POZE is a design project my teammate and I worked on during my 1st year of Masters at the TU/e. The project lasted 6 months and was aimed at creating something for the Effenaar to connect or engage their audience. The project was awarded a grade of "Excellent" and went on for another 6 months showing at Plugged festival, Night of the Nerds, and the Hitszone party at the Effenaar. Our professor (Dr. Rong-Hao Liang) offered to help us rewriting the report to create a paper which was submitted to the Designing Interactive Systems 2018 – Provocations and Work In Progress Conference in Hong Kong. Sadly, due to a lot of other submissions, the research paper was just outqualified. The paper however did get revamped and is waiting for a new opportunity to be submitted somewhere. The Effenaar also offered an opportunity to turn POZE into a scaled up rental festival experience. However, because of our studies, we stopped with the development.
POZE is an interactive, cooperative experience. In this project we focused on the HITSZONE party at the Effenaar, a late 90’s - early 00’s theme party. Our concept focuses on syncing players emotions by making them collaborate. Moreover, POZE maintains the players’ and viewers’ moods elevated while they take a break from the crowd. Due to postural feedback (adopting body postures associated with excitement), the audience remains hyped and in synch. Finally, POZE also aims at breaking the ice between strangers and giving people incentive to socialize.
In the experience, groups of 2 to 5 people have to work together to cover all the shapes and make them explode. This will allow them to continue through a musical timeline from the 90’s-00’s. The funny, weird poses will create a fun, collaborative interaction with each other and with the experience. After the experience, paricipants get pictures with their poses to share on social media and have new memories with their (new) friends!
Laptop running the software
Between Bianca and me, the teamwork was stunning. Bianca is very eager to learn and create the best possible product towards the end.
Luuk Roelofs -Graduate student @Industrial Design, TU/e
POZE was my first design project in the faculty of Industrial Design. It, for sure, has presented a lot of opportunities to learn not only about new technologies, but also about ways of working in a design process, in a team of designers and about myself as a team player. The collaboration between me and my teammate has been fairly divided. Since I came from a more technical background, I helped him with programming and algorithms, while he helped me in the user-testing and showcasing phases.
setting up Kinect with Processing, finding the right algorithms for body detection, programming GUI and designing back-end logic for low computational capacity
researching on emotional contagion and cooperation, group-based emotions and postural fresearch on emotion detection with sensors (algorithm developed by TNO, our initial partner), research on similar work, gathering participants, conducting user test and interviews, analyzing data, writing report and paper
ideating and prototyping, game design, designing and improving the user experience, designing the GUI, improving visuals within the limitations of Processing
This project introduced me to the "art" of Industrial Design, by enriching my skills on different levels of expertise.
In terms of teamwork, the first half of the project has been a rocky start for me. Since I was assigned to a team with two experienced ID graduates, I was not as confident as I should have been. I had a lot of good ideas that were rejected in the beginning by one team member who assigned herself to make all the important decisions. Subsequently, the final idea (POZE) has been one of my initial ideas that was rejected. From this I have learned that I need to stand my ground and follow my guts whenever it comes to making group decisions. Even though it is a group project, the brainstorming process should be a collaborative process, not a one person task. I learned that cooperation is not about giving in another teammate’s controlling attitude, but standing up for your ideas and making your point, as well as taking other people’s points of view into consideration. AFter one of the teammates left, the project went on a lot smoother.
From another angle, this was my first time working with such a strong client. I am very thankful we had the opportunity to work with the Effenaar since I am a big fan of the smart entertainment industry and I would love to work in it one day.
Moreover, this project has shown me the openness and availability of Dutch and TU/e people. I was pleasantly surprised to see how willing Mr. Feijen (director of the Effenaar) has been to give us valuable feedback and present all the resources the Effenaar has to us. On top of that, all the coordinating teachers have always been there for us with interesting suggestions and constructive criticism. I have learned that I should not be afraid to go and ask for help or consultations from the people that are available for us. Growing up in a culture were asking for help is viewed more like asking for a favour, it has been very unusual for me to understand this.
Below, you can read how certain skills are reflected in my work during POZE. If you wish to read more about our decisions, design and research process, please check the following document:
user & society
The problem was researched by having consultations with our client and identifying what the actual problem was during festivals in order to find a design opportunity. What we found out was that usually people want to take a break and either go to the bathroom, or for a smoke. Our aim was, therefore, to keep people active and communicative during these games.
When designing, literature research into postural feedback (how your posture influences your mood), group emotional contagion ("catching" feelings from the ones within the same group) and how this is influenced by cooperation was conducted. The insights were used in our design process.
With regard to the most important factor, collaboration, we deliberately did not make it into a game. We did not wish for competition in our concept because we wanted everyone to have a good time. We focused on creating a bond, not separation. For this reason, we did not include a scoring system or a timer in our initial prototype. We wanted to keep everyone on the same level. However, implementing qualitative feedback from the user test with the client's feedback, we made a scoring system for the real-life implementations into the festivals and expositions.
What we also looked into is whether our audience would play this game with strangers. We consulted participants, but also specialists (people who work in the industry) and we realized that a good addition to the experience is a game "coordinator" which encourages people to participate and play with strangers.
From non-participatory observations, we realized that POZE is not only an experience for the player, but also for the viewer - it is very entertaining to watch! Therefore, we always left a leeway for people to get amused at the funny poses of the players.
We also made sure all our players receive the pictures we took of them while playing to remember the experience.