Assignments


Storyboards and WireFrames

1/ SiteMap or Storyboard (experience map) for your project.

2/ Refinement (Medium Fidelity) Wireframes or Storyboard/”TouchPoints” for your 3 concept directions. By hand or in Illustrator. Work with the dimensions/orientation of the appropriate device.

Ask the key questions of each scene:
What info is displayed?
What is the most important decision to make?
What other options do I have?
How do I go back or jump somewhere else?

Due Tues Jan 27.

Wireframe Sketching Templates


Real-Time Data Drawing

Find a live feed data file, either CSV or JSON. This feed can be geolocation or other type of data. Reference that file to create a visualization with the real-time data. Relate your (your device’s GPS) location information the live data set. If possible, link this sketch to your project.

This should be an app on your tablet or phone. Due: Tues, Feb. 12


Concept Iteration

Generate 3 distinct variations on your core concept. Respond to your own 5 points of criticism. Consider an analogue version (suggested, not required). Due: Tues, Jan 20.

Use the Concept Card template.


Proposal Rehearsal: Thurs. Nov. 20
Final Presentation: Thurs. Dec. 4

Each team will deliver a 10 min proposal for the project you wish to pursue. This proposal is to to be delivered visually (PDF format) with accompanying verbal presentation. Use images, diagrams, audio and/or video. Make sure to properly quote and cite 2ndary & primary research. Note: Do NOT use last names of primary research subjects. First name only plus any relevant information (i.e., occupation, age, where they live, race/gender).

Format:
_Define your problem/topic area in one sentence.
_Expand the problem/topic area in a 100-word statement with 3 keywords highlighted, including relevant data.
_State your objective in one sentence.
_Define 3-5 Insights from Secondary Research (general trends & statistics) & your initial Primary Research (anecdotal & personal / behavioral)
_What relevant data sets have you found? What could the data say?
_Whom is your primary audience for the project? Secondary audience? What are their different interests?
_Share an Experience Map for your audience (either currently or WITH your proposed project)
_Pitch your project: Give it a title, maybe a subtitle (telling what it does), and a sense of its “personality”
_Share a System Req diagram to help us understand how your project will work, where it will be situated.
_Share your concept with someone from your primary audience and document their reactions. Quote that in your presentation.**
_Give some “graphic” form to the project. This could be a “mood board” (but don’t use those words) or your own graphic work. The graphic concepts should relate to your research and primary audience and define the Design Requirements for your project.

**Use Concept Cards, sketches, or Experience Maps to convey the concept to someone within your primary audience. Ask them if they understand it, might use it, find it useful, find it offensive, or to offer any other critical feedback.


Data Drawing Machine

Due Tues, Nov. 25

Create a drawing machine which draws data from an external file (CSV or TSV file, ideally something relevant to your research projects) and converts this data into a visual composition on your laptop or tablet. Your code should draw some aspects of the data independently while other aspects are determined by user interaction (mouse position, mouse click, finger position, tap, double tap, flick, etc.)

Explore relationships between a fixed set of data (a Table) and a variability of methods for drawing that data set to screen. How “legible” the original data set is in any given rendering (a single frame of your drawing) is entirely up to you. Focus on all relationships that are created within the composition: form (shape), scale, whole or part (details), color, transparency, and the relationship between interaction and generative design tasks. Do not create a Graphical User Interface like buttons etc., restrict yourself to multitouch events.

Take 3 screenshots and post them to the class site to demonstrate the range of your drawing machine. Compress your drawing machine sketch as a .zip file and add it to your post. Give your drawings a title.


Favorite Concept: Experience Maps + System Requirements

Due Thurs Nov. 6

For each of your favorite (resulting from the Rapid Prototyping Workshop on Oct 28), complete an Experience Map and a System Requirements diagram.

Experience Maps could include the 5E model (Matt’s example on museum communications), “A Day in the Life of…”, the AEIOU model, or “Emotions-Decisions-Actions-Services”. Generally, you want to map all the ways in which people might interact with your object/system/environment (“touch points”) and  understand the larger context of their lives at those touch points—where are they, what are they doing, what decisions are they making, what are their concerns or motivations, what tools/resources/interfaces/media might they be engaged with? For more on Experience Maps, please see: www.thedesigngym.com/experience-design. You might also consult this guide from Adaptive Path: Adaptive_Paths_Guide_to_Experience_Mapping

System Requirements diagrams are intended to make explicit all of the “adjacent systems” (regularly updated data sources OR user inputs) as well as existing or static data sets required for your system to operate. This diagram should map (fairly) neatly over your Experience Map, but it looks at the system from the view of your artifact/interface/environment/service/etc to understand what it needs to know in order to work. Through a schematic diagram, show what data is required as inputs, what kind of work needs to be done to process that data, and how that data is translated or represented into something meaningful. Consider HOW the input of data from human users is solicited and what kinds of interfaces might do that work. Sample System Requirements document: 2014-1028_UgoBuy-SystemRequirements

NOTE: If you are doing a Speculative project that does not rely on any present-time data or user input, then please overlay your system requirements onto the Experience Map, speculating what data would need to be available to function. In other words, we’ll need to make it up, but we start by knowing what kinds of data will matter (i.e., daily solar production, my stress levels at certain points in a commute, or how I share my community associations with my neighbors in varying levels of participation.)

 


Speculative Exercise part 2

For each new scenario, write a short verbal narrative of that future scenario. Describe a “persona” living in this scenario—what are some of her/his desires, fears, ambitions, ideals, obsessions, hopes, beliefs, nightmares, and daily annoyances? Add visual material to your narrative (sketch it, keep it loose).

Scenarios
1) Take your current problem to the extreme. What is the absolute worst scenario it could become?
2) What if you’re problem were to be “solved” to the extreme? What new problems would arise? What is the most extreme version of those new problems?
3) Imagine a 3rd and alternate scenario that merges extreme aspects of both 1 & 2.

Having created 3 distinct personas for 3 distinct scenarios, generate a list of What if… questions related to your topic. Let’s imagine these new questions as “free from reality” opportunities, new starting points to engage your topic.


Mid-Term Presentations / Due 10/23/2014

Each team will craft and deliver a 10 min max presentation to be delivered visually in PDF format. Use images, diagrams, audio and/or video. Make sure to properly quote and cite 2ndary & primary research. Note: Do NOT use last names of primary research subjects. First name only plus any relevant information (i.e., occupation, age, where they live, race/gender)

Use the InDesign Presentation Template to produce your PDF (download here)

Format:
_Define your problem statement in one sentence.
_Expand the topic area in a 100-word statement with 3 keywords highlighted.
_State your objective in one sentence.
_Whom is your primary audience for the project? Secondary audience? What are their different interests?
_Define 3-5 Insights from Secondary Research (general trends & statistics) & your initial Primary Research (anecdotal & personal / behavioral)
_What relevant data sets have you found? What could the data say?
_Or, what data would you like but have not found?
_Based on your insights, where & how will this information be most effective for your audience(s)?

_What design requirements are suggested by your insights and audience knowledge?
_Initial concepts. Be far out!
_What are your next steps: More primary research? Who/what/where? Find data? Prototyping early concepts? More brainstorming?


Assignment: Drawing Machine

—due date—
10/14/2014

Create a drawing machine which records data from the mouse or fingertip (e.g. position, velocity, acceleration, and behavior) and converts this data into a visual composition on your laptop or tablet. Your code should draw continuously and does not stop when the mouse or finger sits still.

Explore relationships between mouse/touch and drawing that go beyond a 1:1 relationship. This exercise focuses on the originality and visual quality of the algorithm you create. Focus on composition, details, color, and transparency.

Use gesture events (single tap, long press etc.) to adjust your drawing parameters. Do not create a Graphical User Interface like buttons etc., restrict yourself to multitouch events.

Take 3 screenshots and post them to the class site to demonstrate the range of your drawing machine. Compress your drawing machine sketch as a .zip file and add it to your post. Give your drawings a title.

NOTES:
_To take a screen shot on the tablet: hold down power and volume down buttons simultaneously for 1 second. On laptop: shift+CMD+4 (+/or “space”).
_On a tablet, screenshots get saved in the tablet’s “Gallery”.


Primary Research Assignment
Organize, design, conduct, document, and interpret at least 3 Primary Research activities per team member (i.e., 6 activities for a team of 2). Partners/teams are expected to support each other in all activities. Interviews and observations should be conducted in teams of at least 2 but no more than 3. For each activity, complete an Insight Card.

—due date—
Thursday Oct 09

——
Primary Research Methods:
Interviews: One-on-one or small group question and answer sessions. Interviews will provide a lot of information from a small number of people. Consider experts, believers vs. skeptics, proponents vs. rejectors, affected/afflicted audience, affecting actors, leaders within the topic area. Document via audio/video if the person agrees. If not, document with photographs and transcribed most important quotes.

Observations: Location specific, time relevant, targeted observation of people, actions, activities related to your issue/problem. Document via images, video, audio. Keep track of times, dates, and places as relevant.

Surveys: Questioning that is more limited than interviews but can involved a larger group of people. Useful when you want to learn what a larger population thinks. Take time to develop meaningful questions and carefully consider whom you ask and how.

Analysis: Collecting data and organizing it in a means that is useful when you want to find a trend or pattern of behaviors. For example: record commercials on three major television networks and analyze gender roles.

——
Consider the following questions when beginning to think about conducting primary research:
_What are you trying to discover?
_How do you plan to discover it? Which methods might work best?
_Who will you interview, observe or survey? (subjects or participants)
_ What will you observe or analyze?
_How will you gain access to these groups or individuals?
_What are your team’s preconceived perceptions about this topic?
_How can you make sure your preconceptions are not reflected in the research methods? (bias is useful, but the point of your primary research is to understand rather than persuade)
_What do you expect to discover? (again, good to have a hypothesis, better to be open to surprise)

——
A great resource on Primary Research with specific suggestions for various methods: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/559/


Secondary Research Synthesis Assignment

Step 1: Use the Secondary Research Guiding Questions to help align your team’s various areas of research. Consider this a worksheet that will help you complete Steps 2 & 3.

Step 2: Define your issue/problem in a single paragraph/statement. Craft at least 5 clear and salient points that make your issue explicit , tell us why it matters, and how it is relevant to Chicago. Incorporate data points you have found through secondary research and your own perspective or hypothesis.

—example—
“Chicago is situated on the Great Lakes, which contain 20% of the planet’s fresh water supply, yet the city drains up to 2 billion gallons a day from Lake Michigan through the Chicago River. While most Chicagoans enjoy cheap and easy access to fresh water, the city and its inhabitants are tremendously wasteful of this precious natural resource. The UN predicts that half the planet will be in shortage of clean water by 2050, leading to many new violent conflicts. The issue of water conservation and stewardship is largely overlooked by Chicagoans because of our cheap easy access to water at the same time that many places throughout the US (and world) are suffering huge water shortages. IF Chicagoans could see their relationship to water in contrast to other areas of the world, conservation and stewardship might seem more relevant in their everyday lives.”

Step 3: Craft at least 3 questions that you will address in your primary research?

—example—
“What kinds of energy/resource policies or projects have had real impact on consumption?” (expert interview)
“How much water do Chicagoans use daily? What is it used for?” (observation/self-documentation/survey/analyze)
“What are some tactics that can reduce water use and pollution? Why are they used or not used?” (analyze/interview)

—due dates—
Thurs Sept. 25 


 Secondary Research Assignment
_ Identify 2 general topic areas (ie, housing & crime). The more specific the better.
_ Find 3 sources for each of your topics (6 sources total). A source may be a news article, a research report, a scholarly essay, a book, chapter of a book, or a journal article. At least 1 source for each topic should be specific to Chicago (or the midwest).
_ Make sure to keep your citations (URL on the web or if it’s in print: title, author, publication, date/year published, publisher & publishing location).
_ Write a brief thesis/summary statement for each article.
_ Record at least one piece of data (or as many as are relevant) from the article.
_ Identify at least 1 data set for each of your topics.
_ Find at least 1 creative project relative to one of your topics (ideally a project relevant to both topics). Print an image of the project along with a brief description.

—example—
source:  “The Making of a Disaster” by Roger Cohen in the New York Times, Aug. 25, 2014 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/opinion/roger-cohen-the-making-of-a-disaster.html?_r=0)

thesis: The biggest failure of the “war on terror” in the Middle East has been an inability to counter the allure of jihadi extremism, now taking root in ISIS, which is drawing young jihadists from around the world.

data: As many as 800 British and 900 French Muslims have headed to Syria and Iraq to join the jihadist movement.

—due dates—
Thurs 9/04: 2 sources & thesis/data statements (one from each topic) plus 1 creative project (print an image).

Thurs 9/11: Everything else.


Guest Prep: Tom Schenk
Watch this 4 minute video interview with Tom Schenk. (Oct, 2013)

Read this interview with Tom Schenk on Socrata. (Jan, 2013)
Read about the City of Chicago Data Dictionary on Smart Chicago. (Oct, 2013)
Be prepared for Tom’s visit with at least 2 questions to ask related to his role with the city and/or the city’s interest in and activities related to collecting & dispersing open data. Due in preparation for Tom’s visit on Thurs, Sept 4th.


 

Reading Response
Write a short response (~300 words) to the essay Critical Visualization by Peter Hall. Cite at least one project outside the text that is relevant to the essay and our course. Include images or links to incorporate your cited project. Due as a post on the blog no later than Tues, Sept 16th.