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å Sunday, April 7th, 2013

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% Claire Niederberger completed

For this project, my process was not particularly linear, and it took a lot of running into dead ends before I reached the final product. However, in the end I reached a relatively simple and presentable solution to the problem at hand. Those first few dead ends helped me to realize that sometimes a simple idea can be a lot more executable and interesting, and is potentially more appropriate in this time frame.

Initially, I began by looking at overarching themes from the introductory slideshow. I identified cuteness as a common thread in a lot of the examples, and thought it would be interesting to build a meta-machine that generated cuteness for other design objects. I researched the science of cute, and mapped what that meant on a personal and research level. Unfortunately, cuteness is an idea that is way to complex to tackle over the course of a few weeks, and in crit it was pointed out that building or mocking up a cuteness generator was not feasible.

After, I wrote out three proposals for new ideas and consulted with John. These ideas included a machine that provided canned responses for internship interviews, a machine that picked the simplest or shortest ideas (the ‘underthinker’), and the Jewish Mombot. Each of these machines were rooted in personal and sometimes awkward interactions. John helped me to pick the Mombot, and I started to develop the idea further.

For the next week, I built a proof-of-concept in the form of a crontab. I recorded my Mom saying what she was comfortable with, and set her to voice to run at intervals throughout the hour. I also mocked up a prefpane icon. My first presentation relied heavily on my verbally explaining my idea, which was problematic. As such, I then went on to develop a slideshow that would serve as a visual aid and show the settings of the Mombot. Critique helped me to realize that a solid, comprehensible deliverable is still important when communicating an idea, and pulled me away from getting lost in the intricacies of attempting to execute it in full.

Below please find the promotional slideshow explaining the Mombot.
Slides