Video prototype


The “Who’s that?” concept is to have a series of ambient, interactive displays which rotates profiles of North Quad residents in rich, attractive formats. Through blue-tooth presence detection and profile tags, the system will emphasize overlapping interests. If a users sees someone or something that interests them, they can interact through QR-code links to send messages, learn about interesting topics, or play an asynchronous game.

Video prototype

The goal of this prototype is to illustrate and contextualize our concept. Based on findings from our user-research, we developed 3 scenarios which depict (with some playful humor) plausible scenarios of user interaction.

Video prototype for the “Who’s That?” pervasive application from Morgan Keys on Vimeo.

Design Implications

QR Codes 

  • Help animation, quick tutorial?
Tag cloud 

  • Very evocative to users, important that it be dynamic
  • Will be important to decided how to measure tag importance

  • Option to not send message important
Personal vs non-personal 

  • May need to vary/shuffle these to avoid desensitization?
  • May depend on situation

Summary of pre-work

Needs Validation

Confirm the requirements that North Quad residents have for a system intended to help users meet one another.

Storyboard - Study Group

Sample scenario: finding a study group

Number of users: 4


  • Identify residents with similar professional goals for potential networking and collaboration
  • Identify residents who would be interested in engaging in specific activities of mutual interest
  • Identify residents to recruite for favorite student organizations
  • Identify residents who are in the same classes and interested in studying or completing homework together


  1. No Perfect Context: Trade-offs Must Be Made
    Locations like the laundry room, which are relatively private public spaces and in which users spend larger chunks of time also tend to be less frequently visited. Users also tend to be more preoccupied in such locations. Locations like the elevator lobby offer many more visits per day and no obvious preoccupations. But visits are extremely short and the very public nature of the location can inhibit behavior.
  2. Interaction Methods: Touch Screens More Natural but Logistically and Socially Problematic
    All users initially said that they would rather interact with the system via touch screen in order to avoid having to take their phones out of their pockets. However, those who reflected further on the issue identified prolonged interaction with another person’s profile as potentially socially awkward. Further, they recognized that it could be difficult to complete the interaction at the screen before the elevator arrived, and that they would abandon it if necessary.
  3. User Social Priorities Impact Perception of the System
    Users’ pre-existing interests and social priorities impacted their feelings about the different types of interactions that may be possible through the system. While some found the playfulness of the social games to be a fun way to meet new people with similar interests, others couldn’t imagine using the system to meet anyone other than potential study partners. Further, user interests influenced whether or not different types of visual content was attention getting or encouraged interaction.

User Enactments

Explore critical design issues identified through the needs validation process

Sample prototype

Number of users: 3


  • Sending a message
  • Linking to a webpage
  • Playing a game
  • Personal vs Interest photo


  1. All users were excited about dynamic cloud
  2. Organization of content has huge impact on ability of profile to grab attention
    • “Block content” gets less attention
    • Individual, “chunked” tags are better
  3. Games are very popular as casual distraction
  4. People noticed real contrast between “photo” profiles and “non-photo” profiles
    • Profiles without faces were hard to identify as profiles
    • Profiles with faces are more personable
    • Non-photo profiles stood out more as something different from club advertisements
    • Non-photo profiles must be interesting AND relevant – judgments are made
    • Some people would, but some people would not post profiles with photos
  5. People excited to track profile interactions, but were concerned about lack of popularity
  6. Users do not always want to contact the profile for the reasons that were called out in the calls to action
    • May use the QR codes to contact for totally different reasons
    • Potential conflict with needs of users who post profiles
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