Time: May 11 – May 17

Brief: Design a way to counter some of the alienating effects of remote working online.

My group: Melanie, Nayla, Lea

Based on the feedback we started improving the prototypes. We had a tutorial with Mor and Alaistair and they both provided some interesting insights. They thought that we could explore the “fog effect”, manipulation of the sound with your body and merge the drawing and 3D sound ideas together, but after trying to find the connection between them for some time, we decided that they are still two separate concepts.

For 3D sound, we focused on connecting people through a virtual space, creating a place where people can simultaneously work together online. We further developed our original 3D platform to even better create a sense of togetherness, which is vital to our social inclusion needs as humans. The whole virtual space would function with the manipulation of sound and proximity. With the help of shape, colour and size we wanted to display different cues and anonymity. We also added different rooms that can be locked (private) or unlocked (people can enter).

3D sound rooms.

We designed four experiments to test our theories. First two experiments focused on collaboration between people, where we would ask participants to work on a Miro project together, first by talking and then in silence. Afterwards, we would conduct an interview to help us further understand if people work better together and if they are affected by the virtual presence. The third experiment would involve an AEIOU analysis for calls in two different environments. The last one would test people’s feelings towards 3D sound and talking. To test this we would have a voice-only group call and pair it with a 3D soundtrack.

For the drawing part, we added various options such as emojis/avatars, Auto-draw by Google and audio option that would create a drawing based on voice recognition. As with 3D sound, we designed four experiments. The first one would be a simple interview to help us understand how people would feel about the drawing feature. In the second experiment, we would ask people to draw while having a conversation, where the goal was to understand if/how virtual drawing can aid in building conversation or developing ideas. In the last two, we would ask people to use different tools (emojis, auto drawing, and voice recognition) and interview them afterwards about the preferred method and if they would use these options.

Drawing add-ons.

Before doing the experiments we asked the tutors for their opinion, and even though they liked them, they thought that given the time available, we should rather focus on the prototypes and postpone the experiments.