After figured out the worst part of my thesis, the programming, I began to work on overall branding and user interaction design. Since i will have a series of tutorial/promotional videos. I spent almost 16 workings hours on this branding video. It can be used on all beginning of every video.
This video sums up the concept of my thesis project. SiftU aggregates all the status, photo, video you uploaded to private online services into one personal database. You can search and look back your life, and learn more about yourself. Beta coming soon. Stay tune.
Background music // Lions, “The search is over.” Hand Drawing Handy Icons // Webdesigner Depot
Since my professor is gonna kill me if i don’t have my exhibition plan submitted to the symposium community. I designed the exhibition space as follow. I am not sure how realistic can be since it require a lot of $$ and equipment.
The panel on the left will be playing promotional/tutorial video to explain the project. The mini + LCD on the right is the demo machine, so people can really plan with the platform.
In order to have this plan working, I will need 1 x 40″+ LCD screen, 1 x 24″ LCD screen, 2 mac mini, and keyboard+mouse.
A 10 feet wide x 6 feet tall place will be needed for the installation.
I always like to make something beautiful and useful, and I believe it’s my pleasure to make this world a better place (to live or to enjoy). Since I was in Parsons, I have been brewing some ideas with this goal without realized it. In the first semester, I designed a talent database called “Genius Finder”. It’s a human resource database for local/non-profit/educational organization. The goal is to help them utilize the talents within the community (usually they don’t have a good amount of money to spend), so they can have the things done with better result.
Second semester in Parsons, I was building a Flash application that provides a dynamic multi-lingual support touch panel system for hotel guest services, named “ServeSmart”. It is intended to help international travelers overcome language barriers and enrich their hotel experience.
In summer 2009, before the beginning of the semester, while I was jogging, an idea came to my head. Online content sharing that we do everyday might actually helps long distance relationship. The most important thing in romantic relationship is sharing, sharing the time together and sharing the life experience together. If people are in long distance relationship, the first thing they got hit might be lack of “sharing”. Since they r not physically together, it will be hard to know what the other is doing and what kind of environment/situation he is dealing with. The only way s/he gets a sense of what the other doing is by writing or talking to each other. The code for this project is “Stringed”.
Project “String” is a platform that two people must sign up an account together. The joint account will provide a space for them to combine all the content they share online. (Status, photo, video, even restaurant review). They can see all the information in a timeline base page. There is something interesting that brought up by my thesis studio professor David Carroll. He mentioned the thing he will be interested to see in this platform is the crossed points of two people’s life. Couples share their time together to have some life experience together.
I began researching and making rapid prototype to ensure I am technically capable to execute this project, e.g., Facebook connect, twitter API implantation, flickr API implantation. While I was doing research on how to improve long distance relationship with the platform I am thinking to build, some reactions from my friends actually make me doubt about the project. They were talking about maybe I should just make a online sex simulated platform with physical computing knowledge built in. That will significantly improve the long distance relationship.
Although they were joking about it, I began to doubt if this is what people really need for their relationship? Exposing information about themselves to their love one is “sharing”, but in another way, that’s what we call “Spy”. I began to question myself if i will be willing to share all the “private content I share/upload to online services to the person i like.
Am i really interested to improve people’s romantic relationship? Am I trying to do the job that cupid or God suppose to do? Do I even believe in long distance relationship? I cleared my head and suddenly, I realized what I really interesting here is building a database which contains all the information that I share online. This is the turning point of my thesis, from improving romantic relationship to improve the understanding myself through the achievement of online sharing content. Therefore another code was born which is “IN” (Intersections).
In early stage of “IN” is marketed and positioned as an online diary platform which not only replaces the existing old traditional hand-written, paper bounded diary. It also tries to use the advantage of technology, so people can sort and search the information in their online diary. Some Design prototypes were made.
The platform was designed browsed with latest update and searched by keyword, geo-location and time. The bonus feature here is to compare the timeline with your friend. Matching by the approx. geo-location and time from the content, the platform will calculate all the crossed point from those two people. It’s more like shared memory in a glance. This feature was adapted from the pervious project “Stringed”.
The reason “IN” is marketed and positioned as an online diary platform in early stage was because the feedback from the thesis studio. People in the class think it’s an online diary. At the same time, I questioned myself if this is really an online diary, and am I trying to make an online diary for myself? After I have thought about this question carefully, I know what I am not making a online diary platform since I don’t even write diary. My goal here is to archive the information/status I share online in daily life. I can use this archived information to know myself better.
The reason “IN” is marketed and positioned as an online diary platform in early stage was because the feedback from the thesis studio. People in the class think it’s a online diary. At the same time, i questioned myself if this is really a online diary, and am i trying to make a online diary for myself? After i have thought about this question carefully, I know what i am not making a online diary platform since i dont even write diary. My goal here is to archive the information/status I share online in daily life. I can use these archived information to know myself better.
IIn the past, we all have control of the content we share or keep in our life. You diary will not disappear or destroyed unless your house is on fire or you chose to do it. When micro-blogging and status update slowly replace our habit from document daily life in a diary. We have lost the right to control the content we shared.
Facebook owns you status update on Facebook. They have rights to delete it anytime and there is nothing you can do. Is it true? Sadly, it’s a “yes”. I have been using Facebook since it was born in 2007, and last entry I can get back from the server using Facebook API is August 2008. Where are the statuses before August 2008? All the memory and status i shared was gone. It’s very depressed to me, a person who deeply believes digital media can helps us to archive the memory that won’t fade out like traditional media.
Now, you might ask, you never thought of this problem might accrue, and you might not even notice it. That’s because there is no way you can search your status archived on Facebook. There is no way you can search the status you shared on twitter. They are good at providing your recent status to the world or your friend, but there is no ways you can look back at your life and see what you have shared. All you can do is hitting that “More” button that if you clicks 200 times you might see the status you shared 3 months ago.
Private companies controlled our data. They use the content we share to know about us. When they know about us than us. Is there nothing we can do with it?
Of course, there is always something we can do about it. It will be solved by my thesis project. The code for this project is “IN”(in my life) at this point. As I finally positioned the direction of the thesis, I am also researching the possible way to visualize the information on this platform. I was inspired by the diagonal prospective to show the content. It gives the depth of the time when we display items in order on a diagonal timeline. First I was inspired by the Time Machine commercial & Timeline 3D software.