Framework Brainstorm

From yesterday’s brainstorm session in the studio, using the “Getting a Grip” tangible interaction framework as inspiration…

From this brainstorm, I feel I have fine-tuned my framing even further, and come up with an idea to abstract the SUI concept in the form of a simple prototype.

My TRKBRD prototype is a concrete application of stacking inputs/interfaces. It is an implementation of the Stacked User Inputs concept. For this thesis, though, I feel I need to step away from the concrete and focus on the abstraction of the idea. What does it mean to stack inputs? What properties are important for stacking? Can a simple prototype abstract the concept to illustrate it quickly, easily, and understandably?

During my brainstorming, I kept coming back to the simple button, a physical button. Physicality has been an important component of the SUI concept. A physical button creates the base of interaction in the stack, where other levels of interaction are stacked on top of the base. Could “touch” be added to the button? Could a “proximity field” be positioned on top of the button? These possibilities were coming to mind when I would brainstorm under the “Tangible Manipulation” column in the image above.

And this is exactly a direction where I am thinking of going now… A simple touch-sensitive button, packaged into a self-contained cube of electronics, to become a small “toy” used to explore the SUI concept. Could this cube provoke thoughts on the concept from a diverse set of designers in various domains?

I struggled for the last week, trying to brainstorm additional devices or prototypes that I could build to demonstrate a SUI. I was naively trying to invent a new device (again) that would provide a single input interface to control seemingly random outputs. And since I do not hold expertise in a wide range of domains, obviously my ideas would be narrowly positioned in the domains I do know. I was getting frustrated that my ideas kept on falling into the same areas, not realizing why.

What if I could get a simple tool into the hands of professional designers in a wide range of domains? There is the potential of gaining insights into his or her design domain, by using a simple tool to provoke the body of knowledge they have collected.

I’m now exploring form factors, sensors, and interactions for the “SUI cube”. With a generic form and electronics platform, I can concentrate on the interactions that could be possible with a SUI. With only a few levels in the stack, how many unique interactions are possible?

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