Artistlike -Interactive Digital Art Tools

Overview

Academic midterm assignment done with classmates Joanna Muniz

Challenge: Create an interactive prototype incorporating the the technology of sifteo cubes.

Solution: Interactive digital drawing tools that enhance the creative process and experience.

Role: Product Concept and Design

Duration: 3 Weeks

Scope

In 2012 two MIT students created a product, “Sifteo Cubes”

which allowed users to interchange mini micro-computing

devices to implement specific visual outcomes. The team

was tasked to design a tangible prototype based on the

technology behind the “Sifteo Cubes”.

 

Using ideation methods students explored concepts to create interactive prototypes based on the technology of Sifteo Cubes. 

Design Exploration

Initially students worked individually to explore product concepts. The purpose was to expand their ideas and gain inspiration, exploring different interactions possible with current technology and mini micro-computing devices. Creating several 10 x 10s to explore these ideas and storyboards to understand experiences users will have with them.

10x10 Method

In this course we used the 10x10 method. This method tackles creative limits and attempts to push thinking outside typical boundaries. Definitely a challenge, some ideas were great but there were also flops.

StoryBoard 2.jpeg

As I was storyboarding, I kept coming back to the concept of creating a better interactive product for artists. 

As a neurodivergent, I have struggled with digital drawing tools. These tools are often awkward, clunky, or unnatural to use. 

I took this as a challenge to create an interactive prototype which correlated with the creative process and gave artists the option to create digital work in a more natural way.

Storyboard Ideation

The typical process which I have followed in my other courses asks students to use storyboards to relate the product concept with the user. This was a reversal of said process, after creating 10x10s students created storyboards to strengthen multiple possible product concepts.  Using storyboards to focus onto one concept.

StoryBoard 3.jpeg
StoryBoard 1.jpeg
Sketch.png
Product Sketches

After partnering up and reviewing several 10 x 10s and storyboards we determined a common theme and concern. Deciding to create a prototype focused on improving and providing productive experiences for artists and creators. Understanding the user base and current technology lead to the confirmation of the final concept. Believing artists and creators require electronic tools that feels and act naturally like regular tools. The team focused on making the following:

Pencil

Tablet

Palette/ Touchscreen/ Camera

Sketches2.jpg
Creative Process
Product Use and Interactions
User Flow.jpg

Prototyping and Testing

Originally the intention behind the low fidelity prototype was to create an application that could be utilized between tablet, phone, and stylus.

Using these products made it easier to consider product possibilities and uses. I created the tablet and phone prototypes out of construction paper and printer paper. The stylus was created using printer paper and removing the shell of the mechanical pencil. This enabled the prototype to be used as a drawing utensil in testing.

Results

Results: The tasks were simple, still, a learning curve in using the pencil tool functions of transferring physical art into the digital prototype. Using the pencil with paper was natural for user and made it easier to sketch (ideate).

Informal User Testing 1

Informal tests were conducted on 3 individuals, with varying skill level in creativity and technology. Informal tests were based on research of the creative process. Within this process users were given tasks to use the tools to create flowers in a vase.

 

Tasks:

1. Sketch on the tablet 

2. Search for photos of plants for reference

3. Draw a flower using photo reference

CreativeTools 1.jpg
Physical Prototype

The physical prototypes were actually recycled from the initial prototypes. There was one exception, using cardboard to create a 3-dimensional prototype. This allowed users in the second round of testing to put more physical sensation to the product. 

Digital Prototype

In Figma, the team collaborated to create the digital prototype, screens, and interactions. After the initial evaluations we learned that the prototype needed more navigation and organization.

Screen Shot 2022-05-05 at 5.21.05 PM.png
Informal User Testing 2

Informal tests were conducted on 3 individuals, with varying skill level in creativity and technology. Informal tests were based on research of the creative process. With this process users were tasked to use the tools given to create flowers in a vase. Users were given 3 tasks to complete that intend to showcase versatility of the devices.

Our test method was the same as the previous group. We were trying to learn if the updated navigation and organization improved the usability of the product.

While conducting the informal tests, we made notes of what users were thinking, frustrations, and comments that were made.

Feedback

After the evaluations these comments were put into an affinity diagram to find patterns and where the most issues lie. These issues...were still in the navigation of the product, confusing phrasing, and the icons caused the users some struggle.

Reflection

The design exploration and implementation phase put the the project idea into perspective but our storyboards and scenarios were completely different from the informal tests.

 

An important need for basic navigational system that expanded across all the prototypes was needed. More research on current digital creative systems needed to be done as well as a focused user test on the navigability of these systems. Wire framing was not done with this assignment, which I believe was a missed opportunity to learn about these system navigations and improve upon them