Interactive Keyboard

This week we were challenged to redesign the keyboard to have an alternative interface. This should make use of all the previous processing techniques we have learned and be a novel experience for the user.

I designed my experience for the youngest generations as a learning aid to explore the alphabet and different animal species. As each letter on the keyboard is pressed an image of an animal corresponding to the letter will appear on the screen. This creates an experience which is both visually stimulating and interactive for young children.

This code became quite lengthy as it contained a lot of repeated areas to make sure each image was inserted correctly and in an accurate location within the screen. Below is a section of the code showing both the setup and draw areas and then some examples of the final interactive experience.

Section Of Code
Examples of letters ‘A’ & ‘E’

Interactive Product Concept- ‘Memory Bank’

My multi-sensory interactive product concept is a memory bank- a piggy bank for your favourite times. Throughout the pandemic it has been easy to lose sight of good times and normality can often feel like a distant dream. The memory bank allows you to link specific memories with coloured chips through the use of a mobile device. These can then be shaken free from the bank at random and scanned to instantly bring your favourite memories to you.The memory bank creates a joyous interactive experience that sheds light on darker days.

Memory Bank

Reading- Key Points

VITSOE Dieter Rams Speech

  • A well-thought-out design is decisive to the quality of the product. If the product is poorly designed it is not only uglier than the ell-designed but also of less value & use.
  • The designer must be the ‘gestaltingenenieur’ or creative engineer, making both informed and considered decisions. Aesthetic choices are rational and justified by understanding the products purpose.
  • Functionality must be at the centre of a good design -progressive and intelligent problem solving create good product qualities, must be functional in itself but also in a wider system.
  • Vitsoe furniture- ‘606 Universal Shelving’ is successful due to its ability to adapt to surroundings with high functionality. This furniture does not ‘shout’ at the user but preforms its function in relative anonymity to furniture from any designer and homes from any era.
  • Good design MUST be able to co-exist.
  • Vitsoe chooses to design for the ‘elite’ — for intelligent and responsible users -not consumers- who consciously select products the really can use. You cannot understand good design if you do not for understand those who you are designing for.
  • Vitsoe believes that the order of design starts with communicating the function of the object to the user, creating balance and harmony then product usability.
  • Majorly products we see today try to impress us either with magnificent or minuscule size- this is an attempt to dictate our relationship with the product.
  • Vitsoe strives to make products that are in balanced proportion to people, focusing on superfluous elements to create long lasting products.
  • They recognise that as long as technology and production processes advance innovation is necessary for products to continue to be considered good design.
  • As a company they understand are surroundings are dependent on our actions and look to answer future questions in steps towards helping the environment in the future.
  • Increasing and irreversible shortage of natural resources; raw materials, energy, food, land must compel us to rationalise, especially in design.
  • We cannot afford anymore thoughtlessness.

Understanding the message of ‘Understanding Media.’

  • Our media forms an invisible environment that we inhabit, invisible not because of their visual transparency but due to our own blindness to them. (McLuhan was found of analogy of fish being entirely unaware of water as water is environmental to them.)
  • Generally we ignore our surrounding medium and focus on the content when medium has the the greater impact on our lives.
  • For example we may chose to use a car filled with multiple people and objects to get to a desired location but that choice is less significant than the fact that the innovation of the car has altered the way we live.
  • It matters little whether we own a car or not as the technology is felt all around us in life. We can purposely choose to never own a car but cannot choose to live in a society without them- the same is true for television, computers and internet.
  • McLuhan believes that technology takes command because humans ‘cede’ to their responsibility- suggesting society have become lazy and will allow tech to take over our workload where possible.
  • Each medium has a message of it’s own, a particular bias that differs from the bias of other medias. Different characteristics between each mediums design and function will lead to different results and consequences when they are adopted.
  • Media can be investigated both individually or grouped by commonalities to understand properties within.
  • We can view medium as an environment on its own or understand that every society and culture exists and takes form within specific media environment.

Conclusion Of Texts

The two texts were both very different reads in comparison to each other but equally both offered some interesting insight into the purpose of design. Dieter Rams speech is structured to gain audience attention and highlights Vitsoe as a company and the design choices they make. The ‘Understanding Media’ passage is an academic piece that pushes us to evaluate the design process.

In sum both state the importance of the purpose behind a design and how it is the basic duty of a designer to properly investigate who you are designing for. Ultimately a design will fail if there is not a true understanding of those who are intended to use it.

As designers we must be aware of our surroundings and the effect they have on our designs. Society often become consumed by popular aesthetics and are too quick to join trends that don’t always make the most sense. As the world evolves alongside technologies and processes we must be prepared to match our designs to these levels.

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Product Design Student

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Jennifer Mowat

Jennifer Mowat

Product Design Student

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