Our assignment this week was to create a low-fi toy prototype for a specific user in a specific environment.
User Persona + Environment
After discussing our interests, we centered on the idea that we wanted to make a toy to help a child (up to about age 10) explore the outdoors.
We started by brainstorming and writing down the core concepts we wanted to include in the toy design:
As we talked about our experiences exploring the outdoors and looked at references, we started to convene on the idea of a scavenger hunt. More recently, we all made sound walks last semester in our Intro to Video and Sound classes add found that it was a fun and exciting way to explore a space using a different sense - and that we all felt we gained a new perspective from it. We liked the idea of creating a toy companion that would help a child do this.
To create this experience, the toy would be designed to take in one type of sensory input and provide a different sensory output. We discussed the following as possible sense mapping pathways:
Sound to color
Color to sound
Texture to pattern
For this prototype we decided to focus one one: sound to color.
We also outlined a couple goals that we wanted to accomplish in order to guide our design process:
Input → output: are kids interested in exploring the world this way of exploring the world?
Form → Hold? Wear? Augment? What type of form factor is most appealing to kids for this type of companion?
After talking with our professor Stefania, we decided that using a phone to do the computation would be best for a prototype so we could iterate quickly.
We started with creating a mood board and some initial sketches of possible designs for a toy companion that a phone could fit into:
Once we decided on a design, we got some felt and velcro and set out sewing and started coding a sketch in p5js that would convert sound to color!
We tested sounds and songs with the visualization:
We’re excited to test it out!