The Joy of Biking

We presented our public interfaces project last week. We talked about the social tracking platform we want to make for thesis, as well as one potential game challenge that could be hosted in workplaces. The offices would be able to order small game kits, get excited about a 2 week bike challenge, and cheer each other on to try to win over other companies as well as try to beat their co-workers internally. We had fun through making felt icons, posters and game rule books, and the presentation went very well. Yes, there were some changes to be made, but no matter people understood that we love biking, that we want it to spread, and that we believe in spreading it through emphasizing the joy of biking rather than calories burnt or environment saved. Some people even said GO MAKE THE THING! Yay.

Then something broke. Not sure exactly why or how. We went back to the drawing board. We put post-its on the wall and stared at them for 12 hours. We put post-it on cafe tables, and got more frustrated than ever. I felt we were back to where we were at a few months ago – throwing potential features up on the wall.

But this time we did the brainstorm without any joy or playfulness, and we presented some slides we were not even sure we believed in for our thesis work group final presentation. And that’s where we’re at. After having had the most wonderful and eventful semester at SVA IxD so far, we’re all of a sudden confused, clueless and burnt out. It sucks being there when Winter break is upon us.

We still know we want to get people to bike more. We still believe we can do it through playfulness and fun. And we believe in the power of delightful interaction design. But will there be a talking helmet? Or a device to plug on to the helmet? Will it have speakers, mic, a button? What is the button for? Can you add voice notes while biking? Can you add text notes when done biking? Can you hear notes when biking, or is that distracting and dangerous? Can you share your notes with others, or is it a private thing? What is the social in the social tracking platform? What would you share with everyone, what would you share with friends, and what would you keep to yourself (twitter vs. diary)? Can we rely on tracking alone‚Äďas long as our communication of the gathered data is different than the fitness-focused competitors like RunKeeper and Strava? Can the added flavor to the platform be through various challenges, rather than in the everyday experience?

Maybe we just need a long break. Judging by the content in this blog, and the amounts of content that didn’t even make it in here, cause we’ve been to busy, I think we actually do deserve it! Happy Holidays to whoever made it this far down a page filled with frustration :)

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