Posted by: siewlingc | April 23, 2009

Art Direction & Information Architecture

Nature of Technology

When this project had begun, one needs to assess and observe how the user interacts with the technology. This provides valuable insights to create benchmarks and understanding what the user experiences:

Sit Down and Look Down

Nature of the media is forces the user to look down and touch. Which creates a captive experience with the expectation that they user will stay for more than 2 minutes to be engaged in the presentation. As oppose to interacting with media upright.

Cue, Touch and Go

Experiential cuing means that the user needs instant feedback to instruct them what to do next. Much like a website, except the nature of the application is to cue with special effects, buttons and a host of other tactile experience and touch point language (ie. touch and drag is a response for pulling an object across the screen or scaling an object). The user need to be carefully cued to learn how to proceed in an intuitive manner means breaking down how the application based on function (how the user interacts) in addition to the type of information being delivered. So there is an underlying structure to account for the user’s response.

Forgive And Learn

When developing a system, users are bound to make wrong decisions-but will they be able to back track to proceed and reach the intended area? So the system has to be forgiving in allowing the user to make this kind of mistake as they learn to use this system on the fly. Is there more than one way to get to intended part of the application?

Bells and Whistles

MS Surface has an added bluetooth feature and responds to RFID tag opens a new avenue in interaction with other devices such a GPS and more. The technology is scaleable to work in conjunction with other devices.

This a reference for guiding a creative project like this, developed by IDEO.

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Now that we have a very good idea what the users go through and how the technology affect the user, we can put that technology into context. Helps us sharpen our focus on how we can create a compelling application for the end user that entertains them while making it easy to use.

Usage

MS Surface as you know is a combination of information kiosk with bluetooth capabilities and track RFID tags in a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. What we proposed is a Virtual Concierge that can be used in conjunction with a card with a RFID tag that will allow the user do more like book an appointment or an excursion, make purchases and print individualize itinerary.

Come Back for More

The user’s information can change very frequently. Keeping the users coming back for more entails designing the application with the user’s expectation in mind. In this case, sharing resources is about how users can connect with other user and see if anyone wants to join a group for an excursion, plan a game or arrange a play date for the kids. It allows for users to interact with common purposes and lets them track new posts and updates. When the trip is over, the user can log into the RCI website and continue the shared experience with others who have gone on an RCI cruise.

Gauging the Experiential Requirements

The application allows the user to custom their cruise experience, excursion and service booking, the project serves to enhance the cruising experience. A benchmark for the application experience has to include factors like motion, colour and functionality to keep the end user engaged. Subtle cues provide an instant feedback with pertinent info.

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Three types: youths, 30 – 55, 55+
That means the application has to be user friendly and three types of users entails that we keep things in mind when we’re designing the app. Keep it simple. Each type of user has a different idea of what simple is.

Psychographic

"In the field of marketing, demographics, opinion research, and social research in general, psychographic variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. They are also called IAO variables (for Interests, Activities, and Opinions)."

wikipedia.com
Another method of assessment utilizes cultural anthropology research method.

Youths

  • Participate in the Adventure Ocean program
  • Teens have their own clubs/arcades
  • High technical proficiency
  • Willing to explore as they have grown up with a firm idea of how the technology is meant to work

30 – 55

  • Singles, couples, families
  • Wide variety of activity participation
  • Would purchase land excursions
  • Varied technical proficiency
  • Lower for older individuals
  • Basic computer literacy for most
  • Lacks tolerance if the application doesn’t seem to work in their point view
  • There are a strong contingent population who are strong computer users, but may not tolerate outside of what their regular usage

55+

  • Singles, couples
  • Wide variety of activity participation
  • Would purchase land excursions
  • Low technical proficiency for most
  • Though this generation weren’t born into the technology, there is a strong extreme North Americans in this age range are fairly computer literate if it was part of their daily life
  • Exhibit tolerance and patience for new technology

This comes down to basic human nature…when going on a cruise and seeing this device, one has to invite them to use it with a sense of curiosity. Reward them with a sense of surprise and fun.

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Brand Promise

Liken to a vacation at an elegant luxury resort that provides a safe family-friendly services and events. There are programs for children-teens that are geared to improving their social and creative developments, spa and medi-spa services as well as fitness programs. This is a step above a party cruise ship.

Brand Image

Has a tone of luxury, with a plaza and resort feel, the excursions are adventurous enough that still feels safe.
RCI Brand Reference

Definitive document of what a brand, developed by Interbrand.

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The initial creative exploration started by assessing the corporate colour, blue. Then the art direction is based on the images used on all their promotional materials, the feel, tone, colour range and styling. Then, research into the visual references draws on nautical theme and imagery.

The screen saver is designed to entice the user to touch one of four corners by having the fish swim across to the corner. The coral tank idea builds on the tropical theme and extends the nautical experiential theme.

This is my in-class presentation for my role in this project.

This is the visual progression in the development of the look and feel.

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