The interactive elevator that facilitates complete strangers collaborating together to activate the elevator to travel to different floors.
The concept is a interactive elevator where users will make different poses to activate the elevator to travel to their desired floor. The system works for both a single rider and multiple people riding in the elevator together. For a single user the person is required to make a pose that is presented to them by the system. There will be a pose on the screen to show them what to do and once their pose is successful the elevator will confirm and take them to the floor they selected. As my user demographic may be in wheelchairs, all poses will need to fit the requirement of being able to be achieved whilst sitting down. If it is still not possible there is a button that allows them to skip a particular pose. This ensures that people can always complete the game and get to the floor they need to get to without any annoyance or frustration of not being able to get it correct. In a perfect environment, there would an anti-cheat system in place to avoid showing and telling everyone in the elevator the word. Instead it would be directly given to one person.
Information Technology Software Design
Finance & User Experience Design
User Experience & Information Systems
IT User Experience Designer
The problem space that our teams solution is trying to solve is the boring nature of being in an elevator. Elevators are a notoriously mundane place where little to no interaction takes place. People are used to this so the challenge is to offer them an interaction that isn’t too disruptive to their regular elevator use but also gives them a chance to some fun and a laugh and an opportunity to even make a friend from the experience. In saying this they still need to get to the floor they need to get to without it taking too much time out of their day to prevent them getting frustrated after a few uses. There is still currently a problem that we face which is the cheating component. At the moment if multiple people walked into the elevator at the same time then everyone would hear and see the word being acted out. This would defeat the whole purpose. The new problem space that would need to be investigated would be an app on the users phones that can detect who is in the elevator and then send one random player a voice memo + text telling them what to act so others don't know.
As a group we decided to create a system where the user can collaborate with one another to have fun and reach the floor they are after. This involves two components, one for when their is a single person in the elevator and another when there is multiple riders. Because a single person can't guess what another person is acting out, the solution was that they are to mimic a pose presented to them on the screen and when they complete this the elevator will begin to move. For the first prototype it was a bit unfortunate that I ended up doing the voice recognition part for the group interaction wheras the other team members focussed on the individual single pose for single player. This made it a little bit more challenging on user groups because we were now no longer keeping the main component consistent (Voice recognition & Pose detection).
We decided to split up the project by demographic of user's. The user group I decided to work with was the elderly & disabled group. It is an interesting group because they often use elevators to avoid having to walk up and down stairs, however they also deal with many disabilities. After learning how these disabilities may inhibit these specific users from using the interaction as intended I needed to add in different functionalities to assist them. Some people have trouble hearing so it was really important to have a screen within the elevator that shows them the current status of the game especially if they a guessing and need to know which guesses have already been made. For people with vision impairments it was important that the interaction featured and instruction for entering the elevator which played out loud. Also when guessing incorrect and correct answer's the system will say "correct" or "wrong" so they will always know where the game is up to.
There are 3 main technical components that are involved in the concept build. These include; the arduino, arduino code and the C# code for the voice recognition. For the Arduino, the setup can be seen in the photo gallery but it is a basic connection where the specified ports are connected to a green and red LED and then connected to GND. A small snippet of the Arduino code can be seen in the photo gallery above. This communicates with the green and red lights based on the result of the voice recognition. Their are commands to turn green and red LED on and off and then the reset command turns all LED's off and resets the program. The C# code in Visual Studio communicates with the Arduino after taking the Speech.System and putting it into the respective cases. Different words will fit into different cases which will hence turn on or off specific LED's that are communicated to.
The physical components involved in making the elevator appear as close to the real thing as possible are: Shower curtain, chair for the laptop, instructions printout, elevator button simulation, sticky tape and an iPad. Obviously being an elevator it just needed to involve as many real life components to simulate looking realistic and trying to help them imagine actually getting in and needing to go to a specific floor. This was really important to do because they need to feel a sense of urgency in completing it but also enjoy the experience and have fun. The curtain's were a little bit difficult to setup because it kept falling down but eventually double sided tape worked well on the glass. The iPad represents the screen that you would see in an elevator that tells you what guesses you have made and the initation of the system by telling people what the word that needs to be acted out is. Ideally the list of incorrect guesses would be displayed on this iPad but for this prototype it is separately displayed on the laptop where the program is being run.
In this section I will reflect on how the actual prototype varied from the ideal concept and why this was. For the most part, the actual version definitely simulates what the intended purpose of the ideal interaction is meant to do. I actually asked a question to my family, friends and team members which was "what do you think the interaction is for/why was it created?" I was pleasantly suprised that in some way or another every single person that I asked mentioned some key words "fun" "entertainment" and "good way to meet people". This was perfect because this is exactly what the interaction is intended to do. It was great that people understood the core purpose but at the same time it is still a long way from the desired product. I would have liked the actual concept to be a bit more cohesive with all elements connected together such as display on the iPad and also the list of incorrect guesses. Also it is really hard to test because people can't accurately get a feel for entering and guessing at the same time because the word is told to everyone. I think if we did this as a team it would have been great because we could all put our heads together and get this issue solved. Overall I am happy with the direction this concept has progressed over the semester and the design choices that have been made.
My name is Alistair Harris and I am in my final year (5th) of Commerce/IT majoring in User Experience Design on the IT side and Finance on the Commerce side. This portfolio is a reflection of one of my last projects as an IT student. It has images and text to explain the project that I have been working on over the past 4 months at home during this strange time where we are all completing university at home. It was an interesting semester and it certainly had its challenges. Unfortunately this project did become and invidual piece instead of a team project. It would have been nice to combine all our skills together especially with a limited amount of time we had as it was. I learnt a lot personally, including time management, web design refresh (been years since first web design course) and finally the iterative design process.
Hope you enjoy the work I have produced.
Alistair Harris 2020