If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape.
I am developing a tea-drinking tool/fashion accessory that is a symbiosis of both function and fashion and will possibly save hundreds if not thousands of people from serious ophthalmic injuries.
I will have to spend hours defining my target audiences’ psychographics and demographics, their habits and average daily tea consumption. Furthermore it will take broad and deep researching of trajectories within fashion to determine trends as appropriate to my target users, then the designing of early solutions which will be then turned into low-fi prototypes determining the correct balance of protection vs accessory before creating actual samples to further user-test, developing it further before launching a more refined version via Angel investors or more likely Kickstarter.
At the end of this effort, I hope to have created a completely new and unique accessory while helping those who suffer from the common and debilitating affliction known as Rosyleelornadoonepeeperectomy.
But there might an easier solution.
Design is often too focused on creating objects rather than solving problems. Yes, objects can be more easily placed into Bernays’s system of desire and sold to people who didn’t know they needed them in the first place, but design should be more concerned with creating experiences not profits.
What does this have to do with The Science Museum and its archive? I spent hours thinking of different approaches, outcomes. media, schemas, et cetera. But at some point, I realised one way (not the only way) to make the archive accessible to users would be not by creating another app, another website, another sign-up, another login, another other, but to use existing media infrastructure and overlay and disseminate their information onto or through these.
Most phones come with a camera and MMS, can I not just get a text from my friend the science museum with an image and a brief explanation. If I let my new friend know my location it could even be based on where I am; passing or in a hospital? here is a picture of an amputation saw.
Do I really need an app for each individual thing or service? I have too many apps already, and while Moore’s Law still holds, my phone is consistently out of memory and urging me to dump apps and files.
So my proposition should be don’t do anything on the front end, just have a backend that sends information to users through existing channels, if it is just text messages. Apps are dead, long live the experience.
There are perhaps more elegant ways of doing this too, We might look at overlays in streaming media. I have never met anyone who didn’t like Pop-up video, although many no longer like this.
Much like Amazon’s X-ray, Museums could offer overlays of sorts that could add historical information or even corrections within fiction (which does return me to my interest in fact and fiction). The BBC and Open University churn out many (very good) documentaries of with celebrities of all ilk reporting on forgotten stories (Gary Lineker has turned into a military historian just in time for armistice day. Adding another layer (literally) to that could offer everyone involved a better value.
What Frutiger meant was that it should have been about the food, the environment, and experience; when we notice the individual objects and tools, then the experience is tainted. Don’t develop an app, or a website, or a virtual, AI, AR, VR pop-up, temporary, experiential experience in shipping containers (it’s always bloody shipping containers)…but instead, unless any new development is a significant improvement to the experience, the sharing should blend effortlessly and invisibly into existing channels.
So my project is this: “Dear Science Museum, send a text.”
See y’all next module.
Of course, I can’t do that for this project, I’ll build a whole …thing, that easily fills an interactive PDF…but really, we should consider achieving more with less. I think it could be a (good) solution.