Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Degree Project Week 1

This week was highly focused on research and revisions to my proposal. Initially my question was, "how can environmental typography emotionally improve the life of those living in Kansas City?" I have since revised it as, "How can temporal typographic messaging, in context with its environment, begin a conversation of optimism and hope that resonates with our community?"

I've gathered some research on Kansas City's demographic.
Population: 463,202. 432,449 in households, 9096 in group homes, and 4958 institutionalized.
As a whole, Kansas City is 34 years old. (age median)
Not speaking in numbers, what I've gathered as a whole about Kansas City is that its very eclectic. One side of town can be completely different than another. For instance, the crossroads is a vibrant, growing community rich in the arts. Westside is a slow up and coming community with a lot of spanish and artistic flair. The east side has a reputation of crime and poverty but certainly isn't a wholistic representation of the community. My goal for this weekend before starting week two is to get out and observe. I plan on riding the bus all over town, taking pictures, following people, talking to people. Doing some initial internet research on methodologies of design research, design anthropology and socially driven design has led me to a few exercises I want to try out in the field.

I am looking back onto UX and plan to utilize some of these methods:
  • observations
    • fly on the wall - unobtrusively observe
    • shadowing - follow subject as they go about routines
    • undercover agent - observing while posing as someone normal in their environment
    • don't dress to impress, blend in with the environment. bring props if necessary.
    • observe without being too noticeable 
    • camera phones are good for inconspicuously snapping photos
  • interviews
    • directed storytelling - ask subjects to tell stories or about moments
    • unfocus group - assembling a group of experts in a field to explore the subject from different viewpoints
    • keep an open and nonjudgemental mindset
  • self-reporting
    • journals
    • photo/video journals
I've been listening to Dori Tunstall podcasts and lectures


  1. Good recap. Here's the video I was talking about with Dori:

    "Getting People to Talk: An Ethnography & Interviewing Primer"

  2. Thank You, Marty. See you Monday with some weekend research.