Interaction Design & Design Research

Project Summary

A smartphone has changed traveling dramatically. By following recommendations of places to go and a route to there, you can experience the best efficient travel. However, do these recommendations truely make travelers feel inspired? Sticking with a plan sometimes decreases chances to enjoy spontaneous, unexpected positive happenstance which used to be essential to the enjoyment of traveling (Hwang, 2011). The research confirmed that travelers feel more inspired in unplanned places/happenstances than planned destinations/events. Also, amateur travelers encounter unexpected lacks by accidents, professional travelers can detect signals where they can meet positive happenstances with observing "what's going on" at the places. Making use of this professionals' practice, "Twisted Signboard" is designed for amateur travelers so that they can perceive signals of unexpected lucks. The bit wired signboard gives them curiosicy and makes them deviate from their plan.

My role : Design reseacher, Interaction designer

Methods used :Context mapping / Interview / Observation / Prototyping (with sensors and arduino, leaser cutting, sign graphic design) / Action research with protypes / Qualitative evaluation

Design Concept

Twisted Signboard: An “alien object” in a context giving you an urge to want understand it

Twisted Signboard shows a little wired message in the context. When travelers come close to it, a sound effect happens that notifies travelers although they look at a smartphone. The twisted message and sound give travelers an urge to want to understand it and make them deviate to an unplanned direction where unexpected luck is waiting.

User experience Scenario

Current interaction between travelers & environment

Traveleing entails uncirtanity which makes travelers stick with a smartphone

Travelers cannot notice signals of local experiences that smartphone doesn't have.

They just go to a destination on a route suggested passing through nice local spots.

They just comfirm the same scenary as the pictures of the guide.

Desired interaction with preferable qualities between travelers & environment

Research Highlight

When do travelers get inspired? How do they encounter the inspiring moments? What are barriers to limit the moments?

To define a design goal and find out a design direction, the field research in a hostel in Rotterdam was conducted. It started with three research questions .

Participants: 6 participants spread in genders, ages, and the level of travel expert. Two of six were professional travelers who frequently travel over the world. Others were from amateur to medium. They were recruited at the hostel with a quick questionnaire.

Research Methods: Decisions where to go/do while traveling are made unconsciously. To uncover the tacit level of human's activities and decision-making processes, the context mapping methodology (Visser et al, 2005) was used. Participants were asked to create a collage with stickers of random images, words, and icons, which describes ”today’s activities” on a timeline. The images are intentionally selected ambiguous ones to help people remind and identify thier experience and feeling. Following Interviews were conducted about the collage to uncover practices and values of participants, such as what the images chosen in the collage means, what tools and resources were used to meet the moments, what emotions entailed.

Tools for context mapping

Analysis: The raw data was transformed to knowledge through the synthesis process. Transcripts of interviews and collages were summarized by each participant. The affinity diagram analysis was conducted to specify themes underlying traveling. The results of the research questions were formulated.

practices and values of participants were illustrated

Results: Travelers feel inspired when they are in unplanned situations than planned destinations. Professional travelers intentionally do not use navigation on phones and improvise on making a route by sensing what‘s going on at unplanned spots.

2017 Masako Kitazaki