CampusEye | A Playful Interactive Installation to Explore, Discover, Share

CampusEye

Watch our concept video to see the prototype in action!

CampusEye is an interactive installation intended for the campus community to explore, discover, and share information. CampusEye uses trending sensor technologies and interaction methods to create an attractive, playful, and convenient user experience. CampusEye was designed with the goals to successfully attract users, present seamless experiences during engagement, while providing useful services that will compel users to return to the system again. The project is a collaborative effort between the Human Computer Interaction Institute  (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University and Panasonic R&D. 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

With a team of five people, we collaborated with Panasonic R&D to create a prototype of a tangible interaction system that will provide compelling and meaningful experiences in a public space on campus using cutting-edge displays and sensor technologies feasible within the next three to five years. With a background in Psychology, I took on the role of Research Lead in this project, spearheading, planning, and delegating all research-related tasks to the team.

CampusEye is the final deliverable of an 8 month long (two semesters) Capstone Project for the Masters program at the HCII. The spring semester was focused on need-finding using user-centered research methods. Our research goals was to understand the needs and desires of our target users, and understand the current technologies and trends in the domain of interactive installations. At the end of the spring semester, synthesized our research results into useful insights that guided the direction of our concept design. In the summer semester, after brainstorming for ideas based on spring research insights, we created CampusEye through a rapid iterative cycle of prototyping and usability testing.

Need-finding & Research

User-Centered Research Methods

During the spring semester, we employed user-centered research methodologies to explore the given domain space. Due to the exploratory nature of our project, we needed to use  many diverse research methods to explore our domain space. We observed and interviewed over 70 users and experts and went to over 28 public locations in 6 cities. Through this we produced a rich dataset that allowed us to extract a multitude of relevant and interesting insights that helped provide direction for the design of our final prototype.

We used 9 research methods that addressed our three areas of research.

Jenny and Sarah conducting an expert interview with a Carnegie Mellon University staff member.

Jenny and team members observing use of interactive installations in various public spaces.

Synthesis

The synthesis process for this project was especially challenging due to the diverse and abstract nature of our research.  Our process involved the following consolidation methods: affinity diagrams, cultural model, and a novel method we call photo jungle.

An affinity diagram that we created for the project.

Affinity Diagramming Time-lapse Video

Photo Jungle is a novel synthesis method we invented to sort and visualize our myriad collection of photos on interactive applications.

Photo Jungle Time-lapse Video

Visioning, Prototyping, Testing

During the summer semester, we brainstormed, designed, and prototyped an interactive system that attracts, engages, and retains campus users. Based on insights derived from our spring research, we came up with 50 ideas using a number of brainstorming methods. After narrowing down our ideas, we evaluated them using speed dating. Based on those findings, we developed 5 prototype iterations, evaluated each iteration with users, and extracted valuable insights that informed changes to the next iteration. At the end of the summer, we had created a high-fidelity interactive prototype of our envisioned system.

Brainstorming

Based on our spring research insights, we brainstormed around 50 possible ideas and concepts using a number of brainstorming activities, such as body storming, media storming, tangible mockups, and discussions with our clients. Body storming is a brainstorming method by which participants act as characters within a given context, in order to help the team create realistic scenarios. During media storming, we revisited the numerous photos and videos we collected during the spring research in order to gain inspiration. These ideas were then plotted on an achievability and impact matrix.  To visualize the resulting ideas from multiple brainstorming methods, we consolidated select ideas and created a hand drawn mockup of the ideas in order to visualize our ideas and communicate them with the client.

An impact and Achievability Matrix of our 50 ideas.

Quick sketches made during brainstorming.

Creating the tangible mockup of our select ideas.

Kaushal is showing and explaining the tangible mockup to our client.

Concept Validation With Speed Dating

Our brainstorming sessions rendered nine scenarios, which were hand-drawn into twenty storyboards used for speed dating. Speed dating is a user testing method by which multiple scenarios are presented to a target user in rapid succession in order to quickly and efficiently explore design ideas and contexts without any need for technology. This method is effective for testing multiple ideas in a short period of time by highlighting the user’s initial, “gut” reactions to
several application concepts. We conducted speed dating with 10 participants from Stanford University.

Hand drawn storyboards used for speed dating.

Speed Dating protocol and materials.

Jenny and Sarah conducting speed dating sessions with participants at Stanford University.

Designing + Prototyping + Testing

After visioning, we rapidly prototype our ideas from lo-fi to hi-fi and evaluated each iteration with users in 2.5 weeks. We began with a hand-drawn paper prototype of our concept, and continuously refined the system design through 4 hardware prototype iterations. Each teration of the prototype was tested with a variety of users. Over the course of the summer, we conducted 4 usability testing sessions with 24 participants, and an an expert review session with 17 faculty and peers from the HCII.  The results from each test informed design considerations and changes for the next iteration.

Arranging the flow of the paper mockups.

Conducting a usability testing of the paper prototype with a CMU participant.

Sarah conducting a usability testing of a hi-fi prototype with a participant at CMU Silicon Valley.

Conclusion

Our usability testing results show that most participants realized that the system was interactive, liked the playfulness of the contents’ behavior, and enjoyed the convenience of sharing and gathering information afforded by the interaction method. Our clients were also very pleased with the final hi-fi prototype. Due to the time constraints of the project schedule, we were not able to incorporate some of our design concepts and feedback from users into the final prototype. Therefore, in order to showcase our visions for the system, we created a 2 min long Concept Video to communicate to our client what functions and interactions can be further implemented in future iterations.

According to our clients wishes, we will not publish our final prototype and system design online.

Team Concentric

Members of Team Concentric!

Jenny (aka Me!)

Brittany Hamtil

Christian Strommen

Sarah Ya-Wen Deng

Kaushal Agrawal

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