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One of the largest guiding factors of our informances was the fact that we were utterly confused about how to use them. We were under the impression that informances had to make use of our previously created personas, however, in IAT333 lecture we were told informances are much more general and used simply to explore whatever we want. With a topic so general we had no idea where to start and decided that the best course of action would be to simply film absolutely everything from the point we left the lecture until we felt we had enough. We figured this would really put us outside of our comfort zones and perhaps let us think outside the box as far as our project went. The only aspect we knew that we wanted to model about our group was their creativity.
Feeling a little frustrated with our lack of direction we wondered how our personas would feel about the situation, what they would say and how they would act since they are both students in the IAT program like ourselves. We figured creating a dialog like this would allow us as a group to vent our problems and concerns with the assignment while at the same time getting into character for the rest of our informances to come. Because most of our employed methodologies thus far had been about having fun and playing games we wanted to see what it would be like to have our personas in a more stressful situation.
Description: The informance is a conversation between Alex and George, in their project group exploring their thoughts and feelings of their assignment (they are both students in design and graphic design).
Motivation: This informance was practice to get us into the mindset of being our personas in a situation we didn’t normally see them in. We decided to include this in our report because in a lot of the games the Roll to Hit club plays there is a large amount of interpretation. We felt that the way informances were presented to us we could see how differently two people can interpret one thing.
Purpose: We believed this informance would shed some light on informances in general just for ourselves, along with how our two personas would interact in a setting outside the club meeting. Furthermore we thought we could understand interpretations our personas would have on something they share a common interest in.
Description: This clip shows the interaction between our two personas. George was walking down the hall and saw Alex studying in a room. George’s parents are gone on for weekend on a business trip, so he decided to have a house party. George knows Alex prefers to be alone, and so invited friends that have similar interests and who may have already met Alex. Alex tried to reject the party invitation with time restraints, but George adjusted the date, so Alex had no choice but to attend.
Motivations: We were motivated by our social group to create this situation. The closeness of the members in Roll-to-Hit club is one of the important information we got back from our cultural probes. Even though we asked our participants to do some probes individually, they still got together and finished it together. They are always ready to meet up, and seek each other’s company.
Purpose: This is to show the different personality of the two personas we developed last week. George is very outgoing whereas Alex is quieter and would rather be alone than to be in a party.
For our third informance we really wanted to get at the creative process and what that is like for our group. We know that our group is incredibly creative but until you are actually creating something yourself it is impossible to understand what that is like. We wanted a good informance to wind down and have fun with so we decided to really explore group dynamics with a fast paced drawing informance.
Description: We have three people in this video. It is a turn-based drawing, similar to the Surrealist artist activity the “exquisite corpse”. Each person has 10 seconds to draw or write anything they want on the board. This continued for three minutes. We have a discussion on what happened and how everything turned out after drawing.
Motivation: Since all of our cultural probes involved having fun we wanted to create an activity for ourselves that would be just as fun as what we were having our group do. The cultural probe “create your own minion” really inspired us to take on this informance. In the “create your own minion” probe we had members glue pieces together and get really creative in any way they wanted. We figured drawing on a whiteboard and taking turns would produce some really interesting insight into what goes into the creative process especially when there are multiple people working in the same space. Additionally, the “key moments” probe supported us in this decision as well. The key moments taught us that our group can create a narrative story out of anything and we wanted to see if we could do the same.
Purpose: This was a way for our team to really understand the creative process and what facilitates it, and what hinders it. All 3 participating team members had to work together in a way to create something meaningful while still allowing their personal side to show through in what was drawn on the board. As we had identified before in our research, interpretation is key to our group. In this informance there had to be multiple interpretations based on what the previous person had drawn which would influence what was drawn next.
We actually ended up having a lot of fun with this informance and it greatly helped us break down the barrier of our own awkwardness since none of us are particularly fond of performing in front of a camera. It did let us think outside the box and while we feel that we were more than likely just ourselves venting our frustration rather than our personas it did allow us to get into character by the end of it. We began to see how two people could interpret something when there is no definitive set of requirements. Through the informance we saw how a debate forms between our two personas and how they work through it. They offer their own understanding first and then see what the other person thinks. One person can easily dominate the conversation though and this kind of dialog can easily be derailed. Interestingly enough we did not decide on who would be what persona, we let our own characteristics show through a bit and then asked the non performing members of our group to tell us who they thought we were. Jason turned out to be George and Matt turned out to be Alex.
This information reinforces the evidence that we need to emphasize and prioritize group activity in whatever application that may surface. Their mindset being, it would not be as fun if you play games alone than playing with friends.
This was our most successful informance as all members of our team gained a lot of insight to the creative process. We even filmed the after discussion and matt had admitted that he intentionally tried to derail the creative process by drawing things that didn’t necessarily fit with what was going on such as math problems. He noted that it was very interesting that elements that were drawn on the board such as math that required thinking were, for the most part, completely avoided much like our social group would do as well. These attempts at derailing the creative process didn’t affect it too much. Another fun observation was that part way through the cycle of drawing one team member started to go out of turn without even realizing it. When asked about it later he said he was excited and eager to get his ideas onto the board and didn’t even realize what he had done. This finding fell in line with our previous findings on our group that once engaged with something they lose sight of what is going on around them. This also taught us that our group can take abstract situations, like the results of dice rolls, and turn them into a fairly elaborate story. They seem to draw inspiration from the context of the game that they are playing. From this, we might think about designing something relating to creativity or imagination. An application that has a solid topic and few restrictions on our group, they can explore openness and create that which is their own.
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