Check in — 02/21/2017

Just to review, our prototype ideas from the previous weeks included things like a pop-up hood, conversation scrambler, whitelist for your soundscape. From these we saw themes such as top down community awareness vs bottom up empowerment and also novel vs familiar form factors and affordances.

These themes informed our two zoom-in prototypes from last week.

The top down prototype in the BART investigated the theme of signaling overstimulation and increasing public awareness. Our primary learning was that the senses are intimate therefore prototyping novel tools must occur in a safe private space. Also we learned disabilities can become gross and weird when you focus on the negative and serious so we wondered how this could be reframed as a superpower.

With the bottom up prototype of the sound equalizer we learned that leveling sound is dependent upon other variables such as social and spacial context that desire different modulations of the soundscape. If these variables are not well coordinated, the experience can be disorienting and even distracting.

New Prototype
With our newest prototype investigated the simultanous manipulation of the acoustic and the visual in the specific context of the workplace.

The prototype consisted of “natural” sounds and an umbrella to mask background noise to create ones own sense of space. To modulate the user’s visual input, we draped a scrim fabric that “dulled” the visual sensory input and played with the projection of images and the interior lighting.

(Cue Video)

Interestingly we learned companies have a requirement to accomodate people with disabilities the tools and environments needed for them to achieve at their peak performance. Amidst this, the individual is expected to know what they need while HR is expected to provide it. In other words, “I know something is wrong with me but I can’t diagnose my self”.

We also found the need to communicate boundaries of interaction amidst a dynamic workplace. (ie red light green light for desirability of interaction)

Lastly we learned that spaces must quickly adapt to the social interaction context (ie personal work time vs talking to your manager) because failing to do so may cause miscommunication

Next Step
Our next step is to prototype

Like what you read? Give Level the Noise a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.