nl website. As you might have noticed, we made some minor changes from the wireframe overview. The biggest change is the navigation bar at the top which has moved to the navigation area on the left.


January 2010
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers