The feedback I received on Rebus Chat is very interesting, especially because I will be continuing to work on this project for the final exhibition. A few themes I heard a lot were:
- It turns communication into a game – This is something I am glad people said, because it was part of my goal. Rebus Chat is not for making communication of big ideas any easier, but for giving people access to fun puzzles to solve as part of their regular communication. There were mixed opinions about just how much of an explicit “game” this app should be, and I personally don’t think I want to go full-out with points, stats or other game-y elements like that. But I do want to encourage people to craft interesting puzzles!
- It is related to emojis and/or hieroglyphics – Both of these things were mentioned by people in McLuhan’s Tetrad. I find the connection to emojis particularly interesting, because in some ways they are very alike (both are images sent as messages), but they also are fundamentally different; emojis generally represent the thing they depict (be that happiness, money, pizza, etc) whereas rebus images represent the sound of the thing they depict. That’s part of why I am intentionally avoiding using emojis as the images in this project–I don’t want people to start using them literally.Hieroglyphics, on the other hand, are more closely related. There are many kinds of hieroglyphics, but often each pictogram does relate to a particular syllable or sound, and sometimes the images even come from depictions of one-syllable words. I guess Rebus Chat is kind of like a modernization of hieroglyphics, putting them into a messaging application.
A summary of the feedback I got for the Alexa Practice Skill:
- Most people think it’s very successful in being practical and useful
- The skill can offer more feedback to musicians for improvement
- The flow of practice can be improved
- There should be more documentation
- The tutoring aspect is good for all-age
much of the the feedback I received during critique revolved around various other interventions I could include and every sense were quite helpful in generating ideas for how to cintuniue this project if I so please. I was glad to have it looked at in this somewhat unfinished state because the quality of feedback was restricted to conceptual questions of what the world can ask in and of the world especially if existing in a context outside of class.
I also got some useful feedback which cemented my original feelings/intent with regards to the documentation of the project; that is to say suggestions which confirmed my initial intuition to use two people interacting over this medium as opposed to myself (so as to communicate the idea better) including making the interactions or documentation a bit more “dad-specific” (as Josh put it) so as to communicate the inspiration a bit better as well.
Perhaps I got lucky seeing as how I was first and thus might have received the brunt force of people’s energy, but the amount of feedback I received for the project was large. Though there wasn’t a lot of content, people really exoanded on the concept of the piece and provided various suggestions in addition to food for thought with regards to the societal and relastional implications it makes/reflects on in today’s relationships.
The feedback was good to get. It’s evident that the concept clearly communicated, but I do need to work on having a more specific framing or tone towards the experience; whether the connected hearts takes on a sentimental sincere angle, or dark humor alá Kawara and his series I am still alive. It’s hard to gauge which to lean into, but it’s clear from the feedback that a stronger stance would make the project less banal.
The other interesting extrapolation would be whether the experience could be better contextualized physically as well; imagining the phone inserted into a stuffed animal or some other more form appropriate manifestation.
I thought that the feedback that my peers gave me was incredibly helpful. For the most part, the feedback seemed to fall under one of two categories. Some students felt that there was too much focus on the backend implementation of the app and that I should have focused more on the frontend and artistic statement of the device. That probably happened because I was unsure about how I wanted the app to look and decided to fall back into a space where I was familiar and knew that I could get right, and that is something that I am actively trying to improve on. Some students felt that the idea of what I was trying to implement was somewhat confusing and seemed to go into too many different directions. For example, it was unclear whether I was trying to make a game or a user-hostile chatbot; I believe I was trying to create something at the intersection of those things, but the idea of what exactly I was trying to create was never fully clear. I think that for the most part, this confusion came from the fact that I had stumbled upon a relatively rich problem space and was unsure about what direction I wanted to take my project. I learned a lot from this project about how easily ideas can evolve while they are being brought to life, and how important it is to have a clear plan of attack before I finish the ideation step.
People were interested in the accidents that could result in the game play. I think human error and showing that through the UI is an important part of the experience.
People thought the emergent strategies of the game could be interesting.
Non matrixed representation by Michael Kirby was mentioned, which is a term in acting to refer to performers who do not do not do anything to reinforce the information or identification. When the performer is themselves and isn’t pretending, they are non-matrixed.
My online multiplayer world made of emojis received a lot of feedback. I’m most happy to learn about related things and people such as Battle Royal, Everything game, and Yung Jake.
I noticed that the two most frequent keywords used to describe the game are “humorous” and “violent”, which I find accurate.
I received comments about gameplay, such as accommodating more players, more explanation of what is going on, having ability to change clothes etc. I’m considering implementing many of the suggestions.
During the critique, people seem to enjoy playing it. I also found out that people could not distinguish which players were controlled by AI, until I pointed out that the AI’s have the robot face emoji as their heads. I wonder if this means that my program passed the Turing test.
From the feedback I received, I think it’s a good idea to
- make this an actual chrome extension! I was glad to hear people would want to use it.
- have the drawings continuously scroll rather than scroll down all at once. This allows a more scroll like flow, as well as better negotiates time differences between people.
- leave the drawing tools as is. I was originally planning on adding a text tool to add typed text, but the group’s discussion on how the screen feels more intimate when hand written makes me want to leave out the text tool.
- add an archive for old drawings. I hadn’t really thought through what would happen once you have an over abundance of navigation dots, so adding an archive beyond the last week or drawings sounds like a good move.
Thanks everyone who was in my group for the critique :~)
From my critique papers it seems people liked my project which was nice and pleasantly surprising. I got a lot of comments about the humor and specificity of it, and also lots of discussion on playing specific roles in relationships/conversation. I feel like this critique format isn’t great though because it feels like so much of the paper form thing is just describing the project, and without specific prompting for criticism I didn’t really get much of it or suggestions for changes.
The first thing I learned is that many of my classmates have terrible handwriting.
Kidding. More seriously, the feedback framed my vandalism cairn in a way I hadn’t expected while I was implementing it at 3AM right before the deadline. For one, many people referred to it as a game even though I hadn’t fully intended for it to be a game. People also emphasized the collaborative aspect much more than I had actually thought about during implementation. I also received useful execution feedback, such as technical things to fix, usability improvements, and further exploration of this idea.