Designing Memory Books with Natural Language Processing

Students and faculty in the Visual Communication Department at Farmingdale State College, are producing and designing Memory Books with Natural Language Processing. Memory Books are personal photo albums that capture spoken memories of your friends and family. We use Google Voice, coupled with a series of user-centered workflows and work arounds to record memories of your most loved photos. Our student design thinkers are:

  • solving complex usability problems by overcoming Google technical limitations
  • exploring a wide verity of user-centered scenarios to solve key pain-points using Google Voice in its current state.
  • combining transcribed verbal stories to printed text
  • capturing the voice of a loved one while browsing memory books.
  • designing beautiful photo album layouts using Adobe Products
  • using scenario-based design to envision future user and technological interactions
  • deigning mobile web interactions that solve key user-centered pain-points.
  • creating prototypes to further understand their design decisions.

Artwork and Designs created by: Genevieve Quiban, Julius Capio, Gabby and Nick

Designing Interactive Systems 2017: BRIDGING KNOWLEDGE, CONNECTING PEOPLE

The theme of DIS 2017 is bridging and connecting – across disciplines, practices, places and understandings. The most interesting things happen at edges and boundaries, and so the aim of the 2017 conference is to examine different approaches to framing knowledge about the design of interactive systems.

As advancements in interactive technology continue to blur the demarcations between people and data, and between things and software, interaction designers and researchers are finding new ways to explore this evolving, interdisciplinary landscape. At DIS 2017 we shall consider the contrasts and commonalities that are central in shaping the landscape of emerging interaction paradigms.

DIS 2017 is hosted by the Centre for Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University. Join us in Edinburgh to make the links that will build the future of interactive systems design.

Congrats to Gaurav Chandwani!

In late May 2014, Gaurav Chandwani, successfully defending his MS IST Capstone at GCCIS Rochester Institute of Technology.  Gaurav was a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) working under two grants, NYSCA’s Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project and RIT’s Brick City Tours. Not only did Gaurav play a major role in developing front end interfaces, but he also help mentor newer GRAs as they joined the Blended Interactions Studio. Gaurav’s capstone is a combination of Information Sciences (e.g. front end iOS programming) and Human Computer Interaction (e.g. evaluation/usability testing). The summation of his MS capstone is a great example of Mobile User Experience Design.

Collaborative system to share pictures among groups for souvenir generation

Collaborative photo sharing while visiting designations can be problematic for the visitors. Sometimes the best photo is on another person’s device. This MS IST/HCI capstone developed, designed and evaluated a mobile application prototype to explore location-based photo sharing for souvenir generation at heritage designations. Using user centered design methods, the application and its content catered to visitors on the Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus. Application modules were developed to easily sync group photo collections together while friends were on a tour together. After the tour was complete, digital photo souvenirs were created to represent the group visit. Evaluations concluded that although automatic photo sharing was very positive utilitarian approach to group photo-sharing, the aesthetics of the souvenir prototype needed more iteration to represent the destination rather the group’s activities alone.

Debugging Geo-Fence technologies with schoolchildren in a 19th century schoolhouse

On Wednesday May 7th, RIT MS HCI and Allendale Columbia School students and faculty ran our mobile pilot test at Genesee Country Village Museum. As pilot tests go, we ran into a few bugs. In particular, we run into bugs at geo-fences (a geo fence is a GPS coordinate with a mathematical virtual radius drawn around a latitude and longitude). When the physical visitor collides with this digital artifact, we deliver contextually relevant digital content to the visitor.

We were not sure why our video content wasn’t playing correctly at the geo-located schoolhouse. We took the opportunity to use the 19th century schoolhouse as a schoolhouse. The Allendale Columbia students sat with their 19th century tablets (hand held chalk boards) while RIT faculty began to explain the notion of the Geo-Fences and why we may be running into problems. After about fifteen minutes we came up with a number of reasons why our video content wasn’t playing with our hand-held chalk boards. Some potential bugs could be related to:

  • 4G video streaming issues
  • distance from 4G towers
  • AS servers may have been slower
  • GPS coordinate was off 15-20 feet
  • problems with the iOS code
  • Geo-Fence was too small, etc
  • Video mp4 format could be corrupted,

After collecting these possibilities we brought them to our development team at RIT the next day. Out of all the potential problems it was “problems with the iOS code”. The development teams fixed the bugs to have a successful usability test on May 14th with school students from Syracuse, NY.

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Western New York Chapter of Human Factors Ergonomics Society Presentation

The Western New York Chapter of HFES is glad to invite you to attend a special meeting on May 5th entitled Mobile Experiences for Tourism.  This is a project directed by Brian O’Keefe Ph.D. and conducted with his RIT graduate assistants under a grant from the New York Council on the Arts.  You will learn how user research was done and see the resulting user interface design in this highly visual presentation.

The meeting will be held at the Center for Student Innovation which is Building CSI 087 on the RIT campus.  You can park in Lot J and walk past the Engineering Technology Hall and the Golisano Building.  The Innovation Center is behind the Golisano Building.  It is a circular building completely enclosed in glass so it will stand out from the other buildings.

Mobile Experiences for Tourism

Broadly speaking, digital tourism is concerned with the use of digital technologies to enhance the visitor experience. This may be as mundane as posting recommendations on a tourist Website, but increasingly, it concerns the mixing of the real world with digital content designed to enhance the visitor experience. These mixed reality technologies have been around for over 10 years, but it is only with the proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices that mixed and augmented reality interaction is reaching the mass market. In this presentation I will introduce Blended Spaces as an extension of mixed reality spaces, but at the level of physical place rather than product. I will introduce the Blended Spaces framework and showcase how it informed the design process and strategy of a New York Council on the Arts grant called Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project. I will present our mobile interaction and user interface design strategy around heritage storytelling and its impact on various visitor experience scenarios. I will discuss our findings and feedback from a series of evaluations. Finally, I will conclude the talk by introducing our work-in-progress project, School Children Designing Visitor Experiences. Our work-in-progress extends the research and technologies developed under a series of grants by putting mobile design decisions and evaluations in the hands of fifth grade students.

Brian O’Keefe Ph.D. is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the MS Human-Computer Interaction program at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. Brian is a interaction design researcher and visual artist with a focus on implementing and evaluating user experiences within mixed reality spaces. Brian is also the Founder and User Experience Director of the Blended Interactions Studio, which represents a group of researchers funded by New York State Council on the Arts, RIT and VisitRochester. The studio specializes in mobile technologies as pervasive/ubiquitous solutions to curate heritage destinations with the aid of school children and educational storytelling ( Brian’s industrial skills have been utilized by Eastman Kodak Company’s consumer electronics and advanced technologies generation teams, winning both awards and patents in digital photography. Brian’s Post Doctorate was held at the Centre for Interaction Design at Edinburgh Napier University where he designed conversational interfaces for the internet via photography, machine learning and natural language processing systems. Brian completed his Ph.D. from the University of Florence, Italy in the sciences of Human Computer Interaction and holds a BFA in Interactive and Graphic Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, USA.

Schoolchildren Producing Mobile Visitor Experiences

On April 10th 2014, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) faculty and students, with a history specialist from Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCVM) met at Allendale Columbia School (ACS) to teach augmented reality production skills to schoolchildren. The goal of this workshop was to have schoolchildren produce their Heritage Stories they wrote from the previous workshop “Schoolchildren Design Mobile Visitor Experiences“.

Schoolchildren were directed by RIT students from the School of Photography Arts and Sciences (SPAS). Film directors and photographers from SPAS recorded each schoolchild in front of a green screen so they could act out their individual role in each Heritage Story. For example, a child dressed as a blacksmith or a school teacher.  GCVM provided 19th century clothing, so the schoolchildren would be contextually and aesthetically appropriate when we geo-locate their videos in our next workshop. RIT Interaction Design students and Allendale Columbia School faculty prepped and couched the schoolchildren before and during each augmented reality video shoot. This workshop gave schoolchildren hands on experiences in the augmented realty production process.

In our next workshop, RIT and ACS students will process and geo-locate each individual video to curate physical locations with their Heritage Stories.

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