Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Learning Log #6: Socializing Networks

I came across this website that listed the Top 10 Socializing Networks of 2009. It's unbelievable how many there really are. You think about the most popular ones like Facebook or Myspace, but there are ones for certain countries that are popular in those countries. I never realized how many there really are and how popular they have become in the last five years. It's crazy to think that ten years ago, people wouldn't have thought to communicate through a website, but only through e-mail or none-the-less the telephone which people think is ancient.

The top two socializing networks are Facebook and Myspace, but after that I have no idea what the networks are. I've never heard of them before. It makes me interested what they do, and it's weird that I think that because I do have a facebook and that's all I should need. There's even tons of Instant Messaging Programs, such as, AIM from AOL, MSN, Skype, OoVoo or Ichat. Why is there such a need for multiple socializing networks? Why are some better than others or why do people prefer ones over other ones? I guess depending on what their friends use is how people go. There are a lot of choices for people to choose from.

Learning Log #6: The Future of Interaction Design

The future of Interaction Design is growing fast than ever. It it crazy to think about how fast technology is developing. People do not even realize it. In the past 10 years, the internet has grown so much. People use socializing websites now to interact and converse with each other using websites, such as, Facebook and Twitter. These are new types of communication that people do not realize we are using because it becomes so common with us. We become engrossed in our portable electronic devices. Between cell phone, ipods, cameras, gps, portable dvd and tv players and many more devices, our technology has taken over on how we design things and live with these changes. The future is very unpredictable.

As for the future of design, I think instead of new socializing sites or advances in technology, there are always improvements. Inventions are re-inventions of something already made in a sense. In the book, it says that inventions of human-robot interaction will become more popular. This is a little frightening to be interacting with a robot from day to day. You see those movies that have futuristic qualities of the future where someone's house is a robot and in the end of the movie, it goes all wrong where the house is smarter than the person living in it. I kind of have that feeling that somehow that will happen. The term Semantic Web is web pages being read by machines or robots rather than humans. I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with this term. It's just covering the fact of how humans are inventing things for them to become more lazy. So the future of interaction design, is it just of cover-up for human laziness or is it improving society and the direction technology wants to go?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning Log #5: Vending Machines

Along the lines of Service Design, it has also become less and less of a person to person type of services. It has become more of a person to machine service. Vending machines are service designs that have been around for a long time. It seems odd since I talked about McDonald's and Starbucks, which have human interaction, to vending machines which do not, but are still a service design since they serve people. I've been noticing at more places that your ordinary vending machine is not just used for snacks and drinks anymore. There are places in which you can get a whole meal from a vending machine or an ipod or a camera or even ice cream. I find it interesting that becomes less used as person to person communication. The technology in our world is almost like it is taking over human interaction with one another.

There a place in New York called, "Bamn!" that serves your food automatically through a vending machine. Ipods are not only being sold at the Apple Store, but in vending machines too, you can even customize them with accessories that the also have in the vending machines. In Japan, everything seems to be a vending machine now. There is not a lot of human to human services anymore, they have relied on vending machines to take over for them. Even the snack and drink vending machines have been upgraded, they have more of a robotic feel to them. Vending machines are just another example of service design, but are they really helping society by getting rid of some of the human interaction? Here's a video that I found that explains some of these vending machines:

Learning Log #5: Service Design

I find service design to be not even noticed as design. People go from day to day using subway card machines, using their cell phone, buying something to eat at a fast-food restaurant or catching a taxi, but not know that they are a designed service. Many of them work so well that people do not notice. Like we have learned throughout this semester, you only notice design when the design is bad and needs to be fixed, but when design is good, people do not recognize it. This describes a characteristic of a service because it is intangible. In many ways it is a design that went through a long thought process and resulted in an organized functional design. A couple that comes to mind are McDonald's and Starbucks Coffee. McDonald's and Starbucks Coffee have become pretty much become universal. Everyone knows what they are and knows what kind of products they are selling. They have branded their names so well that if you were to show their logos to people, they would recognize it. This is a map of the world that shows how much these two companies have taken over the world.
These companies are so large that they must be doing something right. Their service design has been able to make them become as successful as they have become. They both possess qualities and characteristics of a service design. Many people would not think these were 'designs', in thinking that a design is more of an art term, but indeed a service is a methodical design.

The characteristics are the service is intangible, a provider ownership, co-created, flexible, time based, active, and fluctuates by demand. The culmination of these qualities and when they are done well, makes for a successful service. Services that I mentioned before of McDonalds and Starbucks have portrayed all of these qualities.

The process of the service design becomes extremely important. From the time someone comes into a Starbucks until they leave is crucial in this process. How it is acted out for a positive outcome is how it was ordered, created a delivered to a customer. This applies to all services.

The question came up of 'why service design?' It was definitely a question that I pondered over. It's true, not many people think of design of services to people, but they are certainly something that someone has to do. It's remarkable how complex they become, but people are usually satisfied. It baffles my mind how people can design logos and do branding for it is a representation of the company and have a logo that everyone knows about. It takes a lot to really discover a design that will do that, for all people to know it. We talked about universal design in my History of Communications class and how design because this International Style. I found International Style can really relate to Service. There has to be a universal way that people know service design.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Project 1: Redesigning a Website

Redesigning A Website

I chose this website to redesign. It's a car leasing website, but it is hard to even tell that it is that with so many distracting elements going on. Be glad this could only do a still shot, there were actually blinking and moving buttons that were annoying to look at. It's hard to even look at it with so many fonts, colors and flashing things. There are pictures that do not relate to the website at all and way too many effects. I wanted to mainly simplify things. It was hard to redesign because I had to search all around the website to find out what important information I really actually needed.

I chose Toyota's website as a website that portrayed a well designed website. This website uses minimal elements and allows users to click and guide themselves through the website rather than scan the entire thing by scrolling. As Steve Krug said, users only end up scanning a website rather than read the whole thing. They are also usually trying to find something. It is manageable to find buttons because they are clearly set in a different color block and it still advertises its' products in the background without trying to advertise every product they sell, like in the website. The buttons are clearly visible to be clickable. In my design, I used the tabs method approach like the Toyota website did. I think this puts the website in a more organized fashion. The subpage is very well organized too. I used the drop down window for the specs of the car.

This is my redesign for website. The homepage is the first one and the second one is a sub-page by clicking one of the vehicle brands in the left hand side. I create lists and tabs to point out which is clickable which I find extremely important. I created a hierarchy for the website since there wasn't one to begin with. I then tried to group things in an order in which a user would look for a general idea scanning through a website. In the subpage, I incorporated the drop down window to show the specs. I brought down a lot of noise that was in the original website. I thought it was distracting and very confusing and it didn't make me want to stay on the website.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learning Log #4: Water for my battery?

I stumbled upon this website as I was looking for new cell phones since I'm going to be needing a new one when I go overseas to study abroad.

It is a cell phone that is battery powered by water. I found this extremely interesting. I keep finding more products becoming environmentally friendly. I also did not know how a cell phone could be powered by water. It says that when you turn the phone on, the reaction between water and metal, creates hydrogen gas. It is then channeled through a fuel cell and reacts with oxygen in the air and then generates power. This battery lasts up to 10 hours and you would have to change the cartridge of water about every five days it says.

I thought this was a very interesting concept. I'm not so sure I'm sold on the idea though. I find it a little odd because I have always had a cell phone that can go near water or else it could break or be malfunctioned. I also know that electricity and water aren't very safe together, so why would they want to make it a battery? I understand the fact that they want to make the cell phone device environmentally friendly. I don't think people will like the fact that you have to change the cartridge of water every five days. I know it's only water, but what if you forget? When it's already so easy for people to just plug in their phone. I guess it would be easier if you were near a faucet. I think this would be hard for people to understand too, because we are so used to plugging in our phone and have electricity power it, not water.