MYoice – Capstone Final Posting

Link to MYoice Video:

Link to the presentation slide:

MYoice is an interactive storytelling experience based on physical installation, which introduces self-talk as a way of doing self-reflection to the users. The maker uses self-talk as a way of reflecting his thoughts on a regular basis. A high percentage of the current population in big cities has experienced common anxiety disorder, which could be potentially eased by self-talk experience. The maker takes capstone as a chance to introduce his personal experience to a wider group of people and explores the possibility to benefit them.

To experience MYoice, users need to walk through a brown curtain into the physical installations with a scale of 1.22 * 1.22 * 2.3 meters painted in agate green. The color is carefully chosen to help users feel at ease when entering the installation. Users can then pick up the phone attached to a story recorder. The story recorder allows users to talk to themselves, share their stories and listen to others’ shared stories. A vocal instruction is given to encourage users to record their own stories or listen to others’. Users also have an option to print out a receipt of their recordings or of their favorites shared stories.

The project is user-centered. It explores how could the design of the experience encourages users to talk to themselves. The first round of user testing invited five users from inside NYU Shanghai to talk to a voice recorder developed using Minim library in Processing with a physical microphone attached to it as the voice input. The testing turned out to be many users’ first time talking to themselves. They found a need to have some instructions to guide them. Because of this, the second round of user testing focused on the context of the instruction. Users from both inside and outside NYU Shanghai were invited for testing instruction in English and Chinese version. This stage finalized the function of the story recorders to record one’s stories, replay recording, share one’s stories and listen to others’ shared stories. In the final round of user testing, the project tested the ideal height and scale of the physical installation and the story recorder inside it. Currently, the first physical installation and the database has already been constructed. MYoice is a continuous project as the vocal stories database keep enlarging and the number of the physical installations increases. One way to introduce self-talk experience to more people is doing a pop-up campaign or a gallery show.




Assistive Technology Final Posting

1. Accessibility setting on my digital devices:

I tried the talkback function on my Huawei phone. For me, I struggled to complete typing an entire line of words (like “Hello World!”) because it took me a lot of time to listen and find the right character when I closed my eyes. I expect the people with disability like blindness might also need a lot of time to locate the right character on the screen. Thus, I am wondering if in the future, the digital devices’ screens could adjust to the need to different types of users. For example, the screens could change its forms to support the display of braille.

2. Design meets Disability:

I was amazed by all the design examples presented in the book. They all look aesthetically beautiful. It reminds me of one of the application questions I get from RISD – “How can we improve people’s mental well-being through design? Can these objects be beautiful and stigma reducing and go beyond the stress ball, the weighted blanket, and the SAD lamp?” The same question occurs when my group was designing the adaptive clothing for Cerecares. We were thinking about designing a special kind of fashionable adaptive clothing for the kids. This is still one of our options for the our future design, and we would like to see if the aesthetically beautiful option works for the kids. Like the book has discussed, disabilities and design could inspire each other, and I believe that good design for people with disability ease the stigmatization and enhance the users’ identity.

3. NY Subway System:

When I was in NYC. I was amazed by the accessibility function on the bus. I saw a woman seating on the wheelchair could easily get on/off the bus using stretchable stairs with transporters. I did not realize that the subway system had a low accessibility. It is interesting that Shanghai’s public transportation is the reverse version of NY’s public transportation. While the subway has an accessibility system like the huge transporter in Century Avenue station (I think it is line 9, and I have seen it transport the wheelchair users several times), the public bus in Shanghai seems to has a really low accessibility. If two cities to cooperate with each other, they could easily build up a more accessible public transportation system.

4. Project Documentation:

1) Back to CereCares:

We went back to CereCares before the labor’s day break. During the trip, me and Konrad spent two hours doing exercise with the kids and observe how they took on/off the clothes. We had several observations: first, the kids, in general, took around 5-6 mins to take on/off the clothing. Second, each kids has different degree of disabilities. Third, some kids struggle to find the right way to start dressing. Last but not the least, most kids prefer to move in front of their bodies and struggle to make movement in the back of their bodies.

We brought our observations back to the class and after the feedback round, we decided to specifically focus on three kids, and we also decided to use mainly magnets + velcro for the modification (because using magnet only might turn the cloth into a cloth ball due to the magnet power)

2) Re-focus and Clothing Market Visit:

Having narrowed down the scope, we decided to visit different markets to find for fashionable clothing for kids. We got most clothing from Tiantong market and South Bund.

We then designed and prototyped four version of clothing for the kids: one button-down cloth, a side-cut cloth, a waist-to-knee-cut pant and a knee-to-foot-cut pant.

3) Revisit on May 12th and 1st User Testing and Future Plan:

We brought back the design to CereCares yesterday and tested on the kids.

The button-down option worked for many kids as they could easy “zip” the cloth using the magnet. I plan to do more of the button-down option for the kids. One slight modification could be made to that the top magnet is a little bit too high for some kids to find.

The side-cut clothing worked better for the group of kids that need assistance from the teachers. This discovery is different from what we originally thought(we originally designed this version for the kids that could dress by themselves). Further observations and modifications might needed if we decide to design the clothing that could help volunteer teachers to easily help kids dress up.

The waist-to-knee-cut pant did not turn out to be a good option for the kid because it took them a long time to realize how to open the cut, and even when they opened it, they struggled to detach the velcro, because the strength in between two velcro was too much for them.

The knee-to-foot-cut pant was a popular option for the kids, because most of them struggle when they try to take off the pant from the knee. The new design helped them to easily take off the pants when they have already managed to completed 50% of their regular take off process. The velcro and magnet in this case worked well together. I plan to do more of this option for the kids during the summer.


Capstone Week 11&12 by David

For this round of user testing, I mainly focus on the design of the MYoice storytelling booth. I tested two parts: 1. the design of the storytelling machine (the one that users will interact with), 2. the design of the physical installation.

To test the design of the machine, I drew the layout of the machine with self-designed logos, symbols and instructions. I tested on two different users outside my class to see if they could figure out how to interact with each button. For most parts, they understand the flow of the experience and how to use different buttons to achieve their purposes. One user do remind me to add a “printer” button, which will allow users to print their favorite vocal stories.

To test the design of the physical installation, I aim to see what’s the ideal scale that will fit most people. I let four users with different heights to enter the carboard-built room and close their eyes and at the same time, reached their hands out to touch the cardboard. I used this way to test what’s the ideal height to place the storytelling machine and what’s the ideal height for the display screen.

For this weekend, I will start constructing the physical installation and finish the core tech part (I need to move the processing part to the web portal in order to allow users access their vocal stories using mobile phone)

Assistive Technology_Assignment 2_by David

Response to the field trip:

I learn a lot from the field trip: I have three major observations, two concerns and two ideas for modification/design.

Observations: 1. Some kids are talented in field like painting and singing. I am particularly impressed by the 11-year-old boy from Fuzhou who could sing a new song after listening to it once. In addition, many kids have a great sense of color when it comes to painting. Just like people with no disability, these kids have talents and certainly could take advantages of their talents. It is encouraging to see the center trying hard to discover each kid’s talents and help them make good use of them. 2. The teachers and managers are concerned with the identity issue of these kids: they do not wish to buy the special clothing for the kids because they expect the society to not be prepared for these kids when they grow up. I feel that teachers do not want the kids to be treated as someone who has special identity when they graduate from the center and enter the society. I am not sure how these kids view themselves and I am curious to know more about this. 3. The kids seem to be constrained only on the second floor of the buildings and their daily activities are mainly completed in narrow space. I am not sure if such limitations would have negative impacts on them when they grow up.

Concerns: 1. The first concern is related to my third observation that I am concerned that if the limited space would make the kids believe that they could only live in that limited space when they grow up. 2. I am concerned with the volunteers/workers’ behaviors that I saw them firmly lock one of the kids’ hands when he is drawing. I am not sure if this action will do more harm to the kids than helping them.

Possibilities for design/modification: 1. I am inspired by the woman who designed the adaptive clothing for people with disability. I believe that society needs to treat the people with disability equally and their clothing should not be viewed as something that is “special”. Thus, I am eager to design clothing for the kids that enable them to easily put on. In the future, I hope it could ideally become a long-term project, that could provide the kids with adaptive clothing as they growing up.2. Some tools the center is currently using could be redesigned to help both the kids and the workers/volunteers. For example, I notice that color pen package is not specially design for the kids whose fingers cannot stretch easily and the spoons are also normal ones that cannot prevent the kids from spreading the food out. I am interested in working with the center to redesign some of the products/tools they currently use to help the kids have an easy life like people with not disability.

Assistive Technology_Assignment 1_by David

Stella Young’s “I am not your inspiration” : Stella’s speech makes my day! I am amazed by her talents of telling jokes but at the same time, making the audience to think about the situation that they takes for granted. From her speech, I see a person with disability who views herself as someone ordinary and wishes to be treated as ordinary. She also reminds me that in real life, many people, when talking about someone like Stella, will use words like “inspiration”,  “optimistic”. When people use these words, they might never think about the impacts of them on the people with disability. Stella reminds people with no disability these situations, and I do think these people need to realize Stellas’ needs and treat it as a request from an ordinary people who needs respect.

Aimee Mullen’s “My 12 pairs of Legs” : I am surprised by the notion that the disability opens more freedom to create something amazing to people. As someone who is passionate about industrial design and product design, I notice that many designers when doing design for people with disability, makes the product looks like something that could only be used in the hospitals (mainly using colors like white and grey). From both Aimee and Stella, I expect a large amount of people like them who wish to be treated as ordinary and even thinks of themselves as someone with “advantages”. I think creative designers could work with them to think out of box and create innovative products that not only look cool but break the limitation of products(that used to be designed for those with no disability).

“Paralympics Least Favorite Word: Inspiration”: This article proves that people with disability, like ordinary people have controversial opinions on being described as “inspiration”. It also pushes me to think about what might be the best way to design products or services to cater to the need of those people with disability who wished to be someone else’s role-models and those who wished to be treated as ordinary.

“Identity Meets Ability”: Admittedly, for people with no disability, most of time, we could only see those who fight for the right of people with disability. Many times, we neglect the majority of these people who might like many of the lower class in the society, live in the poverty. It reminds me of many campaigns and rebellions, which led by those who have benefited more than the majority. Such campaigns and sayings represent a group of people who have a strong needs and find a channel to communicate with the public. What about those who do not have the right channel to communicate? I think  for those who truly wish to help the people with disabilty, it is important to dig deeper into different groups of people under the category of disability.

“All Technology is Assistive: 6 Design Rules on Disability” : Two things: first, I realize that many people’s viewpoints on people with disability are influenced, strongly, by the cultural environment they live in. It is hard to challenge rooted cultural, but designers, artists and innovators could use creative works to create new lights that get in the rooted environment and make future change possible. Second, sometimes, designers wish to design products that could solve specific problems. The article reminds me that people are different from each other, and each individual might change their opinions/behaviors.  It is hard to aim for designing such products that could solve problems. Thus, I like the notion that when designing products, designers could think about creating a solution that open to multiple possibilities and interpretations (like customized products).

Task on Mobile Devices: 


Midterm Update on MYoice

As I have mentioned in the capstone proposal, MYoice includes three major stages: idea testing stage, user testing stage, and final design/execution stage. The project has gone through the idea testing stage, and at the mid of user testing. I will explain in details.

1.Idea Testing: During the idea testing stage, which has already been done in the past two to three weeks, I invited people both inside IMA and outside IMA to talk to a simple recorder that could record the story and playback. I wished to see if users like to or feel intimate to talk to themselves (which is the core concept of MYoice). The result is encouraging that people do like talking to themselves, and some of them even request me to send their recorded file to them. Nevertheless, some users thought it would be helpful to have more guideline for using the storytelling machine, and some of them questions the context given in the first prototype (which only asked users to talk to themselves). The result of this stage is encouraging but it also reminded me to look for some readings or researches related to clinical psychology, and also conduct testing to see what context or interaction would help users feel more natural to talk to themselves.

2.User Testing: I have already start a second round of user testing, which invited more people from outside NYU Shanghai to use MYoice and reflect on their feelings after using the machine. I will continue this user testing to find out the best context and interactions for this week(3.19-3.25) and next week(3.26-3.31). At the same time, I am completing the core technology part(estimated to be finished by the end of 3.25) that would includes a self self-database, sharing function and QR codes generation. In addition, I would also show users different design of MYoice installation to see which one they would prefer(before the Spring Break). This stage is estimated to be done before 4.8.

3.Design/Execution: The actual construction of the installation and the storytelling machine would start at the end of Spring Break at around 4.8-4.15. I estimate two weeks needed for the construction of one installation and another one for a complete one week.

MYoice First Round User Testing Result

For the first round of user testing, I have construct a mobile phone-size MYoice machine for user to interact with. The prototype has basic function including recording, playing back and sharing. I created a recorder, which looked like a cartoon figure, whose mouth will react accordingly to the users’ voice when they talk to themselves. For this round, I intend to test four major things: 1. whether or not users feel natural to talk to themselves? 2. what kind of context would help them get interested in talking to themselves? 3. how do users feel after talking to themselves 4. are users willing to play back their voice and share their stories with others.

some shots of the testing:

I asked one student from our session(who do not know a lot about my project) and two students from outside our session to test the prototype. In general, the result is encouraging: 1. All users do feel natural to talk to the microphone(talk to themselves), and listen to the recording. 2. Users do have fun playing back their vocal stories, and one asks me to give the recording to her. 3. The current context is simple to understand and help the users quickly understand the experience. 

They do have different feedbacks when it comes to the design of the interface and the guidance provided by the context: 1. two of the users find the interface interesting, which help them to be more open to talk to themselves. One even suggest me to let the figure’s eyes blinking with the voice(in the first prototype, the figure’s mouth moves with users’). Nevertheless, one find the interface too funny that she get distracted when talking to herself. 2. two users find the guidance clear, simple and easy to follow, however one user find it need more specific guidance. These two findings remind me two things: 1. When I am constructing the installation, the interface of the mobile phone inside the installation should be simple and have a good balance of seriousness and funniness. 2. I need to do further testings on the context, which could help users easily start the experience.

Some additional findings: The user testing inside our session reminded me to think about the countdown function, which only allow users to talk to themselves for around 30-60 seconds. This function turned out to be a stressful one which overwhelmed the users and went against my original goal, which allow users to feel natural and released to talk to themselves.

For this week, I will do more user testing outside NYUShanghai (focus on white collar). For this testing, I will test the idea of MYoice and what context will help them feel natural to talk to themselves. In addition, I will try to find someone who experience certain level of depression, and see if the experience could help them.

In terms of technology, I will continue building the experience by constructing a voice database and creating the QR codes generating function.

Kinetic Interface HW1 – David

Personally, I always look for possibility to naturally interact with the natural environment. When I start my research, I try to look for possibilities to naturally make arts using human movements. I have seen people using their eyes’ movements to paint, so I wonder how could human body interact with music. I am so excited to find Imogen Heap, an musician and music engineer, who opens a new possibility for herself to compose and freely control the music by using motion tracking.

How it works:

Bao Steel Final

For Interactive Documentary final project, me and Carol really wish to continue with the Bao Steel piece.  We find the place interesting that it is filled with tons of controversies.

We visit there six times, doing casual talk to people and let them naturally talk about their life with a special companion – Bao Steel factory. We choose three special locations to focus on and finally we wish to combine the documentary piece with 3D model to really show the tangible feeling of the piece.

Development processes:

Here is a quick look at the final piece:

Bao Steel is a location-based interactive documentary which examines the tensions between the Bao Steel factory and the people living around it. Bao Steel located in Bao Shan District, the northeast side of Shanghai. The factory was constructed in 1979 to help China catch up with Japan economically. Since then, the factory has boost the economy growth of Shanghai, and in larger scale – China. Nevertheless, the pollution generated by the factory negatively affect people’s life around the factories; the housing price is increasing rapidly; and the infrastructures are still. The factory, therefore, becomes a center of controversies…

David Lin and Carol Chen intends to use location-based interaction to show the dynamics of Bao Steel Factory and its relations with the local community in a tangible way. We use laser-cutting and 3D printing to create the 3D map where users could interact with the map by scanning the QR code.

NOC Final

I get extremely busy during the final and did not get a lot of time doing nature of code, so the effect presented during the class was not ideal. I used three different combinations to achieve the ideal effect: image + flow field; flow field + springs; perlin noise + noise… the effect was not bad but I find it hard to apply the micLevel to the k value in the spring. In addition, the voice-controlled “sand” was moving in weird position.

I then spend several hours last night figuring out how to better use micLevel to control the k value in the springs in order to achieve better visual effect. In the end, I was so amazed by the visual effect of the sound!

During the show, people gets really excited when they see themselves’ voice could use as a controller to interact with the spring system on the canvas. Someone suggest me to introduce such idea to restaurants or help people who suffer from autism.

I will definitely explore more ways to better visualize people’s voice and try to test out the idea of doing storytelling using one’s own voice.