Friday, December 19, 2008

Final Prototype

My final prototype is a sketch in a video format that displays different user scenarios. I tried to highlight very specific situations during the video chat, concentrating on awkwardness or embarrassment as areas of intervention.

The strengths of my project at this point, are the emotional escape and the external entertainment addition to the video chat. I feel that it requires further development in many aspects. Some of the improvements that came to my mind were adding more interactive possibilities by designing motion and image tracking system, add more icons besides the smiley faces and make it optional for the users to upload their own icons.
On my final presentation I got very interesting points of view about my project. One of the interesting ideas that were put forth was that the emoticons are complementing the text messages by providing visual expression that the text itself is missing. I was advised for my future iterations to try to find what is actually missing in video chat communication. This might lead my project to a very interesting result.

This project is mostly conceptual uptil now. I need to further Test and research the project. This would be very interesting and beneficial for future application development. I did a lot of research and user testing, learned a lot from experiment and Feedbacks. I was triggered for this project by my personal experience but I found out through the process that when I seek to develop a tool or an application for a target user, it’s crucial to understand their needs and behavior patterns. This process sometimes might entirely change the objective of the project.

Friday, December 5, 2008

testing reflect...

I did user testing by prototyping the video chat with the photo boot application on my mac that people were recorded to, and combined it with simple, small yellow notes with smiley faces on them. People assigned to simulate a conversation on video chat and try to use those smiley cards if they fell that they want or need to use them.

I got very interesting results and responses, one of the most interesting details is that no one covered his face with the card, they showed it to the camera, at the bottom of the screen, from the side but never covered the face.
People were amused by the idea but very strongly preferred their own face as the emotional expression, but at the same time they liked the idea to be able add some external graphics to the video chat, something that will complement their conversation, but not change it.

To summarize the prototyping: People are interested and open mostly to additional visuals in their video chats but at the same time they prefer their real face for emotional transformation.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It worked!

I figured how to position another layer on top of the video, so now I can start work on one of the biggest challenges for me right now , the as3 to create the emoticons.

first draft:

I just created the most basic html page and embedded the ToxBox, now I will try to find a way to locate something on top of it.

video chat app:

I tried to decide how to apply emoticons to a video chat, I searched the common video chats that I familiar with: skype, msn messenger, ichat, gmail chat... but there is something over used about most of them that make it hard for me to apply my idea on them. Therefore I tried to find a way to create my own video chat that might be the best solution for this project, but unfortunately I don't have the skills or the time to make it happen.
Then a found that very simple, clean user friendly video chat app, and it can be embedded to my own site!
I need keep my video output as simple as I can to emphasis the face and especially the facial emotions, keep it clean of any other additional gadgets, and communication canals as text messages.
perfect!!! :)))

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feedback from 12/3/08 class:

My main problem at this point was the actual visualization of the emoticons as part of the video chat conversation, I do want to keep them simple, general and abstract because these are the reasons why I wanted to incorporate the emoticons into to the live chat. But if I will use just those icons as pop ups on top of the video it might look very lame. It might be to direct, maybe in an offensive way, to oblivious. So the development after today's class is keep the abstraction, but use animated icons instead of the steel images. It will add another layer to the conversation, and actually when I use video, the animation/ the movement will be more organic.

Interesting reference for the animated emoticons:

*as3 : it the possible technology for my application.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008