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

Tech design:


Mask of emotions:

"Since most people spend their days behind computers expressing emotions via colons and parentheses anyway, the Digital Media Design Dept at Hongik University figured they'd just be done with it all when they created the "Mask of Emotion." It displays LED emoticons that supposedly react to external stimuli, such as a smile when the wearer shakes hands with someone. Its creators say it was designed to hide real emotions and -- literally -- mask them with whatever is being presented on the mask."

FaceAlive Icons:

The seven basic expressions in JAFFE database.

"Facial expression is one of primary communication means of the human, and sometimes it is even more expressive than words. Today with the increasing popularity of advanced communication tools such as emails and short messages, more and more people have been communicating by various means without seeing each other. However, facial expressions are still greatly needed for the most of these conversations."

Pega Look@me

"Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph is a picture language; people carved their own words into stone.
However, after thousands of years, we are now going to use similar system again! The picture languge is indeed evolutionary.

The idea grew out from discovering how young generations communicate to each other with these half-symbol or half-text art and how honest they are to express their emotions boldly, just like saying “Hey guys, look at me!”

It also makes a strong statement about these crossed-intersection style symbols outperform formal languages during some small talk and reveals thet people’s foundness of something in between instead of precision wording in any formal languages.

There are 40 emoticon elements on the keyboard; each of them can be the eyes, mouth or nose. It is up to the users to design any cool expressions creatively.

Sketches / Prototypes

User Scenario:

story board...


(to the design criteria)

Design Criteria:


Main goal:

Context Analysis and Problem Statement:

Target User Group: