Who are you?

Going through life and school the issue of identity comes up more often than not. Throughout my field research I found some crazy similarities among the people I interviewed. All my interviewees asked to stay anonymous, so in order to protect the identities of my participants I’ve blurred out their faces and will reference them as person 1, person 2, and person 3.

When I sat down with theses people I asked them to take out five items that they carry with them daily that really reflect who they are are their core. Now some of these items might seems ordinary but they hold some true meaning for these participants. The photos are as followed:

In my paper and presentation, I will diver deeper into the meaning of their things and why they chose to stay anonymous, but for now a quick recap of my interviews.

Person 1 and person 3 for the most part are concerned about what others think of them. Person 2 chose items that really spoke to their sense of security and simplicity. When asked about their mobile life all participants said that an easy to use, low maintenance app would be great. All the participants agreed that they enjoy the community and sharing social media allows, but get concerned about the superficial or judging aspect of certain apps.

They all expressed, especially person 3, that being ok and accepting their identity is crucial; living in that identity however can be a challenge.

Unexpected Ideas

In our reading materials this week we talked extensively about building and creating mobile apps. In the chapter titled “Discovering what to build” emphasis on initial research for creating a mobile app was explained. Just like the TedTalk video where both research and interview people about their belongings, the book goes in-depth with the actual research process.

Once sitting down with an interviewee, asking probing and broad questions will help to uncover unexpected findings that can lead to novel design ideas for an application.  An example of an app that might have come from unexpected findings is an app like student agenda. Even though that idea seems useful and obvious, this agenda app doesn’t have to be used for just students.

Student Agenda

Yes, this app is geared toward students planning out their classes, exams, homework, etc. However, working professional can use this app to schedule their “homework” if they had to take work home after the initial workday. Professionals can also use it to add to-do-lists, upcoming events in a calendar, and reminders of important things.

My guess is that researchers sat down with a focus group of students to see what would make their day to day life easier, through questions this idea came about. Then maybe when they were creating the app working professionals found this tool helpful as well. I’m just dialoging and can’t speak for the research team behind Student Agenda.

I can give insight to my application that I am working on. After reading the chapter and watching the TedTalk about mobile anthropology, I came across an idea that I wouldn’t have thought of through talking with these students.

I’m a gamer too.

The term gaming or gamer has many meanings to different people. For some it they define it as computer PC games like World of Warcraft or even Minecraft. I have even come across gamers that define gaming as playing on a console like the Xbox, GameCube, etc. However, many people forget about the social games on our mobile phones, games like Heads Up!, Candy Crush, Temple Run, Clash of Clans, etc.

I, like others really enjoy those social games. My personal favorite is Heads Up! It’s just so engaging. Getting together with a bunch of friends or family and essentially playing charades, Pictionary, and karaoke all in one app is a huge time saver. Imagine the creativity and innovation that had to go in to a game like that, all the different categories and images people cam up with. You create sort of a community around the app. It may not be as big of a community as say Clash of Clans, where you build a village, train your troop and battle others, but still a community.

clash-of-clansPeople worldwide can communicate with each other through these virtual realities like in the Clash of Clans app. The games we play on our mobile devices can bring us together through face-to-face interactions like Heads Up! or allow for an online interaction like the Clash of Clans.

TalkBack

I never realized how difficult it might be to communicate with those around you without a voice, sight, or ears. Aside from just the social aspect of mobile apps, apps like Skype, Facetime, Sign Smith ASL Essential, and more really aid in our everyday communication.

For those who can’t hear, what is the point of a mobile phone when calling is pointless. Of course there are messaging apps one can use, but you can’t read excitement, sarcasm, sadness or lies. With the addition of emoji’s, it has made it a little easier to bridge that gap but it’s still not the same or as effective. However, being able to see the person I communicate with face-to-face as if I right there is a game changer. I can see their excitement, how crisp or sloppy their signing might be and even read their facial expressions.

I know, like me, not many people thought about the importance of accessibility on their mobile devices. I may not be hearing impaired or visually impaired but using the accessibility features on my mobile device, whether through an app or on my phone is awesome.

On my mobile phone I use TalkBack when reading. I can hear my technology read back to me pronouncing words I wouldn’t know how to read. Even though I am not the target audience of the accessibility features on phones I find them extremely useful, like when I need to increase font size on my screen so that it is read easier.

And even though I don’t have a Windows phone this Youtube video shows all the accessibility features that are available.