Process #4: Jessie, Joslyn, Rebecca

Our group worked on finalizing the high fidelity screens for the web app and the presentation. We realized that the map we used for the midterm project was not geographically correct, and the scaling or misleading; so, we reviewed NTU from Google Maps and reconfigured ourselves from there. It was important for us to make the route look manageable: the longest walking distance between art pieces is 15 minutes. 

Points of progress: 

  • created new screen maps to indicate the process of the game
  • simplified the map to include only the essential navigation elements
  • finalized the timeline of the project 
  • continued documentation of the work process
  • finished slides explaining our group’s work process, design rationale
  • finished high fidelity prototype 
  • rehearsed the presentation



Process Journal #2: Jessie, Joslyn, Rebecca

Our group decided to create an interactive web-app that engages secondary students. Its purpose is to encourage them to explore NTU Museum. To create motivation for the students, we decided to condense the number of pieces they have to visit is eight.

The major changes we made were:

  1. Removing the North vs. South competition.
  2.  Amplified the gamification by introducing an escape room idea: riddles and mini-games in the app
  3. The next location of the tour will be unlocked once the riddles and mini-games are solved.
  4. Each group will be given three hints.
  5. Controlling the flow of the tour: we are limiting each stop to 10 minutes.

Our next step is to finish the prototype and begin user-testing.

Pictured in this post are the mockup screens of the web-app.


Future World Reflection

Teamlab’s Future World exhibition was a beautiful showcase of the intersection between art and science. My favourite exhibit was Space. The use of LED lights and mirrors created a beautiful optical illusion that you were in an infinity room. The use of light and reflection was brilliantly used to make you feel like you were flying through outer space itself.

City in a Garden pays homage to the Garden City movement. It celebrates the flora and fauna of Singapore and how it is all part of an interwoven circle of life. I loved how Transcending Boundaries utilized butterflies to connect all six pieces and how if you touch the butterfly projection, it will die. It is an interesting narrative about how humans affect the circle of life. The room itself brings you into the circle of life; there is a constantly state of flow and harmony brought together by the blooming flowers, flowing river, and butterflies. Every time I looked around, there was a different rotation of nature being projected.

This was a wonderful experience that transported me into another world. It was a beautiful mix of artwork showcase and user interactivity.  Team Lab artistically used both visual and audio stimuli to transport you into the Future World. 


Chapter 5: Calibrating Your Cultural Compass

Jan Chipchase breaks down how you can go through rapid cultural calibration. This can be done in 30 minutes, hours, or even years. The first step is to “wake up with the city“. The typical city wakes up at 4 am. During this time, you can experience how the city starts up: how its infrastructure systems prepare the city before the first wave of commuters. It’s crucial to experience some form of local transportation, even better if during peak hours. At these cultural central points, you can see signs, breaching behaviours, and public tolerance towards behaviours. Transportation and commuting also affect how businesses are scheduled; for example, in Beijing, business calls are scheduled during car commutes to the office. The most important part of cultural calibration is to physically place yourself in a community to experience it. Chipchase made an emphasis on visiting a salon/barber. In this social situation, you are given 20 minutes to chat with a local about basically any topic under the sun. This conversation will give you insight into local opinions and attitudes. 

There is no secondary research that will compare to the first-hand experiences. 

Jan Chipchase: Chapter 4

Keys, money, and phone are stated as the essential items needed to be carried on a person before leaving their home. As a student, I can’t leave my home without my laptop, laptop charger, and phone charger. I also carry my water bottle, reusable tumbler, metal straws and utensils. These are all the tools that I need to be functional outside of my home. I believe that money is slowly being pushed out of the equation due to the introduction of Applepay and Googlepay. Cash and credit cards are unnecessary weight. Everything we do is based on convenience,  security, peace of mind,  and reliable solutions. My backpack houses all of the tools I need.  My phone, laptop and keys all have a very short range of distribution as they come with a high risk of theft. In Canada and Singapore, there is a low risk of theft however the consequences of theft are high no matter the geographical location.

Reading Response: Jan Chipchase—Hidden In Plain Sight: How To Create Extraordinary Products For Tomorrow’s Customers.

Jan Chipchase emphasizes the importance of user experience designers to immerse themselves in the group of people that they are designed for. In-field research creates more meaningful connections and understandings of the routines and cultural habits. No matter how nuanced online secondary research is, it will never be as accurate as primary in-field research. Rapid Cultural Calibration can be done by taking part in rush hour commutes and mundane task/chores. Key cultural points of contact in a daily routine: commuting systems, airports, bus stops, barbershops/salons, eating, and signs. 

What are breaching behaviours? This thought brings attention to what is culturally accepted in the community. For example, eating on public transit. It is an act that can be fined in Singapore and Taiwan whereas, in Toronto, Canada, it is normal to be eating on public transit. Why is eating not allowed in public transit? How does the authority figure enforce these rules? Signs within a city prohibiting actions can say a lot about stress points in behaviours and preferences. 

Response: Sidewalk City: Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City

Annette Kim talks about how spatial ethnography, property rights of public space, and critical cartography are all essential elements to understanding sidewalk life in Ho Chi Minh City. 

The process of designing for a demographic relates to the Define stage of a design problem. The very first step is to conduct user research and observe how they interact with their environment.

“When people try to identify universal cognitive modes for social phenomenom, they only reveal their own socialized conigitive frames” 

She talks about a designer designing a neighbourhood that won awards but in reality, it did not benefit the people who were actually living in them. They have to understand the system of power and order. She brings up a good point that design is beyond aesthetics. There is a cultural impact of every design. It is impossible to completely understand how a city’s people function in their own space solely based on statistics and documentaries. One must immerse themselves into the veins of the city. Designers cannot enter an ethnographic study with their preconceived hypothesis and “conceptual blinder”. Who are the types of people interacting and claiming this space? 

Navigating Bugis Street Without a GPS


My friend and I attempted to go to Bugis Street to go shopping. The first step navigating was the easiest part: take the 199 bus to the Boon Lay MRT station. The difficult part was trying to figure out which MRT line would take us to Bugis Street. We located an MRT map and scanned for the word Bugis. We found Bugis Station and just hoped for the best that it was where Bugis Street would be. After a 40 minute commute on the MRT, arrived at the very confusing. We followed the loudest crowd out the MRT station and luckily were greeted with a giant sign reading “Bugis Junction” There were so many buildings with the “Bugis Junction” branding so we assumed we were on the right side of the street. We ended up in an air-conditioned mall.  

Bugis Street was across the street without clear signage. It was covered by a very extravagant Maplestory billboard ad. We decided to check it out since there was a bustling crowd there. The landmark that we used as a central navigation point was the large Bugis Food Street sign in the centre of the first floor. The only other signage that was semi-helpful were the “MORE STORES HERE →” signs pointing out escalators hidden corridors. My friend was looking to get her nails done and we couldn’t find any salons until we reached the last floor, the fourth floor.

There were more “CCTV Surveillance Area” and “STOP CRIME” signs than wayfinding signs. 

Navigating would have been easier if there was a general map indicating what shops each floor had to make our visit more efficient. However, without the signage, we ended up exploring Bugis Street in its entirety. It was surprisingly not as stressful navigating without a GPS—we didn’t have to worry about running out out of data and being those tourists who stop in the middle of a walkway to find our way.