Portfolio: Aaron Schwartz


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Work samples from the 2009-2010 academic year at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

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Portfolio: Aaron Schwartz

  1. 1. Aaron Schwartz User Experience Research and Design ajacobschwartz@gmail.com 718.974.7709
  2. 2. Work Samples Course projects From ideation to physical prototyping page 3 Daisy Cam Course: Activating Environments 4 Random Cam Course: Gadgets, Sensors and Activity Recognition in HCI User Research and Design 5-9 Cheeosk - the cheese kiosk Course: Basic Interaction Design Personal projects 10 Experience Design: wedding edition 11 Found-object art Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 2
  3. 3. Daisy Cam Activating Environments, Fall 2009 Summary Designed an ambient-energy powered memory sharing device, culminating with concepts for a wearable / mountable camera powered by wind and solar energy. The Problem People do not remember days, they remember moments. We endeavored to create a digital capture device with a touch of whimsy and unpredictability to capture otherwise lost everyday moments. Goals Conjure the nostalgia of taking pictures with a film camera, with no “Let me see how it came out!” Capture lost moments of Mounted to a bike, the camera can chronicle Front view of camera lens, solar and wind panels everyday life that at the time would not be your journeys without slowing you down deemed photo-worthy, but that in later years become invaluable. The Design This wearable device has three layers. The front panel contains a solar panel and the camera lens. The middle panel folds out to reveal a pinwheel. The rear panel contains the chargeable power source and the circuitry. The shutter fires automatically when enough energy has been harvested. The Bodystorming an armband pinwheel for wind-power Testing an early version as a wearable device only control is an on/off switch. Pictures can be uploaded via USB or SD card. Concept: Aaron Schwartz Process, Ideation: Aaron Schwartz and team Fabrication: Aaron Schwartz and Cheng Xu Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 3
  4. 4. Random Cam Gadgets, Sensors and Activity, Spring 2010 Summary Inspired by the Daisy Cam project, I created a working prototype of an intermittent wearable camera. Goal Create a working prototype of an intermittent camera designed to capture moments. The Design As a first working iteration of a wearable, intermittent camera, functionality was Prototype front view, showing lens and light-meter What’s inside: hacked keychain-camera, prioritized over design aesthetics. Arduino microprocessor, LED, light-meter The project centers around an inexpensive digital keychain camera. A breadboard connects the camera, LED, light-meter and power leads to an Arduino microcontroller. Code written in Processing allows the Arduino to communicate with the camera. A Radioshack project enclosure houses all the components and necessary batteries. When the device is powered on, the Arduino takes light readings at set intervals, triggering the shutter to take a photograph if there is sufficient lighting. Circuit schematic diagram of the prototype Wires soldered to power and shutter buttons Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 4
  5. 5. Cheeosk page 1/5 Basic Interaction Design, Spring 2010 Goals Create a cheese-recommendation system to address the needs of inexperienced cheese buyers, while enhancing cheesemongers’ relationships with their customers Problems Novice cheese buyers face a barrier to entry Approaching a cheese counter is intimidating Consumers do not wish to appear ignorant Process and Methods Online competitive analyses Brick and mortar field observations Modeling Personas Wireframing/Prototyping Navigational flows Solution A dual system with in-store and at home components to: Facilitate customer / cheesemonger relationships Increase customer knowledge Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 5
  6. 6. Cheeosk page 2/5 In Store and Online Competitive Analysis Process Investigate existing online resources for cheese purchasing, recommendations - 7 Cheese websites and blogs - 3 Wine websites - 2 Supermarkets - 2 Speciality Shops Online findings - Strong visual presentation - Categories for browsing - Ability to filter The team takes a trip to a specialty cheese shop Leading a retrospective interview with an - Recommendations and pairings in Pittsburgh’s Strip District shopping area expert cheesemonger provides insights into the customer experience In store findings - Shoppers know what they like, but can’t always express it - Tasting cheese is crucial to the experience - Cheesemongers help customers explore outside their comfort zone - Cheeses have stories, and even a sense of romance for many people Several prominent cheese shops present similar layouts and navigation options on their homepages. Imagery plays a central role, as do options for searching. Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 6
  7. 7. Cheeosk page 3/5 Customer/Cheesemonger Information Flow The Model Visual representation of research findings from conversations with: 5 Cheesemongers 3 Expert Purchasers 3 Novice Purchasers Experiences differ Green arrows represent novice customers’ interactions. Blue arrows represent experienced customers’ interactions. Breakdowns, shown in red, highlight existing issues our team can avoid when creating a system. Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 7
  8. 8. Cheeosk page 4/5 Persona: Frank Punnci, Cheesemonger Background - Grew up in Italy on a dairy farm - Moved to New York at age 15 - Started cheesemongering at 23 - Friendly, enthusiastic - Has regular customers - Not computer savvy Life goals - Support himself in New York City - Open his own cheese shop - Promote his parents’ cheeses Experience goals Creating a persona helped the team set a focus and provided a vehicle for our scenario-driven presentation - Navigate the system easily - Share information with customers End goals - Create a sense of romance about cheese - Introduce customers to cheeses outside their comfort zone - Enhance relationships and build up a customer base to open his own store Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 8
  9. 9. Cheeosk page 5/5 Wireframing and Prototyping Customer website Features include: - Browse by style - Browse by region - View maps to provide context - Offer comparisons to encourage exploration - Save cheeses to a wish list The website allows customers to explore and learn at their leisure, as well as create an easily retrieved wish list to aid the cheesemonger during their next visit to the store. In-store vendor kiosk Features include: - Display customer purchase history - See customer’s cheese lists - Build and save cheese plates - Show regional maps to provide context The kiosk features large buttons and an intuitive interface. Information from the customer website helps the cheesemonger tailor their advice and build their relationship. Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 9
  10. 10. Repurposing the Lost Found object art: metalsmithing with discarded memorabilia and hardware to create decorative and sometimes functional pieces The Problem Antique shops, yardsales and flea markets become repositories for boxfulls of discarded photographs. The images which were once cherished and held dear now languish, and are practically worthless. The same applies to mechanical objects, though with less poignancy. They have no purpose and no value. Goals As an artist, attempt to evoke some sense of wonder. Help people imagine a story behind the images that have been brought back to life. Evoke a narrative or create context for the images in their new incarnations. nobody asked - front and rear you will see Design Combining disparate and discarded objects gave them new life. Small pieces of new material were sometimes added, but the focus remained on what was salvaged. The use of text creates a loose narrative, suggesting a story to the viewer. By joining the pieces in this manner and creating that story, each part is given a new life as part of the whole. the utensil formerly known as fork How Dancing Came to Be - front and rear Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 10
  11. 11. Our Wedding “The best wedding ever.” (their words, not mine) Summary - 200 Playbill-style wedding programs - 84 foam dart guns - 500+ darts - 1 James Bond-themed entry to the reception - 6 lanes at the bowling after-party Goals Create an event that really stands out in our guests’ memories, expressing my and my wife’s quirkiness and individuality. Bring my sense of playfulness and the absurd to put a personal stamp on this most important day. The Design My wife Alana works as a Press Agent on A Playbill-styled wedding program created in A James Bond theme sets the stage for a game Broadway, so I styled the wedding programs InDesign explains the wedding ceremony of assassins during the reception after theatrical Playbills. Eighty four foam dart guns and over five hundred darts were procured and distributed to wedding guests. Cards were given out along with the seat assignments, naming each guest’s target and explaining the rules of the game. The reception ostensibly became a 4 hour long game of assassins, but as desired quickly devolved into a chaotic storm of darts. Both Alana and I are bowlers, and fans of the Dude. Fliers placed on the tables invite guests to roll at an after-party at the lanes across the street. Seating cards contain instructions and target After-party invitation The aftermath: a vase assignment for “assassins” dart-tag game to the bowling lanes used for target practice across the street Aaron Schwartz Master’s, Human-Computer Interaction Carnegie Mellon University 11
  12. 12. Aaron Schwartz User Experience Research and Design Objective: Application of Human-Computer Interaction methods to discover and advocate for users’ needs, directing the design process. Work on interdisciplinary teams to coordinate development from research to implementation. Education: Carnegie Mellon MS Human-Computer Interaction 08/10 Binghamton University BA English, Magna Cum Laude 05/00 Experience: 01/10 – 08/10 Project Coordinator, Masters in HCI Capstone Project Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU, Pittsburgh, PA 01/09 -- 07/09 Training Consultant, Cisco VOIP System Implementations (NY, NJ, PA) Maestri Consultants, Atkinson, NH 08/06 – 08/08 Senior Client Trainer and Technical Writer, M5 Networks VOIP Phone Service Provider, New York, NY 09/03 – 06/06 High School English Teacher, Special Education Parents for Torah for All Children (P’TACH), New York, NY 09/01 -- 06/03 Assistant Teacher, Applied Behavioral Analysis Shema Kolainu School for Autistic Children, Brooklyn, NY ajacobschwartz@gmail.com 718.974.7709