Live high fidelity mockup of our design response.
MISSile
STATUS      Winter 2019 – 9 weeks 
PROJECT    Research Design + Physical Prototyping 

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MY ROLE   Research, Interaction + Visual Design, Prototyping, and Documentation. 
TEAM         Amixa-Ray Calzado, Sean Fudenna, Ashmeet Saggu, & Annie Vuong
PROJECT OVERVIEW
Friends shift in and out of our lives, but those bonds we hold dear still live in our minds. We often wonder about their well-being and what they have been up to. We try to keep in touch through social media, be there digitally, and catch up with limited communication. Those communications eventually join the flood on our phones pushed out notifications. With families, our careers, and moving around schedules tends to rarely match up. This is where we hope MISSile would take place.




Rekindling friendships one missile at a time.

Close up of the ship pieces.
ASSIGNMENT 
My team was assigned to research in the field of Long Distance Relationships to understand people's encounters and situations, and then come up with an idea to bridge that gap. 

RESEARCH: CONTEXTUAL INQUIRY + RATIONAL
We conducted an interview with a broad perspective. Gathering information about our participants and understand their experience with long-distance Relationships. 

5-minute Drawings: memorable in-person and distant interactions
 Artifact: sentimental gift
10-minute Interview

We asked our participants to draw their fondest memory and interaction with a person they see face-to-face and again with a person at a distance. Then allow time for them to explain and reminisce about these occasions they cherished. We followed up by asking about a personal item they had that reminded them of their long-distance relationship. Lastly, asking a series of questions about who they are and the type of relationship they had.
One participant reflecting on their sentimental gift.
INSIGHT + IDEATION
People in long-distance relationships we talked to mentioned having friends with whom they used to be close but have now fallen out of touch with due to moving away, growing a family, and leading busy lives. Keeping up with those friends, while rewarding, can be difficult to initiate, difficult to find time for, and difficult to maintain across a long period of time. 

•  Long-distance can strengthen relationships when both parties are committed, but strain if there is an
    imbalance.
 The best expression of love in a long-distance relationship is their time. 

•  Change disrupts the process of maintaining long-distance relationships. Moving houses, having a baby,
    or starting a new job means less time for talking. 

•  The most meaningful experiences in a long-distance relationship inevitably mimic the physical ones. 
    Syncing a movie across computers to watch together makes you feel like your loved one is right next to you.

With these insights and the design principles of wanting service to be inclusivequick, and flexible. We then formulated our 'How Might We' statements. We thought of a game between two people could play. Where no imbalance in skills would take place but has a high replay value. 

     How might we create asynchronous, low energy, long-term
     communication between friends at a distance?


DRAWBACKS
We eventually drew conclusions that we may not come up with a full-proof idea that will continuously bring friends together, let alone emulate completely physically shared interactions. We made do with what we could to initiate that interaction and hopefully create a piece to have in display of high interaction around the house.

Something we wish we could have done to improve the MISSile piece was to add-on form of interaction where it takes place on the design itself and then becomes a take-away conversation. We know not a lot of people find joy in 'Warships' so changing the type of games that could be played would have been fun. A gaming interactions our smartphones easily provides, but fails to stick due to becoming easily forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind. With our collection of results, leaving more than 5 text notifications and a phone call becomes overly pressuring. 
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