Contextual Design Learning Log | Creative Design Lab

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This is a series of contextual design learning logs for Creative Design module. In this module, we learn basic knowledge of design concepts and techniques, a flow of creating location-based digital games and available technologies.

  1. Introduction to the Project
  2. Warm up Exercise
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Visual Research
  5. Methods
  6. Six Hats
  7. Ideation
  8. Prototype

1. Introduction to the Project

Learning Outcome

We are required to work with some co-students, Celina and Lena, as a group and create a prototype for one of these given locations listed below.

Given locations

Stanmer Park:

Credit: Vigit Brighton

Stanmer park is located on the outskirts of Brighton where people can enjoy beautiful nature.

Newhaven Fort:

Newhaven Fort
Credit: Visit Brighton

Newhaven Fort is located on the south coast of England which was built to protect the harbour at Newhaven. It kept its heritage almost untouched.

Requirement

The requirements for both locations are to get the target users to physically come to the locations and learn about nature and/or heritages of them.

The target users for Stanmer Park is children but any age ranges are accepted for Newhaven Fort.

To accomplish the project, we go through some design exercises and follow a workflow such as brainstorming, visual research, further brainstorming methods, ideation, evaluating ideas with six hats etc.

2. Warm up Exercise

Introduce yourself to a person next me


This exercise was given the first day at the class when not many students knew each others. After the exercise, we had to introduce a profile of the person who they introduced with.

This exercise then flow into mobile app design idea project.

Draw a person next to me

We watched Ted talk show about quick drawing as a warmup exercise and how it gets funny. We were given a short period of time (probably couple of minutes) to finish the drawing. I draw a student called Mat and I think I did quite well. I wish I had Mat’s drawing of me because it was very funny.

Draw randomly around a keyword

I forgot the occasion for this exercise but remember that I was confused. I didn’t understand why I was doing it and what to follow. I had drawn a cat when I questioned to the tutor and she said keep drawing. So I did without knowing why. Probably it was not important to know why as it was a warm up exercise.

3. Brainstorming 

What is Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.

(Wikipedia)

Brainstorming is a crucial phase for both a group project and an independent project to maximise its potentials and creativity.

Brainstorming helps to gather ideas before nothing is formed as well as during solving problems.

Important things for brainstorming

  • Be open-minded
  • Do not to be critical to other’s ideas
  • Do not hesitate to say a word
  • Go crazy

In my opinion, crazy ideas often inspire the group members for both positive and negative ways which brings new ideas as a result.

A-Z Method

We used A-Z method to generate initial ideas for the project. We were given two locations, Stanmer Park and Newhaven Fort, to select for the project; however, we were allowed to combine ideas for both locations at this stage.

At first, we were randomly came up with words and fill the letters. Then we decided to complete all the letters and so we did.

Since we knew nothing about Newhaven Fort, most of the words are related to Stanmer Park.

Result

We came up with some interesting keywords that were inspiring, even though none of group members knew about the locations. I listed full lists of the keywords below.

A. Apple trees
B. Bee farm
C. Church, café, climb trees, compass, canon
D. Domestic animals, dictionary, destination
E. Environmental, eco-friendly
F. Fairy queen, footpath, fish, fort
G. Gardening app, graveyard
H. Horses, heights, hence
I. Interactive mini games
J. Jungle book
K. Kite event
L. Love, looking
M. Marco Polo, Murder mystery
N. Nursery for plants, nest
O. Orientation
P. Ponds, pick a flower (create a bouquet)
Q. Quiz, questions & answers
R. Running for electricity
S. Solar system (batteries), sound finder, sun time
T. Trees
U. Undercover spy
V. Village, vegetables
W. Wii game, weather, workout
X. ,,X’’ map treasure hunt
Y. whY (why do bees…)
Z. ZOO animal feeding

4. Visual Research

Photos of Stanmer Park were taken by us on a trip but photos of Newhaven Fort were collected through online since I missed the trip.

Stanmer Park

Visiting the location was beneficial for us. It was inspiring and many ideas came out naturally while we were walking through the woods. One of my favourite ideas was Easter egg hunt game.

Easter egg hunt

Eggs will randomly appear while walking the woods and a user collect eggs that consist of some information about the nature that can be found in the park.

Newhaven Fort

Images Credit: newhavenfort.org.uk

5. Methods 

QR Codes

QR-codes store information that can be collected by scanning them. This is an easy solution for the location-based games that leads a user to get to the location for them to collect information.

However, it can cause a problem when a user cannot find the right location.

RFID

Radio-frequency identification(RFID) uses tags that produce radio waves to send and receive information. Benefit of using RFID is that the tag can be implemented to the object and unnecessary to be scanned or to be seen.

Moreover, a user does not need to physically access to the object since radio waves can be identified when a user reaches about 100 meters to the object.

A downside for using RFID is that the radio waves can be disrupted by the weather.

Prototyping apps

We were advised to use mobile apps such as ARIS and Morfo for prototyping. These apps are easy to use and quick solutions for prototyping.

However, these are mobile apps and not many of them are available for the PCs, which makes sense because these apps are used to create mobile apps. It is my personal preference to use a PC to work on a project.

Another issue I found is availability for those prototyping apps. I use windows phone which is a minor device; it is therefore, mobile apps are often only available to IOS and Android. Only  Morfo was available to a Windows phone from suggested mobile apps.

6. Six Hats

Six hats, which is known as six thinking hats, it a method to evaluate ideas. It helps to lead discussions by giving factors/direction.

Six hats consist of six colours and each of them are associated by a factor/direction.

White: informationTo Assess available information which is collected brainstorming phase.
Red: emotionTo consider emotional reactions and feelings that might occur.
Black: discernmentTo point out the problems with a logical and practical thinking manner.
Yellow: positivityTo identify benefits of issues by being positive yet being realistic.
Green: creativityTo investigate issues outside of visible area to seek alternatives.
Blue: managementTo summarise issues and decisions to prepare for the next phase.

7. Ideation 

Collect five potions to help the queen butterfly

Storyboard by Celina
A bee by Lena

A user need to collect potions from 5 different flowers to make a special portion to heal the queen butterfly in favor of a guide butterfly.

Sample lists of flower potions

Click image to enlarge
  • Anemone potion
  • Cow parsley potion
  • Bluebell potion
  • Daffodil potion
  • Kingcup portion

Selection of user icons

A user can select one of animals from the list, which affects a response from the guardian butterflies.

Illustrated by Celina

Guardian butterflies

Each potions are held by a guardian butterfly. A user has to go to visit guardian butterfly to ask for a potion.
Guardian butterfly ask something in exchange. (quiz, greeting to other butterfly etc)
They also give some information about a plant.

When all potions are collected

Back to butterfly. It asks a user to go to the church to mix the potions to make special potion

Challenge at the cemetery

A user is challenged by a bat when they get close to the church after completion of collecting potions. It asks the information that are given by guardian butterflies.
If a user fail to answer correctly, they lose a potion and have to get it again from the guardian butterflies.

Get the special potion and a gift

Pass the bat challenge and ask a priest animal to make a special potion.
Get the potion and a gift from a priest, a book of knowledge (list of flowers etc)

8. Prototyping by using Prezi

Top page
Game entrance
Showing video that explains the game story
Selecting a character
List of requirements
Accomplishment
Event occurs depending on the character

Posted by Aiko Ohakoda