Project Duration: 1 Week
Software Used: Principle, Sketch
For this week I was tasked with forming my own brief. I undertook some brief some speculative research in an area I have found particularly interesting: tangible interfaces and human computer interactions.
Research & Inspiration
Unsure of where to start, I took a step back and asked myself: what problem do I want to solve? Over the course of my time in NCAD there was one very obvious one that presented itself to me on an almost daily basis. If you have ever been to Dublin's Thomas Street area, you will be familiar with the sight:
We've all been there, frustrated that we can't find our way around an unknown city. I then set myself the challenge: how can I turn this frustrating moment into a delightful one? In addition to creating delight I wanted my solution to be social, using technology to bring people together.
In search of inspiration, and still focused on tourism, I looked at an existing public interface that requires some kind of interaction from tourists:
Additionally, I took some inspiration from my own travels. This remarkable sign can been found in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland:
The idea I wanted to try out was: a sign that could be manipulated manually, with a display that would show the tourist locations in the direction the sign is pointed. I wanted the operator to feel like an explorer when using the device, which was instrumental in deciding the form it should take.
I sketched out a few ideas for how people would interact with my sign: would it require multiple people to operate or only be made easier with more than one? What kind of interaction mode would be appropriate to the form I wanted to convey: a large 'ship's wheel' built into the ground, levers, a push-pull mechanism? Based off feedback from a few people I decided on a sign requiring two users, one for the sign itself, and another to manipulate the controls for scrolling through different tourists destinations in a given direction (there may be several).
Rather than continue to conceptualise, I created a prototype to see how people actually used the sign: