Crossroads and Conjunctions

Feb 27, 2021

I reached kind of a crossroad in my project, but it’s a messy one. It’s not just that one path intersects with the one I was on. The path I’m on has no straight continuation from this point onwards.

Review of the process so far

I set out to find insights into the Intentions, Questions and Hypothesis that gave raise to this research endeavour. To do this, I crafted a Researchplan 2020 that I followed up to this point:

So far, this has worked out very much to my pleasing. The results were surprising at times and predictable at others.

The last step done so far, the Expert Workshop I, was very productive. I got a lot of material to think and work through, but I’m missing one crucial aspect. The missing of this aspect initiated this round of reflection. One aspect that we didn’t think or speak about, was form. Form as in gestalt, colors, materials, etc. We work a lot on interaction and persona, but for my approach that is not enough.

Problems and outlook

Honestly I didn’t think much about the testing, as I was hopeing that this would follow organically after I know how the prototype will be like. But the prototype is also depending on the way of testing. Will I just change on parameter, like material? Or the whole thing, inclusive packaging and interaction rituals and voice of the assistant and and and? In hindsight it could be said, that not defining what this prototype could be like was a risky decision. But for me it was more important to leave this kind of creative freedom to the experts. Also, and very crucially, I can’t interfer with one of the biggest aspects of a voice assistant and that is the software part. I could, but I would have to go down a different route and it would take a lot of time.

I was able to present my problematic at the last project club and essentially three answers were formulated:

I feel comfortable with all three approachs and/or a mix of it. But I’m very sure that I need to reschedule my timeline somewhat. I was thinking that I could produce kind of a real prototype in March and have it tested until the colloquium 2 by different participants, in a cultural probe style. But right now I think I will take more time to develop these prototypes, visualize them, give form to the interactive parts in mockup films, doing practical experiments with materials etc and then discuss these with the experts again.

The proposed timeline would look something along the way of

Furthermore I want or even need to expand the scope of the project to animistic human-computer interfaces with a focus on voice user interfaces, for reasons I think I need to reflect on in another posts (or add on here later).