Tag Archives: deth2021

Narrative Poster using Miro

One of the final hand-ins for Design Thinking was a Narrative Poster which was due this last week. Usually, this would be created using some kind of vector graphics software, physically printed and presented in class with hand-in of pictures for grading. But, these being a “extraordinary times” (ugh, that phrase), we had to switch to a full-blown digital way of creating and presenting the poster.

In our group, we decided to use Miro, because some of us already had at least a bit of experience using it. Also, it is pretty straight-forward, and works well for collaborational tasks.

It was one of those assignments that you put off for quite some time, fearing that it will take immense amounts of time to complete, but when you finally sit down with a colleague (via jitsi, of course, not physically in the same room), and go through the requirements, and talk about what there is to do, and split up the jobs … you’re pretty much done within one hour.

Here you go, this is the story of how we worked on #SeeSpiel (click to open the file):

a screenshot of a narrative poster that uses the map of Seestadt as background and layout

The poster shortly summarises the individual steps we took during the course. We used a map of Seestadt as the backdrop, as it is also vital to our project. Each phase of the project – so far – is positioned along Sonnenallee, which is the big avenue circling the Aspern lake. The narration starts at U2 station Seestadt, south of the lake, then follows Sonnenallee clockwise until it arrives back at the northern side of U2 station Seestadt.

The literature reviews and expert interviews are each summarised shortly, using quotes from the expert interviews and learnings from the reviews respectively. For the provocative requisites, we also summarised our learnings, and added two pictures. The part on the design game talks about both a physical game prototype and the digital design game. The two scenarios we developed are shortly described, and then we’re already at the final stop: the design workshop.

I’ll write short posts about the phases I haven’t covered yet, and probably will also put up the final report once we’re done, so if you’re interested in more of this, do come back soon 😉

A digital Design Journal

In the last years, every group had to keep a Design Journal for the Design Thinking course(s). In it, the group would document meetings by jotting down notes, making sketches, or collecting whatever physical things they came across over the course of their work. With the restrictions due to Corona (this is probably the most used phrase anywhere right now) this had to be adapted, of course. I’m very pleased to say that our digital Design Journal – apart from the sketches everyone makes in their own ways, be it journals or pads or just loose pages -, is kept in an encrypted storage hosted by Chaos Computer Club Wien (C3W). The cryptpad software itself is developed by the open-source CryptPad project. Information on CryptPad can be found on their website (link), and the instance hosted by C3W is available at pads.c3w.at. The software supports different formats, from plain text (“code”) pads through presentations and rich text pads all the way to kanban boards and whiteboards. And the drive really is a drive where you can use folders and subfolders! Pads can be set up to be password protected, it is possible to share links for one time use, and the share links can be set up to allow editing (or viewing only).

In the case of the digital Design Journal, this is what our setup looks like as of December 13, 10.25 o’clock:

A screenshot of a pads.c3w.at cryptdrive, showing several folders for university lectures, and the files and subfolders located in the Design Thinking folder.

We’re trying to keep the whole thing manageable by using subfolders, and we’re half successful at sticking to naming schemes. Using CryptPads on mobile devives (smartphones, tablets) is still in the works, but I’d argue it keeps us from working “on the go” too much. Quick notes and ideas can be shared with the group via Telegram, or by putting them into on our own note-taking setups (apps or paper – which reminds me that I wanted to ask the others what they use for such things).

Change of Plans

One ouf our tasks for Design Thinking was to design and implement two so-called “provocative requisites”. The idea is to put up an artifact somewhere in public space, where it will provoke interaction, or discussion, by passers-by. One initial idea, as we want to create a game to (re)discover Seestadt, was to distribute small, 3d-printed puzzleboxes (also known as cryptex). However, they would have required a substantial degree of manual interaction, and with the pandemic going on, we figured such a physical interaction would deter people from actually interacting with the object.

Instead, I figured that an object that was unexpected in public space, paired with a QR-Code, might still do the trick. Cue Seelina, our 3d-printed octopus:

A grey, 3d-printed octopus sitting atop a thermos cup on a red seat.

I already had Seelina at home, which is basically why I got the idea – and which meant that we would save some time compared to having to 3d-print an object of her size. And indeed, when we tested her in the wild on a sunny Sunday noon, people did interact with her quite a bit. Unfortunately, as that was supposed to be only the test-run, I did not take pictures or videos of the people interacting with her – and on our second visit to Seestadt, when I planned on documenting the whole thing, and we had a corresponding website set up, only one person interacted with her. The main difference was that on the first day, it was pretty warm and sunny, compared to the second run, where it was cold and extremely windy – a couple of times, Seelina was literally blown off her spots.

A real pity, but that’s how research goes, I guess.

 

Organising my term

Some people say I am an incredibly well-organised person. That’s mostly the case because if I don’t write down all kinds of things, I’ll straight-up forget them. So, lists are an import thing in my life.

Having all my deadlines for the semester written down also helps me to better spread work over the weeks and months. Of course, the  Plan does tend to change, so here are the original, and the latest version of my semester plan:

A hand-written list of deadlines for 2 courses, the dates are color coded in pink and green. Same list as before. Some items have been checked, some have been moved, comments have been added.

The courses I am taking this semester are Human Robot Interaction (HRI), and Design Thinking (DeTh). For each course, there is roughly one deadline every week, but as the assignments are not always the same (as opposed to, e.g. in a maths course where you have to complete one exercise sheet per week), it is dearly necessary I write down what the deadlines are, exactly. Doing it in this kinda fancy way makes it better still, because the list is nice to look at – even with all the additions I made due to changes in deadlines or to keep an overview over where I put notes corresponding to deadlines.