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Applied Interaction Design - Balanced University Lifestyle (P1)


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Applied Interaction Design - Balanced University Lifestyle (P1)

  1. 1. CS4078 - Applied Interaction Design Assignment 1 Balancing Student Lifestyle Killian Stone - 09005157 Killian Vigna - 10129578 Sean Connolly - 10127267
  2. 2. Contents: Introduction: (KS) State-of-the-art: (SC) The Design Game: Summary (SC) Selection of Design Game (KV) Target Audience (KS) Game Materials (KS) Game Tasks (KV) Game Settings (KV) Expectations / Conclusion: (SC) References
  3. 3. Introduction (KS) The topic we chose for this assignment was a ‘Balanced University Lifestyle’. Students head off to University and are given more freedom than ever before, we wish to discover how these students react in situations that could be presented to them during their University years and how they manage an equal balance between the social, academic and health aspects of their new lifestyles. Balancing the social and academic aspects of University can be extremely difficult for a student on a budget and bringing the health side of it in as well adds an extra layer of stress to a student as healthy eating doesn't exactly go hand in hand with the social side of University, nor does academia. The game which we have decided to design first involves the players building the campus using ‘location cards’, each location card represents a University building, once the campus has been built the game can begin. The idea of the game is to have the players succeed in each of the three aspects of University life, social, academic and health. Players can choose what aspect to focus on in each location with the outcomes rewarding certain aspects whilst punishing others. the game ends when a player has completed a task in every location on the board, the winner then is the player with the lowest range between their scores giving them the best balance. Note: The following abbreviations are used to indicated authorship of each section; KS - Killian Stone SC - Seán Connelly KV - Killian Vigna ALL - Group Effort
  4. 4. State-of-the-art: (SC) For our project we are focusing in on the life of a typical undergraduate student, identifying their habits and hobbies, their likes and dislikes, and how satisfied they are with their lives while attending University. Due to the rigorous academic and social challenges met by many young people attending university these days, by both the media and society as a whole, we feel it would be beneficial to be able to develop a method for figuring out how a student spends their life. We feel that being able to identify the biggest indulgences, as well as the aspects of life that they might be ignoring or omitting, would be key in helping to find a balance, and improve a student’s overall quality of life. Balance is the key issue we wish to address with this project. For many young people, moving from school to university can be a very stressful and tumultuous time. These young adults are suddenly thrust into a world of self-reliance and social pressures. While some young adults may be well equipped to deal with the change through past experiences in their own lives, there are many others who are not. There are enormous responsibilities than must suddenly be dealt with, in three key areas that we have identified: Social, Academic, and Health. A young person’s social life when then first start college is a hugely important aspect. While some students may already know people from previous schools, many are beginning without knowing anyone or having any friends. This puts pressure on them to start socialising straight away, or risk feeling left out. It is healthy for young people to interact with their peers, going out and having a few drinks and meeting new people. However some young students can often do these activities only, leading to a detrimental effect on their academic life as well as their health. Similarly, these other two aspects can be focused on too much also. Some students simply study and work on college materials only, which can lead to a sense of loneliness and to them becoming outcasts. This can be very bad for the students’ mental wellbeing and self-confidence, and can continue to affect them later in life. Other
  5. 5. students might choose to focus only on staying healthy, possibly spending most of their time in places like the gym, neglecting friends, colleagues and other college work. These are all examples of typical mismanagement of the student lifestyle, leading to detrimental outcomes in every aspect of their lives. By seeking to address each of these key areas, we will be able to balance out the typical student lifestyle, benefiting a wide range of students and leading to improved results in these areas of their lives too. With our game, which will be outlined in this report, we will be capable of looking at the reasons why students choose to live their lives the way they do, why some focus on certain areas while others focus on different areas. It is our goal that by isolating these reasons and making the students aware of their imbalances, we can work with them to create a system that can balance out the social, academic and health aspects of their university life. This will lead to happier, healthier, and more content students. The Design Game Summary (SC) The game itself is surrounded around the idea that we’re trying to get students to reveal why they choose to focus on certain aspects of their university life as opposed to others. We gather the students together in groups of four around the board, in which each areas of the university are laid out. Recognisable places such as the pub, the restaurant and others are laid out. Each of these areas has cards with questions based on the sections of their lives, these being: Social, Academic and Health. As they go through these areas and answer questions based on their own opinions, and are given points from each section. At the end of the game, the person with least difference between the highest and lowest numbers in their sections, or the lowest ‘mode’, is the one who ‘wins’ due to having the most balanced lifestyle.
  6. 6. Selection of Design Game (KV) Selection of a Design Game or Design Probe: What and Why The purpose of design games or probes is to be a tool for research. Before we began designing any game it was crucial for us as designers to firstly establish the differences between a Design Game and Design Probe to establish how we wished to approach our idea of helping incoming college students balance college life.. Design Probe A design probe essentially tells the player what to do with few variations here and there allowing them to progress. It is seen as a form of linear testing of skill such as reflexes, mentality and according to Mattelmaki, includes Inspiration, Information, Participation and Dialogue as four main reasons of use. (Mattelmaki 2005, p.87). [2] When developing design probes ‘design – oriented user research toolkits that are based on self-documentation’ (Mattelmaki 2005, p.83) [3] a designer will usually include a research kit containing such materials as diaries, disposable cameras, pens/ pencils and cards which allows the users to record information for the designer. This form of research is most suitable in allowing the designer access to information they may not be able to achieve through interviewing or observation. Design Game Exploratory design games put the players into a scenario where they are expected to make their own decisions and choices to progress throughout the game with just a few rules as guidance. Now we just need to understand a bit more about what a design game is? According to Eva Brandt ‘participants use game materials to make design moves’ to ‘provide tangible gestures and suggestions about what is important or
  7. 7. interesting’ and that ‘The game part illustrates both how participation is staged and the playful atmosphere and attitude within which game playing takes place’ [4] Design Game - Balanced University Lifestyle The objective of our design game is to see how well young 1st year students entering college for the first time, can balance what we (as final year students) believe to be the most vital aspects of a student lifestyle; Social, Health and Academia. The only requirements necessary for each person to play are that they are between the ages of 17 - 19 and entering college for their first time. Following these necessities we hope to receive the best results on which aspect of college life these young adolescents deem most important or valuable, and how they expect to balance their Social, Academia and Health scores to eventually ‘graduate’ college . For our own game we agreed on creating a Design Game. Using the design game approach allows us as designers to ‘design activities where the rules of the game become a driving force in the dialogue rather than restricting creativity’. [5] Using this approach in turn allows us (the designers) to collaborate and co-create with the players in developing the final design as ‘games… are likely to be novel to most or all of the participants. Design group members are more likely to learn games at the same rate, without large differences in learning due to rank, authority, or background… This in turn can lead to greater sharing of ideas…’ [6] (Muller et al. 1994) Each participant will be given their own personal score card and will be asked to record the points awarded for each location upon answering their task cards. At the end of the game we will collect the score cards off of each player to calculate the range of their Social, Health and Academia points, the winner will be the player with the lowest range score.
  8. 8. Target Audience (KS) The issue of a balanced lifestyle is one that affects all third level students worldwide, for this reason our target audience for the game are third level students not just in Ireland, but worldwide. We do not wish to include mature students in these statistics as we feel their life experiences to date will have given them a strong advantage when it comes to balancing a lifestyle over a young student fresh out of Leaving Certificate. According to this gives us a target audience of about 130million students, doubling that number by the year 2025. As student numbers rise so too do the numbers of people struggling to keep a balance between the three main aspects of University life. We hope that our game will allow us to more clearly understand the thought process of students when facing a choice between health, socializing and academia. The game itself will allow the players to focus on aspect they choose whilst at any location on the board, this control allows us the researchers to more clearly understand the thought processes of a student when forced to make a decision between their health, academia or socializing.
  9. 9. Game Materials (KS) Board: We tried a number of different layout designs for the game board, all designed roughly with pen and paper in order to develop quick prototypes. In the end we settled on a fairly blank board as we wished to allow the players to create the ‘campus’ as they saw fit, we felt this would give a small bit of input into how the students would lay out the campus if given the opportunity. [GAME BOARD]
  10. 10. Location Cards: The blank squares on the board need to be filled with Location Cards in order to start the game, we decided to have the same amount of blank areas as location cards so that all locations must be placed on the board however their locations are variable. The nine location cards are as follows; 1. Library 2. Pub 3. Gym 4. Shop 5. Lecture Hall 6. Tutorial/Lab 7. Restaurant 8. Students Union 9. Park [LOCATION CARDS] Task/Question Cards: Each location on the board contains three kinds of task/question cards related to health, academia and social. These cards are ‘three-sided’, as such the front of the card displays the cards field (social, health, academia) the back contains a task or question and a small flap at the base of the back of the card shows the scores awarded depending on which task or question has been answered.
  11. 11. Question Cards: Player Scorecard: Each participant in the game is given a card and a pen in order to keep track of their score. The card contains a blank space for the players name and player piece colour, a blank space for their starting location (in order to know when they have completed the board) and a table containing the three headings, social, health and academic along the top and the nine locations along the left side. Players can then write their scores into these locations on completion of a question or task, totaling their final score at the bottom of the card. We also decided to include a small area for notes in case players feel the need to add up sub-sections during the game or need to make small reminders for later in the game with relation to score.
  12. 12. [PLAYER CARD] Player Pieces: Each player will be given a little plastic player piece to keep track of their movements on the board. These pieces will each have a separate colour in order to avoid any confusion. The players colour will also be added to their scorecard. A Die: A regular six-sided die is needed at the start of the game in order to decide where each player will begin the game. Each player rolls the die and then moves that many spaces from the ‘start’ square prior to the task/question cards being introduced. This allows for a wider spread over the board at the beginning of the game and helps people to think differently to each other as they are not all arriving in the same location at the same time.
  13. 13. Game Tasks (KV) The layout of the board is of a typical University campus setting. The game can be played between four to six players and is split into two stages, Cooperative and Task/Questions. There are 9 blank squares printed around the University Campus board. Each blank square indicates an area where it is possible to place a location card. Stage One: Players are put into a cooperative scenario with nine location cards being equally divided amongst the players. Each card represents a department or building typically found throughout many University campuses in the world. The players can either work together on placing their location cards or randomly place them. To begin play on the board each player must roll a six sided dice. The determined number rolled indicates how many spaces (locations) from the campus entrance (Start) they will begin on. With this rule each player may start on various locations around the board. Stage Two: Each player attempts a Task/ Question to progress to each location and complete the game. Once a player has landed on a location, they can now choose between picking up a Health, Social or Academic card for that location. Once they pick up the desired task card they must answer correctly to advance and calculate their range.
  14. 14. Game Settings (KV) In order to get the most effective results we will be testing out our game design to 17-19 year old 1st year University students. The reason behind using the youngest age group over mature students is to record how young college students view college be it all academic, social, or healthy. With the game only consisting of a small playing board and of few pieces necessary to play we have the ability to take the game anywhere. As we will be using 4-6 players the ideal location will be in a moderately large, brightly lit quiet room. We will be using a classroom situated within the college itself. The large space allows the players to comfortably play whist the designers can still obtain full vision of the players. Expectations / Conclusion (SC) In the course of carrying out this game we expected to distil the elements of various students lives that seemed to be taking over the other aspects that they should have been paying attention to. By looking at why certain students choose to focus more on the health, academic, and social aspects of their lives than the others, we can figure why their lives are so unbalanced, and hopefully develop a system that will be able to teach them how to properly alter their lives in a way that will benefit them and these aspects of their lives as well.
  15. 15. References (ALL) [i]Student Connections. 2014. Student Connections. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 March 2014]. [ii]UF Counseling & Wellness Center . 2014. UF Counseling & Wellness Center . [ONLINE] Available at: self-help-guide-for-students.aspx. [Accessed 08 March 2014]. [1] design.html [2][3] Mattelmaki,T. (2005) ‘Applying Probes – From Inspirational Notes to Collaborative Insights in Co design 1(2), 83-102. [4] Brandt, E. (August 2009). Participation through Exploratory Design Games. 1 (1), p1. [5] Brandt, E and Messeter, J. (2004). Discussion - Design Games as Design Practice. Facilitating Collaboration through Design Games,. 8 (5), p129. [6] Muller, M and Druin, A. (2002). Participatory Design. Participatory Design: The Third Space in HCI. 1 (8), p34.
  16. 16. Appendices Question/task cards: Social (KS) Location: Question/task: Score= A/H/S Library You have an exam tomorrow but it’s your friend’s birthday tonight, do you; a) Study in the library and miss the party 3/1/0 b) Go to the party and hope the exam goes okay 0/0/3 Pub You’re down to your last euro but the night is still young, do you; a) Borrow money from a friend and stay out 0/0/3 b) Head home and call it a night 1/2/0 Gym Gym membership costs the same as a bike, do you; a) Buy a bike and cycle to keep fit 0/3/0 b) Walk everywhere and join the gym 0/3/1 Shop You have very little money left to buy food but you are heading out tonight do you; a) Buy a healthy meal and skip the night out 1/3/0 b) Split your money between food and alcohol 0/1/2 Lecture Hall You missed a lecture due to illness, do you; a) Ask a friend for their notes 2/0/1 b) Explain you absence to the lecturer and ask for notes 3/0/0
  17. 17. Tutorial/Lab You missed an important lab due to a hangover, do you; a) Contact the lecturer and explain yourself 3/0/0 b) Ignore the problem and try to catch up next week 1/0/0 Restaurant Dining with friends, do you; a) Split a pizza and a pitcher of beer 0/0/3 b) Choose the healthy option but pay more 0/2/1 Students Union Your students union is looking for candidates for the upcoming Student election, do you; a) Elect yourself or a friend to run 3/0/2 b) Show up to vote for the most popular choice 0/1/1 Park your friends are playing sport in the park while you have a class, do you; a) Skip the class and join your friends 0/2/2 b) miss the game and go to class 3/0/0 Health (SC) Location: Question/task: score= A/H/S Pub ● You’re sick, and the doctor has put you on antibiotics. You head to the pub with your friends. Do you: ○ Drink a few pints, sure what harm? A/H/S: 0/0/2 ○ Stay off the drink for the night, play it safe? A/H/S: 1/3/1
  18. 18. ● You’re out for the night with friends, you’re a good few pints in, starting to feel it. Do you: ○ Keep on going, keep up with the rest of them? A/H/S: 0/0/2 ○ Slow your pace, get a bite to eat first? A/H/S: 0/2/0 ● The pub is holding event nights every night one week, ending at 3am every night, and you have four 9am starts. Do you: ○ Head out every night, sure everyone else is? A/H/S: 0/0/3 ○ Head out one or two nights, get a few nights sleep too? A/H/S: 2/3/0 Restaurant ● The restaurant has offers each day of the week for cheap food, however it mainly consists of chips, pizza etc. Do you: ○ Eat there every day, saving money? A/H/S: 0/0/1 ○ Eat there a few days, and buy healthier but more expensive food? A/H/S: 0/2/1 ● Your friends plan to meet at the restaurant for a few days for some group studying & meals, but the food is a tad expensive. Do you: ○ Join them, spending a lot of money on food? A/H/S: 2/3/3 ○ Stay at home to save money, but join them online? A/H/S: 2/1/2 ● The restaurant is offering a deal on pints with meals one evening only, but you’ve an assignment due the next morning. Do you: ○ Go with the offer, one pint can’t hurt? A/H/S: 0/1/3 ○ Decline the offer, you need to study? A/H/S: 3/3/0
  19. 19. Student Union ● There’s a trampoline in the student union courtyard for Charity Week. Your friends are enjoying it, but you’ve a sprained wrist. Do you: ○ Have a go, sure you’ll only be using your feet? A/H/S: 1/0/3 ○ Sit it out, go to the library until they’re finished? A/H/S: 1/1/0 Shop ● The shop is offering a great deal on chicken rolls, but they aren’t allowed in the computer labs, and you’ve heard rumours of salmonella? ○ Have one sure, you’ll only miss an hour of study? A/H/S: 1/0/1 ○ Leave it, wait for dinner at home? A/H/S: 2/1/0 Gym ● You’ve just started on a new training program to keep fit, but your friends have been going for weeks and are encouraging you to keep up with them. Do you: ○ Push yourself, you’re fitter than they are anyway? A/H/S: 0/1/2 ○ Stay at the pace you were given? A/H/S: 0/3/2 Park ● The restaurant is offering a deal on pints with meals one evening only, but you’ve an assignment due the next morning. Do you: ○ Go with the offer, one pint can’t hurt? A/H/S: 0/1/3 ○ Decline the offer, you need to study? A/H/S: 3/3/0
  20. 20. Tutorial ● A group exercise requires you to traverse across the campus to map out certain buildings. Do you: ○ Go along with the group, it’s a simple enough task? A/H/S: 2/2/2 ○ Head to the pool room, it’s not worth any marks anyway? A/H/S: 0/1/3 Lecture ● You can’t seem to stay awake during lectures, do you: ○ Resort to bring an energy drink with your each time? A/H/S: ○ Try get more sleep, cut out a night or two drinking?? A/H/S: Library ● The library has a rule against water bottles, however you’re dehydrated. Do you: ○ Sneak a bottle of water in, you need to liquids? A/H/S: 2/3/1 ○ Obey the rules, suffer with a dry mouth? A/H/S: 1/0/1 Academia (KV) Location: Question/task: score= A/H/S Library You’re trying to finish an assignment due in a few hours but you’re Friends want to go for lunch, do you? a) Skip lunch and finish the assignment in time? A/H/S: 3/0/0 b) Go for lunch and rush the rest of it when you get back
  21. 21. A/H/S:1/2/2 Pub You have a lecture you should go to, but you’re friends want to go for one drink, do you? a) Go to the lecture and skip the pub, it’s never just one A/H/S: 3/2/0 b) It’s only a lecture, a pint sounds better A/H/S: 0/0/3 Gym You have training tonight, but have to meet your group for a project. Do you? a) I’ll just tell them something came up, can’t miss the gym A/H/S: 3/0/2 b) I’ll skip tonight and meet get working on this project A/H/S: 0/3/1 Shop You’re working from home and want a sugar rush, do you? a) Stay and have some coffee and a light meal. A/H/S: 3/2/0 b) It’s only short walk and the sugar rush will be good. A/H/S: 1/1/1 Lecture Hall You have a two hour lecture with a ten minute break in between, do you?; a) Stay, it’s only another fifty minutes more.
  22. 22. A/H/S: 3/0/0 b) Leave with your friends, nothing will happen in it. A/H/S: 1/0/3 Tutorial/Lab You’re at home sick, but have an important class on, do you; a) Brave it out and struggle to class? A/H/S: 2/0/1 b) It’s only one class, I’ll stay home. A/H/S: 0/3/0 Restaurant You need a book for one of your lectures, but are also going to a dinner with friends for a birthday. Do you; a) I get paid next week, I’ll wait till then. A/H/S: 0/2/3 b) Explain you need this book and don’t have money. A/H/S: 2/1/0 Students Union The SU need writers for their regular students paper, do you?; a) I’m busy enough with college as it is, maybe later. A/H/S: 2/1/1 b) This will look great on my CV, sure! A/H/S: 3/0/2 Park It’s the nicest day of the year and everyone is skipping class to go
  23. 23. to the park; a) I’ll go to the class, the weather might hold up. A/H/S: 3/0/0 b) It’s a crime not to be out in this weather. A/H/S: 0/2/3