Five-Day Blended Spaces Workshop Kicks off in Edinburgh, UK

SUNY Farmingdale State College in NY and Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh Scotland have kicked off their five-day Blended Spaces Workshop. Students from both institutions have teamed up at the Centre for Interaction Design to dive deeper into Professor David Benyon’s interaction design research in Blended Theory.

The first-day kick-off meeting focuses on fundamental principles of Blended Theory and its framework. Professor Benyon leads the lecture into looking more closely at Conceptual Blending and the metaphors we use to understand interactive services around us every day.  For example, how a waiting line (cue) provides us with an enough contextual, social and visual information so that we don’t confuse a waiting line with a military line waiting in attention.

These principles and more are designed to prepare both Farmingdale and Napier students with a trip to Jupiter Art Land. There we will explore blended spaces in concert with sustainable agriculture.

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.

Title:
Collaborative system to share pictures among groups for souvenir generation

Abstract:
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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