Waiting stinks. Objectively speaking here, no one likes to wait. (If you do, props to you). As people become more and more glued to their smart devices, any "empty" time is spent staring at a screen. So long are the days one might make jolly conversation with the person sitting next to them at the bus stop. Now, we ignore the strangers around us for the comfort found within our phones.
(This is all an exaggeration. But the higher level idea remains true)
With this project, I sought out to improve mundane experiences throughout the day. I identified that our society is lacking human to human interaction. Additionally, due to our diminishing attention spans, short entertainment is a huge trend.
DISCOVER A PROBLEM AREA
A New York Times article titled "Why Waiting in Line is Torture" explains the psychology behind waiting and how different design techniques can alleviate the perceived passage of time.
The amount of time spent waiting coupled with our addiction to technology (and the amount of time spent on devices) led me to define a goal of this project:
DEFINE THE SCOPE
I brainstormed different mundane experiences and started thinking of ways to make them more exciting.
Current Elevator Experience
After brainstorming different mundane experiences, I saw the most potential in designing experiences in elevators.
Breaking down the elevator experience further exemplified how much time in the whole elevator experience is spent waiting.
I then created an journey map outlining the experience that I wanted to create with this design.
Understanding the journey map helped guide the brainstorming process. I brainstormed different interactions to be placed in the elevator. They ranged from solutions that could be placed in the elevator to solutions that involved in redesigning the elevator itself. There was an inverse correlation between interactivity and portability.
Organizing the ideas on a scale from most immersive to most portable highlighted the ease of implementation. Since this was a school project on a short timeline, I wanted to be able to fully prototype the product and do rounds of user testing. Additionally, increased portability in the product allowed for environments different than just elevators. For these reasons, I moved forward with the ideas that were more portable and consequently easier to prototype and test.
I tested 4 different analogue interactions to identify which users preferred the most and had the most potential to be placed in a public space.
I received user feedback on all of the 4 different analogue interactions that I tested. After the first round of testing (v1), I iterated on the different interactions and created second versions of them (v2) that responded to the feedback and made them more intuitive.
Key Insight: People preferred the button interaction because they were the most intuitive. Additionally, the buttons allowed for maximum versatility in content and placement.
Diverging. (taking a step back.)
Marketing the Product
DESIGN THE PRODUCT
DELIVER A SOLUTION
The Standing Smart product displays different trivia questions and responds with visual stimuli whether the user is correct or incorrect. The E-Ink display cycles through questions and allows the user to retry if they get a question wrong.
Standing Smart is really designed to take on the brand of the companies and business that buy the product.
Making a Model
At the start of this project, I set a goal to make a working model. I worked with a computer engineer to identify the required electronics and code the interaction. There were many unexpected challenges that arose when embedding the electronics within the housing, but I learned the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and gained a better understanding of electronics.