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Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe
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Interaction Design Method - Cultural Probe

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  • 1. ASSIGNMENT 8 | Broken Probes | Jernettie Burney, Sourjya Sinha Roy, Melissa Tang
  • 2. 1 Target User Group and Research Objectives For this project, we decided to focus on pre-loss (the emotional experiences before loss is encountered.). We wanted to focus on the connections and emotions experienced between two people before they are separated. The separation could be caused for different reasons, but we chose to focus on loss because of distance separation. Our subjects are twin sisters who have never been separated since birth. We decided to simulate a scenario in which they are graduating college and moving to different cities. Since it is a hypothetical scenario, we decided to ask them to reflect on the things they have done together in the past. We are exploring the bond they have with each other. This way, we will get a look into the relationship that people have, and it may explain why we feel loss the way we do. Note: We gave the each one probe with similar content and task. CONTENTS Target User Group 1 Overview 2 How to read this document 6 The Design Process 7 Probe content 8 Reflection 24
  • 3. Overview of Probe Content The package case is a travel bag. We have the contents below: 1. Boarding pass with instructions 2. A soft toy (worn) 3. A CD case 4. A picture frame and photo paper 5. Menus of restaurants 6. A notebook 7. A handmade movie slate The package itself was also a worn object (deliberately) Worn Objects Carry-on bags: These bags in which held all of our probe objects were also worn. This bag gave the subjects a more realistic feeling that their travel was real, especially when the bags were first brought to them. Immediately we could see that they actually thought they were leaving. Every time they would opened the probe bag, it would remind them that their time with their sister is going by and as they complete the tasks they do so as a final token to their sibling they they have never been separated from. Stuffed dolls: Our worn objects consisted of the stuffed toys given for taking pictures in their memorable places. These objects gave them a sense of reminiscing mainly because they have not owned stuffed toys ever since entering adulthood. The dolls caused them to enter a state of recollection much easier since toys have a genuine way of making a person want to remember the past. 3 The Unboxing Experience Top left: What the container looks like from the outside. We added travel stickers to make ti more aesthetic Top middle: Item 1: The boarding pas is the first visible item. At this stage this is the only thing they can see Top right: Special handles were created to reveal the contents. We see the use pulling on the handle Bottom left: The user uses a flap to lift the cover Bottom middle: The contents are revealed Bottom right: All items are packed in groves to make it tidier and to provide a sequence of un-packing
  • 4. The Unboxing Experience In this picture we see that the items were packed away neatly. They were also arranged in a particular order, the items we wanted them to reflect on towards the end were placed at the bottom, while the earlier reflective items were placed on the top. We wanted them to reflect at first on the relationship they already had before they reflected on leaving them. Bottom left: Item 5: Menus Bottom middle: Item 6: Notebook Bottom right: Item 7: Movie slate Top left: Item 2: a soft toy Top middle: Item 3: A CD case Top right: Item 4: A picture Frame 5
  • 5. How to read this document Since there were repetitions in explanation, we decided to merge the sections together. We start by talking about the design process of the bag and what we were hoping to get out of it. We then look at the design of the package and how the users reacted to it. The reflection on how we could have done it better is then explained. We then look at each item in the probe, the rationale for that particular item, followed by what the users did with it and our reflection on that item. At the end, we reflect on the entire package and the insights we got regarding pre-loss. Then we critique culture probe as a method. The design process We tired to figure out our own take of the project. Since loss and grief were very open ended, we affinity diagrammed to figure out what areas of loss we were interested in. We were not really interested in dealing with very heavy emotions and wanted to explore emotions and connections people have before they lose something. After we narrowed down on what we were exploring and once we knew who the subjects were, we quickly created a short summary on who they were based on questions we asked them. We wanted to craft a culture probe that was more meaningful for them in the hopes to provoke deeper reflections. We broke down possible areas of loss due to travel and concepted several ideas. We then selected the ones we liked the most based on our understanding of the users. Top: Part of an Affinity Middle: Idiation Bottom: Sketches Background: Working together 7
  • 6. Probe Container: Travel Bag Rationale: We chose a travel bag because people already know what it is used for. We also used bags that had traveled around and have tags from previous flights. This way the container itself was a worn object and had the power to provoke the user into thinking that this was real. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: The subjects when first given the package were very intrigued at the way they could open up the package and were surprised when the package was brought in the form of a carry-on bag. They both commented on how “the suitcase made it feel real” even when they knew it was not. Jeane claimed that she knew the project was not real, but at the same time it got her to think that if it were, “what would I do?” They also liked how we compartmentalized the bag. Jeane reflected on opening the bag and seeing the ticket first and then she had to open the secret compartment to get to her personal items, and she felt that it made it more personable to her. Reflection: The suitcase was provocative as a container. It made the project seem realistic. Overall, we were satisfied with container and the reaction they got from it. 9
  • 7. 11 Probe Content: Boarding Pass with Instructions Rationale: The moment you open the probe/bag, you see the boarding pass. It was crafted specifically for each individual, with their names and destination. On the back of the pass were instructions as to what they were supposed to do with the remaining items. We wanted them to only see the boarding pass at first. This would give them an opportunity to understand the project but more importantly understand that they were leaving their sister for the first time. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: They both liked the boarding pass, “First of all the thicket with my name on it, the time and the date, made me feel like I was going for real.” Jeane even said the boarding pass helped her remember what she needed to do. Joyce thought that the items in the pack “made it feel like I was leaving and I was preparing to go”. Reflection: The boarding pass was another way of trying to make the scenario feel more real and it did its purpose. However, the boarding pass did not serve any other purpose. Joyce made the boarding pass her own and decided to add her picture on it. We could have had some sort of interaction with the boarding pass to maybe get more reflection from them.
  • 8. 13 Probe Content: Soft Toy Rationale: Through this object, we wanted the user to reflect on places they like to visit with their sibling (and get an idea of what they like to do together). This was another worn object. The idea was to replace their sibling with this toy. We wanted them to take a picture with the toy in a location that either they both like to visit together, or a place the user wants to take her sister. this would get them to reflect on the time they had together. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: The open ended instructions made their interpretations interesting. Jeane focused on areas they wanted to visit together and created Photoshoped images, whereas Joyce focused on places they had visited together and gave a collection of images of them together in Chicago. Reflection: The open ended prompt with this provided two different reflections. It did give us an idea of what they wanted to do and what they did, however, it did not really bring out the connection between the sisters all that much. This did not really provoke a strong bond between the sisters compared to other items. Left: Jeane took her soft toy and put it in a location that she thought the two of them would visit Right: Joyce submitted various pictures of themselves together in Chicago
  • 9. 15 Probe Content: A CD Case Rationale: Name songs that you enjoy listening with your sister. Another way to provoke the user to think about the time they had together. This gives her a chance to realize the things they have in common. What they could miss about each other and the memories that they shared through the song. Perhaps some memorable event happened when they heard the song, or the song was played at an important milestone in their life. Whatever the reason, now that their sister is leaving, when they hear the song and recall those times, it cannot be the same and they will associate the times they had together with the song. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: They both mentioned that this was a hard task. Jeane sort of made it into a “how well do you know your sister” challenge. “I was trying to think of a song she liked”. When they showed us the CD, the first thing they did was to compare the songs to see if they knew each other well. They did have a lot of common songs. This again made them reflect on the time they had together and shows us the bond that is created over time and how being together creates similar tastes. Reflection: We were hoping to see milestones, and memorable events attached to the songs. This did not come out through this item. Although a different type of reflection came out. We see that both of them were more interested in trying to come up with a list that would be important to the other sister alone. This was to an extent a surprise as we did not expect this to be a difficult task or that thought provoking. We can thus say, that music plays an important part in their lives as they wanted to get it right. This also shows that bond between the two sisters as they are willing to spend time on each other. Jeane’s album list
  • 10. 17 Probe Content: A picture frame Rationale: Both subjects were asked to print off their favorite picture of their sister and place it in the frame. The frame represents preservation, to keep something for a long period of time without bringing damage to the item that they are protecting: the memory of their sister. The reasoning for asking them to print off their favorite picture of their sister is to make them question what is it about their sister that the photo does well to bring out the best in them. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: Jeane used the picture her sister uses all the time on facebook. She said she would use this picture to remember her. What is interesting is that Jean did not understand why Joyce kept using the picture of facebook all the time, although she picked it because it reminded her of Joyce the most. Joyce picked a baby picture of Jeane. They had a backstory regarding the picture and how for a while they were not sure if it was Jeane or Joyce in it. What is interesting is that they both picked pictures that were meaningful in someway to them. It was the connection they had they wanted to hold onto. Something to remember the other person’s personality by. Reflection: Just like the soft toy, this one also did not provoke much thought. It would be interesting to see what they would have done had they not been provided with any instructions. If we had made this totally open ended, we may have provoked very contrasting reflections. We got them to reflect on their connection with each other, but it could have been more provocative. Left: Joyce adding a picture of Jeane as a child Right: Jeane added a picture of Joyce that she uses all the time on facebook
  • 11. 19 Probe Content: Menus Rationale: Participants will have menus from different Bloomington restaurants where they will select different dishes that they have enjoyed eating with their sister or dishes they would want to eat with their sister. This task will call for the participants to focus both on not just the dish but the memories that was shared with their sister that made the dish much more fulfilling. With also giving them the option for selecting dishes that they would like to share with their sister, it makes them realize that graduation is around the corner and that with the potential of the sisters traveling to different states, they must savor the time that they have left before parting ways. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: They were asked to select restaurants they would take their sister too. Jeane originally wanted to rank the restaurants, but then only selected one. She picked Buffalo Lowie’s because that is the one restaurant Joyce always picks. Ironically Joyce picked the same restaurant because she thought its the restaurant that would remind Jeane of her the most. Although she did pick Jimmy John’s as a second option to which Jeane claimed “you do know me!” This reflection could show that being together creates similar tastes. Reflection: It did get them to reflect on each other and their connection. It also brought out the idea that living together may create similar tastes and likes (although not guaranteed). We could have researched a little more about them and provided them menus to restaurants they had not visited. This may have provoked very different reactions. Alternately, we could have asked them to tell a story of a good or bad restaurant experience to reflect on events that had brought them together. Our item did give us what we were looking for, but this was sort of an opportunity space to explore a lot more. From the given menus they both selected the same one. In the above image you see how they were arranged in the box
  • 12. 21 Probe Content: A notebook Rationale: Both participants are movie script writers. This notebook was given to them with the task of writing a short script or story to depict the scenario of how they would tell their sister they would leave and how their sister would react. For writing movies, script writers must pan out in their minds how a certain scenario would play out and the believable emotions that would take place in that situation. The purpose of doing this is to not only allow the participants to explain the scenario in a fashion that would most please them, but to put themselves in a situation where they would have to think very deeply and realistically of how they would react to this scenario. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: Since this item was left open ended, they did it differently. Joyce wrote a script, while Jeane wrote a story. What is of note was that they both created a very similar scenario even though they worked on it separately. They both created a scenario in which they were told to move on a short notice. Both of them agreed that it was the most realistic because they tell each other everything. The other thing that stood out was the fact that neither the story or the script had any complications or strong emotions in it. They claimed that they were not the most emotional people, and that they would feel happy for the other person. They both agreed that it would be difficult for them to explain that they were leaving, but they expected the other person to be supportive and understanding. Reflection: This was an interesting item, as it was the first item that really made them reflect on leaving their sister. Both of them mentioned that they felt anxiety in trying to explain the situation to the other but at the same time expected an unemotional reaction. They are very supportive of each other. This item was provocative in nature and got them to reflect on how they would feel more that how the other would feel. Their anxiety shows how they feel about each other. Even when they know the other person is going to be supportive, at some level they feel uncomfortable telling the other that separation is imminent. It may have been better to ask them to write a letter or note to the other to explain the situation. This way we could have seen more of the personal reflection and how they personally felt about leaving the other person. Notebook in which they were asked to write a store or a script
  • 13. 23 Probe Content: A handmade movie slate Rationale: The movie slate contained the directions for the task of the subjects making a video to explain to their sister that they are leaving. The slate was made in this form primarily to keep the consistency of using movie terminology but secondarily to remind them of their dream and that their dream is the reason of why they must depart from their sister. Reactions and Perception of Subjects: Jeane said that the video was the hardest thing for her. If it was a real scenario, she would not know what to say. Joyce agreed with her. Both their videos were quick short best of luck videos. Both of them interestingly said “call me when you get off the plane”, which again shows the bond between the two. Again they created a scenario in which they had to leave quickly. This shows again that they talk to each other usually. Jeane said that she was trying to be realistic and goofy. “you don’t say goodbye!”. They both said that the video was hard to make, when we inquired further, they said that they did not really know what to say. They are not very emotional and struggled with what they wanted to say. So they ended up wishing each other good luck. This may show that accepting loss is hard. Reflection: This was not a very compelling object as far as sharing emotions goes, although they both did struggle with it. They struggled with it because they were finding it difficult to express themselves. What makes this item really interesting is that it brought out a big insight for us. Accepting loss is hard, even when it is a hypothetical scenario. As far as the 5 stages of grief goes, they were either in denial that everything would be the same, or they were bargaining claiming that they would have a place for each other. The last task. for videos go to https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2rlN2HWFxEALXRmbHRzTkc2WE0&usp=sharing
  • 14. Reflection: Culture Probe It can highlight and reveal behaviors that a user otherwise may not have thought about. We think a culture probe can be very useful for research that is more interested in seeing how an individual or a group actually perceives their environment. If they take the time to do something, it reveals something about them. If they don’t do something, it still reveals something about them. If not crafted properly, users may not be engaged. It is sort of similar to creating a rapport with the user before an interview. Even if something is provocative, it may not excite the user and no reflection may come about. A lot of thought and time has to be spent on crafting the items. The level of thought that can go into the construction may actually take more time than the user spends on it. There is a risk involved that you may not get back what you are looking for. This is not necessarily bad, in fact if you are exploring a culture that is completely new to you, this method can be useful to see how they use items differently. It could even be used to test materiality of different objects. Do people come up with novel ideas of using an item, or do they stick to what they know? what if they have never used an item? what affordances does a foreign object have? The information from a culture probe (as in our case) is not conclusive, but it does provide avenue for future exploration. 25 Reflection: Broken Probes Our take on the probe was to discover the connections between two people before loss is encountered. From that point of view, our probe was pretty effective in highlighting the bond between the sisters. The open ended instructions did provoke different reflections. Some of the items did not provoke strong reactions as we had expected. We provided several items with instructions and maybe next time we could have more open ended items. It would give the subjects more freedom to explore the artifacts. If more items were open ended, there would be a risk that they would not interact with some of the items, but then again that would still tell us something about who they are and how they connect with each other. Problem Space We definitely stepped away from loss and grief. We wanted to see how people experience relationships. What was interesting, is that loss seemed to be foreign to their entire relationship. When they interacted with the tasks, there was no sense of loss associated with any of the tasks. They reflected on it truthfully, and realistically, and even admitted that it felt real, but none of their reflections said they would miss each other, or recognize what they are about to lose. We understand the stages of grief and we believe that by nature people may have a predisposition to not accept loss (at least for the sisters it seemed true). They reflected on all that they have, but never on what they would miss. We realize that this may be because our probe may not have provoked such reaction, but that is the point; without loss actually happening, it does not seem to be something people realize or accept or even consider. Denial seems to begin a long time before loss is actually felt. We feel that more information regarding pre-loss may lead to designs that help people prepare for loss before it actually happens.

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