Public space interaction observation

I hope that choosing the ‘Tisch’ building elevator isn’t the biggest Cliché after the ATM.

Analysing its level of the interactivity (as Crawford said, interactivity of things can be measured by a scale rather than a yes/no test) I would put the elevator somewhere around medium on that scale. It receives an input from humans and acts upon it, but not in a very sophisticated way. The human chooses to go up or down, and then chooses a floor. The elevator receives the choice info, processes and goes to the specified floor. It gets directions from the human but does not conduct a dialogue with it. The “thought” is not very complex, you tell it what to do and it does.

What interests me the most in elevators was the feedback, a crucial aspect that didn’t receive proper treatment in this specific elevator.

EXHIBIT A

How fast can you tell which of these floors is selected? What if your’e in  a rush? The lack of contrast between the on/off  lights and the rest of the panel leads many people to press the buttons they need twice or more, just in case. I heard that somewhere there is an elevator with an undo function. Pressing the button twice cancels the selection. Hoping this is not an urban legend, if the function was used in this elevator it would be a disaster because the second press would lead to cancellation and also confusion.

EXHIBIT B

Whoever designed this panel decided to give the up/down arrows and the floor numbers the same type of graphic treatment. Instead of placing the arrows in a height that is immediate, eye level height, these arrows require head lifting. Once your head is up, there is also the time it takes to tell what you are looking at.

EXHIBIT C

If you are not on the ground flood, telling if the elevator goes up or down actually involves peeking into it. I think placing the arrows in a spot that is more visible and noticeable from the outside would be very helpful.

elevator buttonstriangle_floorarrows

Homework – week #3 – Coffee on my mind

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For this weeks homework I made this coffee machine interface that allows you to get your coffee just the way you like it. I learned about buttons, variables and conditionals.

Things I couldn’t accomplish for this exercise:
– Getting the scroller to work.
– Embedding the code in WP, suspecting it has something to do with the theme I chose.

So here is a video and some screenshots.

Gimme Coffee from ziv schneider on Vimeo.

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in response to Ira Glass’s ‘On Storytelling’

Watching/listening to the video interview with Ira Glass were very compelling and inspiring.
I particularly related to the part where he speaks about the creative process , or the process one goes through as being a creative person.

Being a creative person, for me, includes a large amount of self criticism, pain, doubt and panic. I often find that artists who seem very effortless and pleased go through the same thing. Knowing that you need to continue, working further and harder even though you are not there yet, that is the key.

I agree with his opinion about killing ideas. I think we tend to fall in love with our ideas and be blinded by our love for our little burst of geniusity and not realise that something is not working.  Scraping an idea and starting fresh often takes less time than we think and second round are much faster.

This type of thoughts helped me through final project of my Visual Communications degree. We were under a lot of pressure to supply “The best work we will ever make”, an idea I found very sad. After a serious crisis that almost made me quit school a minute before the end, I decided to be professional about it and finish the project no matter what and just keep moving and working. Looking back, it was one of the smartest yet hardest decisions I ever made. It allowed me to move on to other projects, where I learned from my mistakes and grew stronger.

Our Fantasy Machine

the Pet's Side

Do you miss your pet? Because we sure do miss ours!
For the first physical computing class assignment, we had to imagine a machine that we would like to exist, and to build a very initial prototype of that machine. Together with Alon and Roy, We made a machine that allows you to pet your cat (or dog) from afar. The fury box would be very welcoming and inviting for the pet. The owner would be able to send out signals for the pet and would also be notified when the pet was in the box.

We were thinking that heat and vibration sensors would be used in order to transfer the feeling to both sides. The pet would receive heat and vibrations and the owner would also sense that on his side and would be able to feel when the pet is purrring.

owner_side fantasy_machine_2

in response to “the Machine Stops” by E.M Forster

Reading the story “the Machine Stops” was not an easy task. In the year 2013, I feel that we are kind of immune to dark futuristic visions, although it’s always interesting to see how science fiction novelists predicted the times we live in and how similar or different from reality were the visions. In 1909, E.M Forster predicted a very grim picture in which the human population loses the ability to live on the surface of the earth. Physical contact is scarce and most communication between humans is conducted mainly through a machine, “the speaking apparatus”. People have become dependant on the machine to the point that they know nothing else and that seems to be mainly what the author comes to warn us from .

It is pretty amazing to think of when this story was written and how it does resemble our lives today in many ways. I think this type of warning is relevant today, ever since smartphones came into the picture, we have become so very dependant on them. They show us the way to walk, they are a main channel of communication between humans and it is very hard to get by without one, or when your device is lost or taken from you. This also reminded me of the way me and my mother communicate through Skype but I feel that the son/mother roles are different than what you would expect.

I tend to be cynical when it comes to these types of messages and the way it is conveyed in this story felt very didactic and simple but I do think it’s worth paying attention too. Also, who the hell am I to criticise  a famous English novelist whose been dead for many years.

 

Adding to the remix

After watching “Allergy to Originality” and “Embrace the Remix” , I would like to add some references to the mix.re

  • Jim Jarmusch, one of my favourite film makers said once:

    Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

  • and a Thomas Edison said once:

    Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.

  • I used to think ideas are the most important thing in a project and was very protective of ideas that I had and wether people copied my thoughts or not. I realise now that greatness is sometimes about how and not what. An idea can be brought to life in many ways – hideous or fantastic. Ive grown to learn that the greatest things can come out of the most simple and basic thoughts, it’s all about how you do it.

The real 8-ball dillema

pessimistic 8ball

pessimistic 8ball

In Chris Crawford’s “The art of interactive design”, he writes about things that are mistakenly perceived as interactive and it made me re-think about different products.

For example, the magic 8ball, one of my all time favourite objects and a life companion – is it interactive? When I ask the 8ball a question, It responds to a energy produced by my hand, and replies and with an answer. In a way, it is speaking to me, we are having a conversation. but can a random text be considered as speaking?

The 8 ball does not process my question. The answers are chosen by chance and therefore it only creates the illusion that it’s listening to me. Maybe it’s a bit like the un-listening jerk that Crawford mentions, not a good conversation partner.
On the other hand, it does process some of my input – the physical aspect of it, translating the energy of my hand gesture in order to shuffle some possibilities and I cannot predict the answer for sure.

Although it does not think and listen in the traditional way in order to process the question we ask, I would say the 8 ball is very good in making us believe that it does.