Today, I sent the final draft of thesis to the supervisor. It took ages to report and reflect on different issues, related to this large (if not in scope, in duration) project that is tabletop fika design… All in all, the structure is based on 7 parts :

1. Introduction of the aims of the thesis

The Upp case study, which involves a trendy technology (multitouch) and political commitment  of the designer to the goals of Upp, which are aligned to the goals of its members: young unemployed dwellers of Göteborg.

2. The scope decision of the project with Upp

How the  project evolved from “direct” orientation toward politics (facilitation of political processes at a local scale), to targeting a particular local political issue (youth unemployment). By chance, Upp was identified to have a strong chance to be compatible with information technology projects.  Finally, the scope reduced to support community building in their office: returning members.

3. Identifying requirements

First, some user input from legacy Interaction Design methods (behavioral mapping, qualitative interviews, observation, … scenarios even). This user input was analyzed, along with existing design documents, and led to a specific model of visitors (almost personas). With the help of psychology literature, I compared the characteristics of the desired community to what I could observe. This led to an action plan, with some practical requirements.

4. Multi-touch technology

A review of different opportunities and blunders in large multi-touch screens (more than 30″), both from hardware perspective and design perspective. I also investigated shortly different software solutions, and concluded that Microsoft solutions are currently the most mature. Based on the requirements that i found previously, I proposed two large screens that Upp could buy to tackle the requirements.

5. Design action

This is in comparison, a short work. This shows the two screens i’ve been working on, the Entrance Screen for information, and the Upp Quiz for enhancing fika. Both are aimed at returning members, and aimed at strengthening the community. The Entrance Screen aims at bridging the gap between “goal-oriented” (come and leave) visitors and “comfortable” visitors (stay longer), by reducing some ambiguities about what Upp can do, and promoting its events. UppQuiz gives the opportunity to compete or cooperate in groups, while non-trivially supporting group formation processes (cf. group psychology). Statistics collected and tests show that the target users are reached, however real results are difficult to assess.

6. Interaction Design and Marketing

A reflection over Interaction Design and its political implications. While the implications of Interaction Design are fairly direct on the users, the political choice of what technology is actually considered can be the exclusive realm of marketers. I argued that introducing Interaction Designers into the marketing strategy can give a competitive edge (related to social entrepreneurship / marketing based on trust), and at the same time put Interaction designers more in command of their political potential: deciding both what, and how, some systems will influence  users’ lives. Still, the dicussion is biased by the priviledged marketing mix which I benefited from…

7. Conclusion

All of the above, pretty much.