Picture Yourself

Team Size: 5

Timeframe: 4 months

Platform: Interactive installation w/ iPad input + interactive visual display

Role: Co-producer, Designer

Prompt: Create a proof of concept and prototype for a “selfie spot,” integrated with interactive technology, for students, parents, alumni, and other members of the CMU community to connect with and experience the “affinity of CMU.”

We were approached by CMU’s Marketing & Communications department to create a proof of concept and prototype for a new Welcome Center exhibit at the new Tepper Building, which just opened in September 2018.

The idea was to create a “selfie spot” where guests from the CMU community (students, parents, alumni, etc.) can take a picture of themselves, but to innovate beyond a simple photobooth setting using interactive technology.  Our team’s goal was to create a proof of concept of the idea and a prototype, and then we would hand this over to CMU to then be pitched for a developer to install in full.

The goal was to capture the “affinity of CMU,” which we analyzed to incorporate its diversity, interdisciplinary programs, and rich traditions.

Our Process

In the idea we reached on, guests would use an iPad input to take a selfie, and then answer questions about themselves.  Then, their picture would be displayed, using ultra short throw projectors, on a large wall-size display alongside other members of the CMU community who had similar answers to the questions.  Then, using motion detection technology, the guest would be able to use their movement to interact with the display.

The questions asked would include “where are you from?” and “what are you interested in?”  If a guest responded that they are from, for example, Seoul, Korea, then they will see themselves displayed in a mosaic, on the wall, with all of the other guests from Seoul that have participated in “Picture Yourself.”

Afterward, guests would be able to email their picture to themselves, and also be able to choose backdrops of CMU locales to include in their picture.

A full explanation of our design can be seen below.  This video was developed for our client to show to potential developers in the future:

In addition to this design, we developed detailed documentation to go with it, explaining our design process, sketches for the future installation, a step-by-step of the user journey, customizable content, and technical information of our proposed platforms.

Admittedly, the platform we attempted to use, Kinect, to provide the motion detection for the design, proved to be very limited, so in our final reports, we explained potential alternatives to be used.

My Role

In addition to leading the team as co-producer alongside Wonjae Kim, I contributed to design decisions and documentation, most especially our final documentation given to our client at the end of our semester.  This documentation, of which me and Wonjae Kim were charge of writing, can be viewed here.

I also took lead on playtesting, of which we had five large-scale sessions over the course of the latter eight weeks of the semester, testing a dozen or so guests each session for our guest interface, guest experience and, eventually, our prototype itself.  The most extensive of these sessions was on ETC Playtest Day, held on November 3rd 2018.  This Playtest Day plan be viewed here.

Playtest Day Photos

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Lastly, I was in charge of blogposting for our team website, which can be viewed here.

Final Thoughts

Even though we had problems in the end with the Kinect we tried to use, we are proud of the creative process we went, and the ideas and design elements that we were able to give to our client by the semester’s end.  The response of CMU’s Marketing & Communications to our idea was as follows: