Craft Cache (Work In Progress)

UI / UX Design
WINTER 2020
Task:

Improve the experience of building mutually beneficial relationships between makers of handmade goods and store owners.

My Response:

An app that helps makers and store owners explore prospective partners, negotiate offers, send contract agreements, track inventory, and give feedback to one another.

Context:

_ 2 weeks
_ Personal Project

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

IDENTIFYING THE OPPORTUNITY: A Personal Perspective

I began by examining my own life-world. I considered my personal journey as a designer and a maker. A common aspect I found was collaboration.

I chose to explore collaboration with nonhumans because I have a passion for those that go unnoticed. With emerging technologies changing the way we navigate the world, it is increasingly important to consider those who may get excluded and forgotten.

PROBLEMATIC

In the winter of 2018 I launched a business specializing in handmade jewelry. I registered for licenses, designed branding and packaging, set up on an Etsy store, and I was ready to go!

...But aside from the first rush of purchases from friends and family, not much happened in the beginning. Over the following months I researched SEO strategy, began to build a social media presence, and very excitedly, became a regular vendor at local Seattle markets.

Things were starting to pick up right about the time I was accepted into the UW Design program. With time now a very limited a resource, I could no longer contribute a week to online maintenance and market presence. I began to nervously consider reaching out to stores with product placement offers. The process was time consuming, bumpy, and often uncomfortable. This experience motivated me to explore better solutions through this project.





Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

To continue reading please revisit on a desktop browser.

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

This project highlights observations, pain points, and areas for opportunity that I have found in my journey as a maker and in my endeavors to make collaborative business agreements with store owners.

WORK IN PROGRESS
FULL WRITE UP COMING FEB. 2020

Echo

Interaction Design
FALL 2019
Task:
Create a working prototype of a piece of furniture that senses and responds to human interaction and present a product video.
Response:
The Echo bench plays a previously recorded message when someone sits down and offers an opportunity to record a new message to be played for the next person.
My Contributions:
Ideation, physical computing research, basic Arduino coding and wiring, construction and aesthetics, illustrations, After Effects video editing, and writing.
Team:
_ Verli Chen
_ Kevin Oh
Context:
_ 8 weeks
_ Team Project
_ Physical Computing Class
FINDING AND DEFINING THE SITUATION
We were first tasked to explore situations and spaces that could provide an intriguing opportunity for a responsive piece of furniture.

When brainstorming situations, I asked my fellow teammates what values they'd like to express in our project. We synthesized our interests into two themes:

1. Collaborative / Shared Experience
2. Subversive Design

Next, we utilized these themes to brainstorm a variety of specific situations and focused on three spaces.

1. Modern Stairwell
2. Outdoor Walkway
3. Shared Workplace
IDEATION
1. Speak Up Stool: Placed around a table within a collaborative workplace. The stool would rise or lower depending on the audio levels recorded from the sitter.

2. Quirky Pillow: Placed within a public workplace/relaxation stairwell, the Quirky Pillow would act like a "hot potato" and wiggle and squeak depending on audio levels recorded from a group of people.

3. Messenger Bench: Placed within a public outdoor space, the messenger bench would allow people to leave an anonymous message for the next sitter to hear.
REFINEMENT
As a team, we decided to pursue the messenger bench idea within an outdoor walkway space. We believed this idea offered the most potential to utilize our design themes, challenge ourselves within the scope of our time constraints, and offer an uncommon and engaging platform for human-computer interaction.


CODING, TROUBLESHOOTING, AND BUILDING
Pulling from various open-source resources online, we compiled an effective code and adjusted variables to suit our project's needs.

When we ran into coding obstacles, such as setting the internal timing for the 10 second LED, we would isolate sections of code and inspect each line until the functions were working independently. Then, we would reintegrate the code and move forward.

We created our bench from an IKEA table and restructured it to fit our computing hardware. We used a vinyl printer for aesthetic branding and typography.
FINAL DESIGN
The Echo Bench would be placed near a public walkway so that people could sit, reflect, and leave their message in a serendipitous moment. The interaction provides an opportunity for people to reach out to the world; to express concerns and hope within the safety of anonymity. People can express themself freely; whether that be voice, song, or other forms of audio. We defined this experience as "Echo: a messenger who reflects and reverberates the introspective expressions of humanity."
MOVING FORWARD
In the coming months we plan to coordinate alongside UW faculty to install Echo in a public space on campus. We hope to gain insight on how the experience is perceived, how it can be improved, and how to navigate the potential for both positive and negative impact inherent in anonymous messaging
Echo
INTERACTION DESIGN
FALL 2019
Task
Create a working prototype of a piece of furniture that senses and responds to human interaction and present a product video.
Response
The Echo bench plays a previously recorded message when someone sits down and offers an opportunity to record a new message to be played for the next person.
Team
_ Verli Chen
_ Kevin Oh
My Contributions
Ideation, physical computing research, basic Arduino coding and wiring, construction and aesthetics, illustrations, After Effects video editing, and writing.
Context
_ 8 weeks
_ Team Project
_ Physical Computing Class
Defining the Situation
We were first tasked to explore situations and spaces that could provide an intriguing opportunity for a responsive piece of furniture.

When brainstorming situations, I asked my fellow teammates what values they'd like to express in our project. We synthesized our interests into two themes:

1. Collaborative / Shared Experience
2. Subversive Design

Next, we utilized these themes to brainstorm a variety of specific situations and focused on three spaces.

1. Modern Stairwell
2. Outdoor Walkway
3. Shared Workplace
Ideation
1. Speak Up Stool: Placed around a table within a collaborative workplace. The stool would rise or lower depending on the audio levels recorded from the sitter.

2. Quirky Pillow: Placed within a public workplace/relaxation stairwell, the Quirky Pillow would act like a "hot potato" and wiggle and squeak depending on audio levels recorded from a group of people.

3. Messenger Bench: Placed within a public outdoor space, the messenger bench would allow people to leave an anonymous message for the next sitter to hear.
Refinement
As a team, we decided to pursue the messenger bench idea within an outdoor walkway space. We believed this idea offered the most potential to utilize our design themes, challenge ourselves within the scope of our time constraints, and offer an uncommon and engaging platform for human-computer interaction.
CODING, TROUBLESHOOTING, AND BUILDING
Pulling from various open-source resources online, we compiled an effective code and adjusted variables to suit our project's needs.

When we ran into coding obstacles, such as setting the internal timing for the 10 second LED, we would isolate sections of code and inspect each line until the functions were working independently. Then, we would reintegrate the code and move forward.

We created our bench from an IKEA table and restructured it to fit our computing hardware. We used a vinyl printer for aesthetic branding and typography.
FINAL DESIGN
The Echo Bench would be placed near a public walkway so that people could sit, reflect, and leave their message in a serendipitous moment. The interaction provides an opportunity for people to reach out to the world; to express concerns and hope within the safety of anonymity. People can express themself freely; whether that be voice, song, or other forms of audio. We defined this experience as "Echo: a messenger who reflects and reverberates the introspective expressions of humanity."
MOVING FORWARD
In the coming months we plan to coordinate alongside UW faculty to install Echo in a public space on campus. We hope to gain insight on how the experience is perceived, how it can be improved, and how to navigate the potential for both positive and negative impact inherent in anonymous messaging.