UX Research, Interaction Design, Presentation
Forming the Research Question and Interviewing Participants
After understanding the problem space and doing secondary research, my team of four found memory and documentation an interesting space for discovery.
With this in mind, we formulated the research question "What is the relationship between documentation and memory in people age 18-25?" We chose this group of participants for our research as we aimed to find people with experience in both physical documentation and social media.
Data Synthesis Process
We don't need perfect
Similarly, all of our participants failed to mention rituals or meaningless event in their life when they described specific memories.
All of our participants, when we asked what
they enjoyed doing, spoke about experiences
with family, friends, or pets or experiences that were special or new to them, like seeing a whale (Velva) or going to a national park (Kate). We as people do not need to remember everything.
The strength of memory is its imperfection.
We found that most of our participants often
forgot or had imperfect memories, stating things like “I want to forget” (Chloe) and “most of the events I’ve enjoyed the most aren’t chronicled.” (Bobby) The participants weren’t particularly concerned about forgetting, however, and even had fond memories of experiences with friends at bonfires or at family birthdays that were imperfect.
"Time causes objects of importance to turn into junk."
We cannot predict the value of a memory.
Our participants showed us that in hindsight, many experiences we might not have known in the moment were important turned out to be of
great importance, like spending lazy Sundays
on the couch with the same friends over and over (Chloe) or having parking lot conversations with their father. (Meredith)
Managing how I see myself vs. how others see me is stressful
It is hard enough to figure out what it means
to be yourself without the constant influence
of outside perspective. Our participants explained how the burden of being profound on social media (Meredith) or writing out funny tweets (Velva) is stressful. These services that claim to serve as memory caches of our past often fail because the motivation and the influence behind the stories shared online is quite different from those of our own personal narrative.
We have too much stuff but fear getting rid of it.
When we asked our participants about scrapbooking or keeping memorabilia, our participants frequently stated that while they did not keep scrapbooks or memory books, their parents were “hoarders” (Minh-Ahn). Our participants, however, did speak about collecting large amounts of photos on their virtual devices but rarely looking through them.
People care about memories with other people in them.
Something we noticed that was in common
with all of our participants was the mentioning
of family, friends, or loved ones in all of their fond memories. Each person told stories about the moments in their life that stood out, like a brother’s surprise birthday (Alaina), an experience meeting new people (Leo), and an experience at a large and scary mansion with friends. (Velva)
Final Solution: Reverie
After ideating on a few ideas, our group came up with the final solution, Reverie. Reverie is a twopiece
device that allows users to experience past memories, in a way that simulates true memories.
Reverie has four primary pieces of visible technology: the camera, which is always recording; the projector, which plays video of past memories; the earpiece, which plays audio of past memories; and the dial, which allows the user to relive visual memories on a spectrum from real to abstract. The camera, projector, and dial all live on the same piece of hardware, with the earpiece as a separate entity.
User Research on Future Surveillance Technology
This project worked towards creating a device centered around the surveillance technology of perfect recall, or the constant recording of one's life and the ability to look back at it. It focused primarily on user research and generating insights into research, and thus principles for product solutions.
Understanding Perfect Recall
This project centered around systems of surveillance: specifically, designing a research-based perfect recall system. Perfect recall, or technology that allows the user to constantly record and then look back on their experiences.
My team worked together to understand the problem space and found issues and ideas primarily surrounding perfect recall and privacy, healthcare, and memory.
Once we found our insights, we generated four main UX principles for our product.
1. Users shouldn’t be able to recall absolutely everything.
2. Sharing if any should be personal, minimal and intentional.
3. We don't decide what is worthwhile, the user does.
4. The user should be able to reflect on a memory.
We then came up with four solutions that met these principles, creating storyboards for each solution. After deliberation over these ideas, we came up with a final solution.
Once we interviewed participants, we generated themes from their quotes and found insights regarding our research. We initially put their quotes on yellow sticky notes, noticed patterns once they were all in the same space, and found that those patterns often had commonalities. We then came up with six primary insights.
We found ten participants via Facebook that fit within our age range and had various usages of social media and documentation. We then interviewed them, while recording and taking notes under their permission.