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A PROCESS EXPOSED

KYLIE ABBOTT - 2009

MASTER OF INTERACTION DESIGN


HOGESCHOOL VOOR DE KUNSTEN UTRECHT
FACULTEIT KUNST, MEDIA & TECHNOLOGIE

BEGELEIDERS
JOERI LANGEVELD & NIELS FLOOR
C0NTENTS 3

Introduction 4
Research question 5
Definition and terminology 6

Part 1 Research in theory


1. A closer look at the assessment of intrinsic impacts
1.1 Hypotheses 11
1.2 Types of intrinsic impacts 12
1.3 Summary of the research findings 13

2. Towards a theory of online learning


2.1 Why the web? 15
2.2 4 Effective types of learning 16
2.3 The role of interaction in online learning 19

3. Henry Jenkins and learning through remixing 22

Part 2 Research in Practice


4.Strategy – User needs and site objective
4.1 Needs and user research 26
4.2 Twiekt Blog 29

5. Scope – Functional specifications and content requirement
5.1 Funtion specifications 34
5.2 Elements of the content 36
5.3 Scenarios 37

6. Structure – Interaction design


6.1 Language, controlled vocabulary and conceptual models 40
6.2 Error handling 41
6.3 Arrangement of content elements 41

7. Skeleton – Information design and interface design


7.1 Arrangement of interface elements for functionality 46
7.2 Description of navigation design 49
7.3 Wireframes 49

8. Surface – Visual design


8.1 Description of visual design choice 52

Summary and Conclusion 54


Bibliography 58
4

INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION 5

For my final masters project I propose to design a proof of concept for an


on line tool, Twiekt, that exposes creative processes. The initial drive for
the project was to develop a tool/platform that decreases the gap between a
performance and the audience. The aim of the tool is to show the elements
that make up a creative process in order to prepare a potential audience for
a performance experience. The idea is for the product to be a means by
which a potential audience can have a deeper understanding of a piece of
work resulting in a greater intrinsic impact.

The following paper looks at the research undertaken to help develop Twiekt.
The document is divided into two main parts. Part one covers the theoretical
research. This is where the theoretical foundation of the work is established.
In addition to looking at the research questions, it covers research regarding
intrinsic impacts of the arts and methods of online learning.

The first section helps to justify the tools purpose. It explains the way with
which the relationship between art and measurable degrees of intrinsic
impacts can be proven. Performing arts organisations are in the field
of transforming individuals and communities through arts experiences.
Gathering data on the intrinsic impacts of these experiences can be difficult
to measure. It could be construed that ticket sales and attendance figures
gauge success, however artistic missions of success are often defined in other
terms. One could consider it safe to say that audience attendance does not
relate to intrinsic impact.

In the early stages of this project the book Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts
of a Live Performance by Allan Brown and Jennifer Novack1, has been
referenced extensively as it attempts to define and measure how audiences
are transformed by a live performance. It develops a simple measurement
tool to assess impact, provides an analytical framework for considering the
results, and suggests how performing arts presenters might begin to use this
information to select programmes more purposefully and evaluate them on
the basis of impact instead of attendance.

1 Brown, A, Novak, J, Assessing the Intrinsic Impacts of Live Performance, Major University Presenters
Consortium, 2007
6 INTRODUCTION

The second part is a look at the practical research. By use of the five planes
of Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience model2, the document
breaks down the main components of the Twiekt tool in order to outline the
tool’s functions and design choices.

The purpose of the section is to have a closer look at the user experience
development process. The use of Garrett’s model is an aid to break down the
user experience into component elements to better understand the project.
These five planes include surface, skeleton, structure, scope and strategy.

Research Questions and Definitions

Before having entered into theoretical research and readings, the initial
research questions stemmed from a want to increase engagement. Intuition
suggested that if one was to have an increased understanding of a process,
this in turn would lead to a better understanding of the performance and thus
a deeper level of engagement in the work. Questions arose such as: How can
an art tool increase engagement? How can one measure engagement?

It soon became apparent that the research goal for the Twiekt project did not
have to show how it increases engagement or how to measure engagement.
Papers such as Brown and Novak’s had already done the preliminary study
regarding this. Their research had already laid the foundations that stated
that increased engagement is a given if a potential audience is prepared and
ready to receive. With regards to the outcome of the research results of Brown
and Novak’s hypotheses, the following question is posed:

Given that an individuals ‘readiness-to-receive’ a performance


has a measurable influence on intrinsic impacts, what design
choices would one make in order to develop a tool to prepare
a potential audience?

This question makes way for the project to focus on how to ‘prepare’ a
potential audience.

As a result of conversations and interviews with the members of the 3 main


user types; artists, teachers and students, the following questions arose:

How do you encourage artists/students/teachers to use the


tool?
2 Garrett, J..J, The Elements of User Experience: User-centered design for the web, AIGA, New York, 2003
INTRODUCTION 7

How can the artists and their groups be kept from being
misrepresented?

What are the practical goals and outcomes of this project?

What methods should the tool incorporate to prepare the


potential audience?

Is Twiekt a tool or a platform?

Is this an education tool or a learning tool?

What information interaction design methods should be


considered for the tools development?

Definitions and Terminology

The following list of definitions are used to help clarify certain key terms that
are regularly referred to throughout both parts of this document.

Artist someone who documents creative processes and


shares a creative vocabulary and dialogue.

Art Group consists of two or more artists who work on one or


more art projects.

Art Project is work and its process as created by an Art Group or


an Artist. An Art Project can include dance, theater,
installation, etc.

Assessment is given to grade and critic the students response to a


task

Blog space an open space for dialogue

Follow adding a person/group/project to your network


community that you then follow the activity of.

Profile users details

Potential audience is a person or group of people who may attend a live


performance.
8 INTRODUCTION

Response a response is when a student has chosen to partake in


a task activity

Readiness-to-receive when a potential audience has been exposed to an


element of the performance and has been somewhat
prepared for performance experience.

Search a search tool to look for keywords. Searches can be


specific or within categories such as artists, groups or
projects.

Student someone who responds to assigned tasks and is


assessed on their performance.

Tag key words that relate to your content

Task an exercise that incorporates engaging with or


remixing given creative content.

Teacher someone who forms one or more student groups and


provides tasks and gives assessment.
10

RESEARCH
IN THEORY
CHAPTER 1 ASSESSMENTS OF INTRINSIC IMPACTS 11

1.1 Hypotheses

The purpose of the study, as documented in the paper Assessing the Intrinsic
Impacts of Live Performance, was to build on previous research and theoretical
literature to empirically measure the short term benefits, on an individual
level, of being in the audience for a performing arts program. Brown and
Novak’s study explores pre-performance anticipation, expectations and
familiarity. The familiarity is also known as the individual’s ‘readiness-to-
receive’ the art.

In addition to demonstrating that intrinsic impacts can be measured and used


as evidence of impact in order to fulfil a mission, the work provokes discussion
about how this information might be used by presenters in understanding
the consequences of the way with which they make programming choices, in
turn enabling a higher level of effectiveness in their work.

For the purpose of the ‘Twiekt’ tool, two hypothesis explored and tested by
the study have been analysed:

1. Intrinsic impacts derived from attending a live performance can be


measured.

2. An individual’s ‘readiness-to-receive’ a performing arts experience


influences the nature and extent of impact.

Results from the study were quite intuitive and supported the first hypothesis,
that intrinsic impacts can in fact be measured. This provided the foundation
for the second hypothesis regarding ‘readiness-to-receive’. Results indicated
that engagement strategies prior to the performance proved as a means of
increasing anticipation and therefore the extent of a full range of intrinsic
impacts.3

Based on these hypotheses, Brown and Novak devise the following


equation:

3 Brown, A, Novak, J, pg 7
4 ibid., pg 22
12 CHAPTER 1 ASSESSMENTS OF INTRINSIC IMPACTS

1.2 Types of intrinsic impacts

Brown and Novak point out that they rejected the angle of producing a single
measure of impact. They were of the opinion that such a metric would lead
to an overly narrow interpretation of something that is inherently multi-
dimensional.5 So as to analyse both readiness and impact, the study outlines
the following key constructs.

Readiness Constructs:

λ Context Index

This index offers a composite picture of how much experience


and knowledge the individual has about the performance and the
performers.

λ Relevance Index

The Relevance index measures an individual’s comfort level with the


performance experience, or the extent to which they are in a familiar
situation, socially or culturally.

λ Anticipation Index

This index characterizes the individual’s psychological state


immediately prior to the performance along a continuum from low
expectations to high expectations.

Impact Constructs:

λ Captivation Index

The Captivation Index Characterizes the degree to which an individual


was engrossed and absorbed in the performance.

λ Intellectual Stimulation Index

This impact area encompasses several aspects of mental engagement,


including both personal and social dimensions, which together might
be characterized as ‘cognitive traction.’

λ Emotional Resonance Index

This index measures the intensity of emotional response, degree of


empathy with the performance and therapeutic value in an emotional
5 Brown, A, Novak, J, pg 9
CHAPTER 1 ASSESSMENTS OF INTRINSIC IMPACTS 13

sense.

λ Spiritual Value Index

This addresses an aspect of experience that goes beyond emotional/


intellectual engagement and assesses the extent to which
the respondent had a transcendent, inspiring or empowering
experience.

λ Aesthetic Growth Index

This indicator characterizes the extent to which an individual was


exposed to a new type of or style of art, or otherwise stretched
aesthetically by the performance.

λ Social Bonding Index

This index measures the extent to which the performance connected


the individual with others in the audience, allowed her to celebrate
her own cultural heritage or learn about cultures outside of her life
experience, and left her with new insight on human relations.6

For the purpose of the ‘Twiekt’ tool, these constructs for both readiness and
impact are taken into consideration when discussing the tool with possible
users. Some of the questions used in the studies surveys in regards to
the above constructs were used in, or inspired Twiekt interviews. This is
discussed further in part two when we look at the user and the needs of the
user.

1.3 Summary of the research findings

The report concludes by examining the relationships between the three


indicators of readiness-to-receive and the six indicators of intrinsic impact.
It is stated that of the three readiness indicators, the Anticipation Index has
the most explanatory power over all of the impact indices. Higher levels
of impact are reported by audience members who are focused, excited and
confident that they’ll enjoy the performance.

Of the six impacts, Anticipation was the most predictive of Captivation.


Brown and Novak surmise that it stands to reason that patrons who arrive in
6 Brown, A, Novak, J, pg 9
14 CHAPTER 1 ASSESSMENTS OF INTRINSIC IMPACTS

a highly anticipatory state of mind are more likely to lose track of time and be
drawn into the world of the performers.7

From the findings, the following points have been highlighted as it is considered
that they are the most applicable to the development of the ‘Twiekt’ tool.

λ The data suggests that presenters should focus on pre-performance


engagement strategies. This should result in higher levels of
anticipation before a performance. It is considered that such
engagement strategies are strongly indicated as means of increasing
anticipation, which leads to heightened levels of captivation and
therefore, a full range of impacts.

λ The research indicates that artists who are able to spend time in a
community prior to their performance (eg, a residency or advance site
visit), or who are able to participate virtually in an advance dialogue
with audience members prior to the performance, will contribute to
higher anticipation levels and ultimately, higher impact levels.

λ Results point to further integration of education objective into


core programming. Consideration should be given to expanding
efforts to provide audience members with context in advance of the
performance.

λ It is considered that as an outcome, Aesthetic Growth may be


achieved by programming new or challenging works for audiences or
by attracting new or infrequent attendees to artists and works that are
relatively unfamiliar to them.8

Given Brown and Novak’s research and their findings, one is lead to believe
that there is room in the realm of arts education for a learning tool such as
Twiekt. The research encourages educating a potential audience in regards
to context and content via pre-performance engagement strategies.

7 Brown, A, Novak, J, pg 9

8 ibid., pg 21
CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING 15

The main focus of the Twiekt project is to place a potential audience member
into a state of ‘readiness-to-receive’. In order to accomplish this Twiekt has
honed in on 3 main user types: artist, teacher and student. The artist is the
individual or collective that creates the performance experience, the teacher
prepares the potential audience, highlighting aspects of process and creative
dialogue and the student is construed as the potential audience member.

A look at potential theories of online learning9 have been considered in


the designing of the Twiekt tool. The following chapter outlines the core
components of Terry Anderson’s Toward a Theory of Online Learning, and
the ways with which his theory can be applied to the design of Twiekt.

2.1 Why the web?

The most basic answer to the above question would be that access to the web
is now nearly ubiquitous in developed countries.10 In 2007, the percentage
of households with access to a home computer with internet ranged from
89.1% (Iceland) to 12.2% (Turkey) and Australia at 75%. During 2007, Korea
reported the highest penetration of household Internet access (94.1%), while
the European Union average was 56.0%.11 These figures increase yearly.

The web provides access to educational experiences that are flexible in


time and in space. Access is growing, not only in regards to technology but
also to an ever growing body of content. For example, scholarly journals,
educational objects, educational discussion lists, courses, etc. In addition
to context defined by text based content it also supports all forms of media.
Video streaming, audio and video conferencing and virtual worlds are readily
available for educational use.

Further, in regards to the web’s built in capacity for hyperlinking, students


are able to create their own learning paths through content that is
formatted with hypertext links. This type of learning has been likened to
constructivist instructional design theory that stresses individual discovery
and construction

9 Anderson, T, The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Second Edition, AU Press, Edmonton, 2008, pg 3
10 ibid., pg 41
11 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Households Use of Information Technology 2007-2008, cat. no. 8146.0,
retrieved 25 July 2009, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0
16 CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING

of knowledge.12

As outlined by Anderson13, education is not only about access to content.


However, the greatest affordance of the web for educational use is the
profound and multifaceted increase in communication and interaction
capacity that is provides.

2.2 Four effective types of learning

To help understand and define learning in a general sense, the 4 effective


types of learning, as documented by Bransford, Brown and Cocking are
outlined14.

Learner Centered
It is considered that a learner-centered context is not one in which the
quirks and peculiarities of individual learners are more uniquely catered to.
Rather, learner-centered learning includes awareness of the unique cognitive
structures and understandings that the learners bring to the learning context.
Henceforth, a teacher makes efforts to gain an understanding of students
pre-existing knowledge, including any misconceptions that the learner
12 Jonassen, D, Evaluating Constructivist Learning. Educational Technology, University of Colorado,1991, pg 28-
33
13 ibid., pg 42
14 Bransford, J. D, How People Learn: Brain Mind, Experience and School, National Academy Press, Washington,
2000
CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING 17

starts with in their construction of new knowledge. Further, the learning


environment respects and accommodates the particular cultural attributes,
especially language and particular forms of expression, that the learner uses
to interpret and build knowledge.

One is of the opinion that the Twiekt environment accommodates the


learner-centered learning context. The tool provides the framework by
which a teacher can introduce incentive and opportunity for students to
share their understandings, their culture and unique aspects of themselves.
Twiekt is able to do so via a number of functions, for example, all users have
the possibility to build a profile. The profile is a chance to introduce and
represent yourself in a most general manner; a picture, a brief description,
cultural background, expressions of interest. Twiekt provides the teacher
with the function of creating tasks. This enables the teacher to establish more
specific virtual icebreakers. Twiekt also has a blog space that can further
provide opportunity for expression of issues or concerns to the teacher and
the class.

Knowledge Centered
Generalized thinking skills and techniques are useless outside of a particular
knowledge domain. According to Bransford et al.15, effective learning is
both defined and bounded by the epistemology, language and context of
disciplinary thought. Every discipline or field of study contains a world
view that provides often unique ways of understanding and talking about
knowledge. It is considered that students need opportunities to experience
this discourse. Further they also need opportunities to reflect upon their
own thinking in order to transfer knowledge to an unfamiliar context or to
develop new knowledge structures.

Twiekt, being a tool that exposes creative processes of art projects is quite
specific in terms of working within a discipline or field that possesses its own
language and context of disciplinary thought. Via engagement through a
given task, following hyperlinks through artists pages or direct contact with
art groups and art projects, students have the opportunity to experience the
discourse related to these projects. It exposes them to quite specific vocabulary
regarding the art forms. Furthermore whether it be via the contact with the
artists or by responding to a task, reflection is a key component to the design
15 Anderson, T, pg 37
18 CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING

of Twiekt.

Assessment Centered
The third perspective on learning environments is the necessity for them to
be assessment centered.16 In support of this the theorists look to formative
evaluation that serves to motivate, inform and provide feedback to both
learners and teachers. It is considered by Anderson that quality online
learning provides many opportunities for assessment: not only opportunities
that involve the teacher, but also ones that exploit the influence and expertise
of peers and those that encourage learners to assess their own learning
reflectively.17

As it is a potential danger of assessment-centered learning systems to increase


the workload demanded of online teachers Anderson provides suggestions
for tools that provide assessment without increased teacher participation:
λ online computer-marked assessment that extend beyond quizzes to
simulation exercises, virtual labs, and other automated assessments
of active student learning
λ collaborative learning environments that students create to document
and assess their own learning virtual groups
λ student agents who facilitate and monitor peer activities to allow
students to asses and aid each other informally18

Twiekt provides assessment functions for the critiquing of tasks. Additionally


it supports the ability for collaboration and group projects. Via this
collaboration, students are able to monitor peer activities, assessing and
aiding the work of their fellow students. Furthermore, the blogging space and
comment functions open themselves to being tools for dialogue, engagement
and group reflection.

Community Centered
Anderson states that the community-centered lens allows us to include the
critical social component of learning in our online learning designs. Here
we find popular concepts of social cognition to be relevant as we consider
how students can work together in an online learning context to create new

16 Anderson, T, pg 37
17 ibid., pg 38
18 ob.cit., 39
CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING 19

knowledge collaboratively.19 It is considered that a learning community both


support and challenge each other, leading to effective and relevant knowledge
construction. Furthermore it has been described that participants in online
communities are having a shared sence of belonging, trust, expectation
of learning and commitment to participate and to contribute to the
community.

2.3 The role of interaction in Online Learning

This chapter looks at the types of learning interactions: student-student,


student-teacher, student-content, teacher-teacher, teacher-content, content-
content.20
Interaction is looked at along the vain of Wagner’s21 definition of interaction:
‘reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions
occur when these objects and events mutually influence on another’.

19 Anderson, T, pg 39
20 ibid., pg 47
21 Wagner, E. D., In support of a functional definition of interaction. The American Journal of Distance
Education, vol. 8, no. 2, 1994, pg 6-29,
20 CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING

Student-student Interaction
Modern constructivist theorists highlight the value of peer-to-peer interaction
in investigating and developing multiple perspectives. Work on collaborative
learning illustrates potential gains in cognitive learning tasks, as well as
increases in completion rates and the attainment of critical social skills in
education.

Student-teacher Interaction
A large number of varieties and formats of communication such as text,
audio and video support the student-teacher interaction in online learning.
The facility of so much communications leads many new teachers to be
overwhelmed by the quantity to student communications and by the rise in
students expectations for immediate response.

Student-content Interaction
Student-content interaction has always been a predominant component
of formal education. The web supports passive forms of student-
content interaction as well as a variety of new opportunities, such as
microenvironments, exercises in virtual labs, online computer assisted
tutorials, etc.

Teacher-teacher Interaction
The teacher-teacher interaction creates the opportunity for professional
development and support that sustains teachers through communities of
like-minded colleagues. These interactions also encourage teachers to take
advantage of knowledge growth and discovery in their own subject and within
the scholarly community of teachers.

Teacher-content Interaction
Teacher-content interaction focuses on the creation of content and learning
activities by teachers. In the case of Twiekt, it also refers to the interaction
between the teacher and artist and the work of the artist, as this is the main
body of content for the tool. Further, this interaction allows teachers to
continuously monitor and update the content resources and activities that
they create for the student learning.

Content-content Interaction
According to Anderson, content-content interaction is a newly developing
CHAPTER 2 TOWARDS A THEORY OF ONLINE LEARNING 21

mode of education interaction in which content is programmed to interact


with other automated information sources, so as to refresh itself constantly,
and to aquire to capabilities. Again, in the case of Twiekt, the main body of the
content is that of the artists, they are responsible for how updated they keep
their content, how it is that they assert control over the rights of their work
and how it is that they represent themselves and their work. Furthermore on
an abstract level they and fellow artists can engage with each others content
and also take advantage of knowledge growth and discovery in their fields.
22 CHAPTER 3 HENRY JENKINS AND LEARNING THROUGH REMIXING

The following part of this document is added to highlight the ways with
which the ‘Twieking/tweaking’ element is used in other projects. The
chapter is written from the view point of Henry Jenkins, director of the
MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and Peter de Florez Professor of
Humanities. He is also an author/editor of books on various aspects of media
and popular culture.
Henry Jenkins claims that according to a 2005 study conducted by the Pew
Internet & American Life Project, 57 percent of American teens who use the
internet could be considered media creators. He outlines that for the purpose
of the study, a media creator was defined as someone who “created a blog or
webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or
remixed online content into their own new creations.” Most American teens
online have done two or more of these activities. 33 percent of teens share
what they create online with others. 19 percent create new works by remixing
content they appropriated from another source.22

It is thought that remixing, being one of the core components of Twiekt,


enables participation, and thus encourages creativity, ownership, and
collaboration. Henry Jenkins believes that it is beneficial for contemporary
projects to embrace a hands-on approach to contemporary and classical
media materials as a means of getting young people to think critically about
their own roles as future media producers and consumers. It is considered
that artists build on, take inspiration from, appropriate and transform other
artist’s work: they do so by tapping into a cultural tradition or deploying the
conventions of a particular genre. Beginning artists undergo an apprenticeship
phase during which they try on for size the styles and techniques of other
more established artists.

Renee Hobbs, professor of Broadcasting, Telecommunication and Mass


Media is documented stating:

“The whole idea of helping kids play with remix to learn media
literacy lessons is the delight of discovering those shifts in
meaning that result from juxtaposition and recontextualization.
You shouldn’t have to wait until you’re an undergraduate …This
is something that can be introduced even to children 10, 11, and
12. ”23

22 Jenkins, H, Learning Through Remixing, retrieved 27 July 2009, http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2006/07/


learning-by-remixing194.html
23 MIT World; Distributed Intelligence, Learning Through Remixing, retrieved 27 July 2009, http://mitworld.
mit.edu/video/474
CHAPTER 3 HENRY JENKINS AND LEARNING THROUGH REMIXING 23

Two examples of new experiments which involve students sampling and


remixing in order to develop better media literacy skills include:

My Pop Studio
The site targets late primary school and early high school aged girls,
encouraging them to reflect more deeply about some of the media they
consume -- pop music, reality television, celebrity magazines, etc, by
stepping into the role of media producers. The site offers a range of engaging
activities such as designing your own animated pop star and scripting their
next sensation, re-editing footage for a reality television show, designing the
layout for a teen magazine. Further, they are asked to reflect on the messages
the media offers about what it is like to be a teenage girl today and to think
about the economic factors shaping the culture that has become so much a
part of their everyday interactions with their friends.

Huck Finn Goes to LA


Artist and filmmaker Juan Devis has been working with the University of
Southern California Film School, the Institute for Media Literacy, and
the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, on a project which will eventually
have minority youth developing an online game based on Mark Twain’s
Huckleberry Finn. During the first stages of the project, he has worked with
the youth to heighten their awareness of the social and cultural space of their
own local community -- a project which involves producing maps of their own
neighbourhoods, their landmarks, and the paths they take through them. It
is explained that in an online discussion of these maps, “Rather than playing
someone else’s p.o.v. in a mass-produced video game, they’re telling their
own stories and mapping their own worlds. In becoming makers of media
that matters - to them and I hope to you -- they just might access in their
own lives the transformative promise of control that digital culture often sells
to us in its slick and shiny packaging.”24 The youth build on these maps in
the second phase of their project when they relocate Huck, Jim, and Tom’s
adventures into contemporary California.
24 Jenkins, H.
24

RESEARCH
IN PRACTICE
25

Elements of User Experience

Part two of this paper looks at the practical research by using the five planes of
Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience model25. So as to analyse
the user experience process the use of Garrett’s model is an aid that breaks
down the user experience into component elements to better understand
the project. These five planes include surface, skeleton, structure, scope and
strategy.

Garrett’s work was recommended towards the end of the project to assist with
a terminology issue. Thus the model was not used as a guide for designing
the ‘Twiekt’ tool in a step by step manner, as is suggested by the work.
However, the book reflected the intuitive working approach I had taken
whilst designing ‘Twiekt’. The model and book has a style and language that
is clear and succinct, therefore it was decided that the model would be used
to frame the approach of the practical research.

25 Garett, J.J, pg 30
26 CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES

4.1 Needs, user research, user segmentation

Project Objectives
In very general terms the initial goal of the project was to create a proof of
concept for an ‘education’ tool to help educate or inform a potential audience
about the arts. It was apparent that given the time frame and with a 1 person
team, it would be difficult to push the project beyond proof of concept. Very
early in the planning it was clear that there would be no programming and no
great attention to graphic design.

In terms of identity, the project is entitled ‘Twiekt’. The work ‘Twiekt’ is a


play on the word ‘Tweaked’, meaning to adjust, pinch, pull or to make fun
of. It would be hoped that the outcome of the proof of concept would reflect
these qualities.

Users and their needs


‘Twiekt’ has 3 different user types: artist, teacher and student. Each user has
a different need for the product.

Artist may produce work


as part of a group or may
work solo and document
creative processes that
are posted to the ‘Twiekt’
site. The artist may also
be working under the
banner of an organisation
that produces work
specifically for the
purpose of educating
children in the arts.
CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES 27

Teacher is a general term for those whose responsibility it is to guide/direct


the student to certain area’s of ‘Twiekt’ and provide the framework for the
learning. The teacher may be a teacher within a school or may be a person
that works in the education department of a creative group.

The student is the potential audience member. He/she is the participant who
uses Twiekt in order to be ‘prepared’ for the performance experience. Age
group 10-16.

User interviews and research


An initial step taken to get to know the users and the field was to conduct
interviews. The interviews were approached where the interviewees were
informed of the basic idea of the tool and shown the bellow diagram so as to
give an idea of how the tool would work.


28 CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES

Interviews were conducted with people such as the organiser of education


arts activities for Yo! Opera, marketing and publicity organiser for Yo!
Opera, education co-ordinator of MC theatre group and the project leader of
Theaterwetenschap Universiteit van Amsterdam’s project theaterland.nl.

Interesting points that came from these interviews are as follows:


λ The theatre companies were looking for ways to make their processes
as transparent as possible for the sake of education.
λ The opera group wanted to make art that was accessible to the
community without it becoming ‘community art’. They wanted to
find a way of maintaining a high level of artistic integrity.
λ They wanted to find ways of taking advantage of web 2.0.
λ Those working in education roles for art companies wanted to find a
way that would encourage their artists to create posts and document
their processes and material.
λ It was important for the theatre companies to not have their
identities misinterpreted. They want to use the web, but are scared of
misrepresentation.

It was considered necessary to find out what types of education software is


being used at the schools. It was discovered that schools in the Netherlands
used either Moodle or Studywiz. An interview with the IT co-ordinator of the
American International School Rotterdam resulted in the following points:
λ The school had used Studywiz for 3 years and this is the first year that
it has been used for all year levels and all subjects.
λ There were differing levels of technical comfort for the teachers and
he had seen a shift in the teaching learning curve in the last year.
λ Students could use the software in the school labs or at home.
λ Students embraced Studywiz, particularly middle school. He
mentioned 6th graders that pushed teachers for more extensive use.

In terms of found information regarding web use for teenagers, the Nielsen
Norman Group Report has been referenced. It summarizes that, when using
websites, teenagers have a lower success rate than adults and they’re also
easily bored. To work for teens, websites must be simple -- but not childish
-- and supply plenty of interactive features.26

26 Nielsen, J, Usability of Websites for Teenagers, Nielsen Norman Group Report, retrieved 15 January 2009,
http://www.nngroup.com/reports/teens/
CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES 29

4.2 Twiekt Blog

In the early phase of the project I built up a ‘Twiekt’ blog to be used as a rough
prototype of the concept. The blog allowed me to simulate the experience of
the product that was intended to be designed. Through the use of the blog
I gathered 3 different artists and encouraged external people to read and
respond to the blog posts made by the artists. In addition to basic dialogue
(ie: post>comment), the artists were encouraged to add posts that outlined
tasks that they had given themselves and propose that the blog viewers
participated in the tasks.

The screen shots on the following pages show two different examples of
artists creating tasks for potential audiences that are based on tasks that they
had given themselves during their own processes.

The first is from Kudde’s performance 3xSuzy. 3XSuzy is about Identity


and in their research they search for the identity of the many facets of Suzy.
Kudde thus poses the question:

If you hear the name Suzy, how do you think this person looks? Where does
she come from? What is her favorite food? What is her profession? How old
is she? What does she find horrible and dreadful?

The second example from Kudde relates to the way the artists attempted to
hide their identity:

Take a photo of yourself where you have hidden something essential of your
self. Make the photo so that your identity is no longer visible.
Describe this essential part of yourself, and why you think this invisible
element represents your identity.
30 CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES
CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES 31
32 CHAPTER 4 STRATEGY - USER NEEDS AND SITE OBJECTIVES

In addition the blog linked to other on line platforms such as Sound Cloud,
an on line audio platform that lets music professionals and amateurs receive,
send & distribute their music and Jumpcut, an on line video editing tool.

The blog was not the most ideal medium, as blogs are quite generally known
as a one directional, diary-like, means of sharing information, however it
served a purpose as it was readily available, and avoided having to program a
more specific content management system. This gave me the chance to work
with artists, teachers, school students and other potential audience members.
Furthermore it gave insight into opinions regarding process sharing and
technical abilities of potential users.
34 CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT

5.1 Functional Specifications

General
λ Artists and teachers create accounts specific for their role as either artist
or teacher. Any artist or teacher can create an account autonomously
or be invited/recommended by a fellow artist or teacher.
λ Students are invited to create an account by their teacher. A student
cannot autonomously create an account, as the student is always
connected to a class group.
λ Only account members can browse and search ‘Twiekt’ pages.
λ Members can build social communities within ‘Twiekt’. It is considered
this provides encouragement and support, a possibility to establish
identity with others, provide outlet to establish needs for recognition,
and to establish friends and opportunities to interact with others.
λ Members have multiple means of communication. Private messages,
public wall posts and comments.

Artist
λ The site enables the artist to build up an editable profile. Information
and a photograph can be added. It would be ideal to have the
possibility of customization/skinning for a more personalized page.
By means of customization, adding elements that further represent
their work, group or project, the user has the potential to develop a
deeper level of ownership for his/her page.
λ The artist can create Art Groups and can invite members of the group.
They can also be invited to be a member of a group.
λ The artist can create Art Projects and invite members of the project.
They can also be invited to be a member of a project.
λ The artist that creates the Art Group and the Art Projects carries the
role of administrator and has final editing control over the pages.
λ The artist that creates the Art Project has the option of creating
a process timeline that outlines stages of the process with a time
frame.
λ The site offers the artist a blog space to create posts and upload
content.
λ The artist has the option of sharing his content with members outside
of the ‘Twiekt’ community via an embedding option or by sending
them a public link.
CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT 35

λ Within the blog post editor there is a tip function that can be switched off
that encourages hyperlinking and posts that include content other than text,
such as video, audio, image.
λ Site uploads functions include video, audio, image and text.
λ Artists are notified when their work or work from their Art Group or Art
Project has been ‘Twiekt’ by a student.
λ Search functions include options to search by tag, artist, group or project.

Teacher
λ Members with a teacher account are able to create and manage class groups
consisting of invited students.
λ The site allows teachers to flag content of the artists. This content includes
video, audio, image and text.
λ The site offers the teachers a blog space to create posts and upload content.
λ Within the blog post editor there is a tip function that can be switched off
that encourages hyperlinking and posts that include content other than text,
such as video, audio, image.
λ The site enables teachers to create tasks that are assigned to student class
groups. The tasks can have the option of containing content that has been
flagged. The task creator also has the option of selecting from a set of tools,
eg: video editor, audio editor, image editor.
λ The teacher has the possibility to grade/assess the student responses to the
tasks. The grading function also has the possibility of being made private
or public.
λ The site enables the teacher to build up an editable profile. Information and
a photograph can be added.
λ Search functions include options to search by tag, artist, group or project.

Student
λ Students are invited via email by a teacher to create a student ‘Twiekt’
account. The student is assigned to a class group by the teacher.
λ The site enables the student to build up an editable profile. Information and
a photograph can be added.
λ The site offers the student a blog space to create posts and upload content.
λ Within the blog post editor there is a tip function that can be switched off
that encourages hyperlinking and posts that include content other than text,
such as video, audio, image.
λ The site allows student to flag content of the artists. This content includes
36 CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT

video, audio, image and text


λ The student has the possibility to respond to tasks assigned by the
teacher to his/her class group.
The student has the option of sharing his final ‘Twiekt’ content with
members outside of the ‘Twiekt’ community via an embedding option
or by sending them a public link.
λ Search functions include options to search by tag, artist, group or
project.

5.2 Elements of the content

Content is built up by the users of the site, within the framework of the site.
The content is built in 3 general phases.

The main body of content is created by the artists and their coinciding groups
and projects. This group uses ‘Twiekt’ to document creative processes and
initiate dialogue regarding the processes. In addition to text, documentation
of the processes can take form in various content types such as video, audio
and image.

In general terms, the next phase for the content is for it to be referenced by the
teacher. The teacher can guide the student through the content highlighting
elements such as terminology, vocabulary or concepts. The teacher also has
the opportunity to create content that could further build on the concepts
introduced by the artist. Similar content can be linked to each other within
‘Twiekt’ for easy referencing. In addition the content created by the artists
can be used as impetus for the teacher to build on when creating tasks for the
students.

Lastly, the students build up content as a result of responding to tasks. Task


responses can be in the form of text, audio, video or image. This content
is posted on the students personal ‘Twiekt’ page, but can also be shared
with other ‘Twiekt’ users or, if desired, with people beyond the ‘Twiekt’
community. Furthermore, the student has the opportunity to build up
independent content on his personal page, that is not task related.
CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT 37

5.3 Scenarios

The following scenario’s have been used help explain the potential needs of
the user and the requirements of the site.

Jon the Artist


Jon is a musician, composer and sound designer. He is an artist that is
involved in projects that share their processes with potential audiences.
Jon has a Twiekt artist account. On his Twiekt account Jon can highlight his
role as an artist. He outlines a description of his working style, inspirations
and aspirations. He can upload an image that represents him as an artist and
can also build a network.

Jon uses his home page as a blog. This is where he can discuss topics of
interest and engage in dialogue regarding the art world.

At present Jon is working with a group called World Movement Dance Co.
World Movement Dance Co has a dance project called Walk of Time. The
project is about Identity. The choreographer has sent Jon a message to ask
him to create an audio piece that reflects the identity of the dancers and to
document this on the Walk of Time project page.

Whilst spending some time in the dance studio with the dancers, Jon
improvises with several sound effects. He films this process, uploads the
video footage to ‘Twiekt’ and discusses the experience.

His fellow collaborators from the project give feedback on the documentation
and a dialog begins.

Two days later, Jon receives an announcement that his footage has been
Twiekt by Sander, a 12 year old music student. Jon leaves a comment about
Sander’s work and adds him to his network.
38 CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT

Nancy the Teacher


Nancy is a high school music teacher and has 3 1st year High School class
groups. Nancy has a Twiekt teacher account and invites her students to
create ‘Twiekt’ student accounts.

Nancy often uses ‘Twiekt’ to look for artists and content that she can use as
part of her curriculum. When Nancy finds content that she would like to use,
she flags it. Flagging the content helps her to retrieve the material when she
needs it.

For example Nancy chooses to create a task for her students. She gives the
task a name, “Context and the effect of sound”. She selects the content from
her flagged material. She provides the instructions. “Remix the video footage
with different audio and discuss the effect this has on the context of the body
of work.” She then chooses her Twieking tool, ‘Video editor’ and selects her
student groups that will receive the task. Before submitting she tags the task
with a few simple keywords, ‘context, sound design, dance, video’.

When students have responded to the tasks, Nancy is notified and is then
able to assess their responses. Nancy can also see an overview of the students
results and monitor their performance.

Sander the Student


Sander is a high school student and received an invitation email from his
High School music teacher to create a Twiekt student account. He creates the
account and fills in his profile details and adds a picture of himself.

When sander receives a new Twiekt task from his teacher it shows in his
Inbox. Sander is able to instantly make a response to the assigned task.

For example, his teacher has asked him to “Remix the video footage with
different audio and discuss the effect this has on the context of the body of
work.”

First Sander watches the video and has a look at the project page where the
video came from. Sander finds inspiration in the project. He then leaves the
computer to use the school music room to create a piece of audio. He then
CHAPTER 5 SCOPE - FUNCTIONS AND CONTENT 39

uploads the audio to his ‘Twiekt’ task and mixes the audio with the video.
He adds a title and short description of his work, “In the original work there
was a lot of breathing, I decided to focus more on the sound of the physical
movement.” Sander then submits his work.

One day later his teacher sends his results and gives him feedback on his
response. Sander then shares the work with his network.

Two days later, Sander receives a comment on the remixed video by the
original artist. He looks at the profile and the work of the artist and adds him
to his network.
40 CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURE - INTERACTION DESIGN

6.1 Language, controlled vocabulary and conceptual models

Language that has been chosen for ‘Twiekt’ stems from similar systems of
nomenclature as used by Facebook and Blogger. This has been decided
upon based on the fact that the potential users of ‘Twiekt’ have shown to
be familiar with such constructs. Furthermore, vocabulary has been kept to
a minimum and as simple as possible, avoiding metaphors and real world
analogues, as all three users, on average, do not have high levels of comfort
with technology.

Examples of terms:

Home
Inbox
Log In > Log Out
Create Post
Comment
Submit
Add to Network

One term used that was not completely understood by artists was ‘flag’. It
was also discovered that some artists also were not aware of other similar
online constructs such as ‘Bookmarking’. To over come this a help function
will be placed next to the term.

More unique vocabulary used for the ‘Twiekt’ site include:


Create Task task being a common term used for giving an exercise
or activity to partake in.
Respond is a clear term that initiates the interaction with a
task.
Twiekt tasks this term refers to tasks that have been altered or
remixed.

The term ‘Twiekt’ is found regularly in orer to maintain the ‘feel’ of the site
and to keep implying that the site focuses on tweaking and remixing material
and content.
CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURE - INTERACTION DESIGN 41

6.2 Error Handling

Most content that is created in ‘Twiekt’ is made through a content editor. As


a means of avoiding errors, ‘Twiekt’ is designed so as to not allow submission
of content until all fields have been filled in. For example:
λ When posting content to blog pages there must be a post title and all
content (video, audio, image) must be titled. This is to ensure that
when the content is flagged there is a title reference.
λ When creating a task, the task cannot be submitted until all categories
are fulfilled; task title, selection of groups, etc.

6.3 Arrangement of content elements

When looking at the arrangement of content elements for ‘Twiekt’ it has been
approached in a way where the structure is divided into 3 main parts: artist,
teacher, student. The architectural structure chosen for each node group is
hierarchical. Each flow chart starts from the point of user login.

The following pages contain examples of the flow charts used in the process
of developing ‘Twiekt’.
42 CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURE - INTERACTION DESIGN

Artist
CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURE - INTERACTION DESIGN 43

Teacher
44 CHAPTER 6 STRUCTURE - INTERACTION DESIGN

Student

46 CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN

7.1 Arrangement of interface elements for functionality

Checkboxes
Checkboxes are used when there are lists of options and the user may select
any number of choices . Thus checking one box doesn’t uncheck the others.
Check boxes are also used when the choice stands alone.

For example:

λ Selecting editor tool in the task creator window
λ Choosing to make task responses public or not
λ Choosing to create a process timeline

Radio buttons
Radio buttons are used when there is a list of two or more options that are
mutually exclusive and the user must select exactly one choice. Clicking a
non-selected radio button will deselect whatever other button was previously
selected in the list.

For example:

λ Creating an account as
a teacher or artist
CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN 47

Text fields
The text fields are are used to allow
‘Twiekt’ to use the text that the user
provides.

Dropdown lists
Dropdown lists provide the same function as the radio buttons, however
they do so in a more compact space. Thus, they are used for the following
functions:

λ Giving grades to task responses

λ Selecting project pages from the group page


48 CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN

List boxes
List boxes provide the same functionality as checkboxes, but they do so in a
more compact way. Thus they have been used for the following functions:

λ When selecting content whilst creating a task, more than one piece of
content can be selected.
λ When selecting class groups to receive a task, more than one class
group can be selected.

Action buttons
A number of different action buttons are
used in ‘Twiekt’. The main buttons that
are specific to ‘Twiekt’ include:

Popup windows
Popup windows are used for different
purposes.
λ Displaying help options
λ Creating Groups/Projects/Class
Groups
λ Creating Posts
λ Creating tasks

The popup windows are considered useful as they reinforce that a new
window has been opened and that content is added or changes are made on
closing of the window.
CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN 49

7.2 Description of navigation design

Tabs
A tabbed document interface has been chosen for ‘Twiekt’ as it allows multiple
documents to be contained within a single window by using tabs to navigate
between them. As opposed to a system that navigates away from the main
user page, I consider this a more efficient way to organize the information as
it provides an intuitive means of navigating.

‘Twiekt’s’ main navigating tab feature comprises of two components, primary


and secondary tab bar. When a tab is active, it connects with it’s associated
secondary navigation. ‘Twiekt’ highlights active secondary level navigation
to help prevent users from getting lost in large numbers of categories.

‘Twiekt’ comprises of an online community. The user is able to organize


friends into user defined groups or depending on the user type, they are
automatically grouped accordingly:

7.3 Wireframes
On the following pages are selected wireframes that outline the navigational
specifications and highlighting the composition of ‘Twiekt’.
50 CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN

Home view
CHAPTER 7 SKELETON - INFORMATION DESIGN 51
Project page view
52 CHAPTER 8 SURFACE - VISUAL DESIGN

8.1 Description of visual design choice

As stated in the Project Objectives at the beginning of Part 2 of this document,


the main goal of this project was to create a proof on concept. Thus, for the
purpose of this project, ‘Twiekt’ is very minimally designed. As the desire
is to present the work in a state that is not simply wire frames, very basic
choices were made. The following outlines those choices.

Colour palette
Colour palette is made up of shades of grey. Colour was deliberately avoided
as there are such strong associations with colour and the product is not
designed for such connections.

Typography
A certain level of identity was developed through a ‘Twiekt’ logo. The logo
used the type font Alpha Fridge Magnets. This was selected for the logo as it
had a playful look and coincided with the feeling of ‘Twiekt’. In addition with
using this logo for the blog, it was also used in communication material when
dealing with artists, teachers and students during the research phases. This
helpep them to recognize the ‘Twiekt’ Project. All other text is Myraid Pro.27

27 Research indicates that Myraid Pro is not considered web safe, and thus for further development of ‘Twiekt’
this font is not recommended.
CHAPTER 8 SURFACE - VISUAL DESIGN 53

Buttons and tabs


During the process of developing ‘Twiekt’ it has been argued that if one is not
to add a surface plane, than it should be consistent by not including shaped
buttons and curved tabs. I have decided to go against this argument for the
sake of communication. This project aims to reach potential users that are
not experienced interaction designers and would find it difficult to read a
basic wireframe, particularly in the case of the action buttons. By giving it a
raised appearance and curved edges it communicates quickly and clearly that
it is a command button.
54

CONCLUSION
CONCLUSION 55

This paper is a discussion of both theoretical and practical research practices


that have been undertaken to assist design choices in order to develop an
online learning tool. The main goal of this learning tool is to result in the
preparation of a potential audience and the main question at hand is as
follows:

Given that an individuals ‘readiness-to-receive’ a performance has a


measurable influence on intrinsic impacts, what design choices would one
make in order to develop a tool to prepare a potential audience?

In terms of theory, the foundation was laid by the support of Novak and
Brown’s paper where one could conclude that a)intrinsic impacts can be
measured and b)that an individuals ‘readiness-to-receive’ a performing arts
experience influences the nature and extent of impact. The idea’s of Jenkins,
regarding learning through remixing, have been incorporated when thinking
of application features to be included in the tool. Further more the learning
is considered in terms of educational activities that take advantage of the
accessibility of the web and create learning-, knowledge-, assessment-, and
community-centered educational experiences. One feels it necessary to point
out, that although ‘Twiekt’ provides a framework for learning, there is always
a need for the teachers to have an understanding of learning theories in order
to use the tool to its fullest capacity.

From the user research two main points surfaced that were significant when
it came to making design choices for ‘Twiekt’. Firstly, the need and want to
make creative processes more transparent. Secondly, a desire to make art for
the community without it becoming community art.

‘Twiekt’ has been designed to provide a space to share and distribute


elements of creative processes. This can be accomplished via mediums such
as video, audio, image and text. It allows for dialogue to be instigated around
the content and for tasks to be developed for further engagement. All these
functions open up the creative process, exposing its components, dialogue
and vocabulary. Further, it is considered that by exposing these process
elements, the learner or potential audience will have a better understanding
of the work with which the documentation refers to. It can be construed that
the art then becomes more accessible to the community and the creators of the
art do not have to jeopardise artistic integrity in order for a potential audience
56 CONCLUSION

to understand the body of work. Thus, making art for the community and not
making community art.

On a practical level, this project has proven to be an expression of an idea, or


proof of concept. It is by no means a finished product. It is considered that
given more time and the opportunity to execute more extensive user testing
with all 3 user groups it would prove beneficial to the future of this product.
Meanwhile, however, it is hoped that with such foundation in research, this
could lead towards a tool that opens up the arts and its processes to potential
audiences. By means of sharing its vocabulary and making the work more
accessible it would undoubtedly result in an audience that is ready to
receive.
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