The UX of Senses
Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Week 1: Sensory Experience
Project Brief: Design an experience that centres on human senses.
Team Members: Aarushi, Carol, Chun Li, Lulu, Abigail
Strong Competencies: Visualisation, Prototyping, Ideation, Understanding Culture
Weak Competencies: Reflection, Engaging Audience, Storytelling, Agility
Our amazing journey of Masters in UX Design started with exploring experiences designed to play around human senses.
To explore how our senses perceive and react with the world, we went on a field trip. The places were chosen very wisely to experience the elements of earth, air, and water in contrasting ways.
Analyzing the Tour:
We analyzed the different activities we were engaged in while being out on the tour and on the basis of that we did brainstorming. That gave us different perspectives and an understanding of how human senses change and evolve in different scenarios.
London Mithraeum The Monument The Beach
Photos by: Aarushi
Our initial ideas failed after the brainstorming stage itself. The ideas are as follows:
Generating a feeling of suffocation of the monument: By showing dizzy and hypnotizing visuals.
Playing with the shadows to generate the sense that there is always a dark side following you wherever you are.
We asked people’s opinions about it, but most of them creeped out by just the idea of it. It was interesting in a way, but as a group, we decided to drop the ideas.
The Chosen Idea:
Our senses change our experiences and perceptions completely about space. The major senses we experienced during the tour were: a sense of light, a sense of breathing, and a sense of proprioception. To explore a bit more about the senses I read an article on Individuating the Senses (Macpherson, 2011). Our idea was to express our three major experiences (Tube, Monument, and London Mithraeum), through experimenting with light and shutter speed.
London Mithraeum The Monument Tube
The shapes of the cut-outs represent our emotions and feelings felt while visiting the places.
Photos by Aarushi
The concept was to show that during the trip everyone was in a shell from the outer appearance but experienced a lot of different senses and emotions going on inside. Hence, we made a prototype of an abstract black box that is all black from the outer look and doesn’t reflect anything on the outer appearance but represents a lot of emotions going on inside. To experience that we did different experiments with light falling through different shapes (expressing different emotions) at different speeds in various spaces. Carol represented the human emotions with the other abstract emotions in the video. I was responsible for the prototyping of the idea.
Photos by Chun Li
Photos by Aarushi
The sensory Map:
Videography by Carol and set up by the whole team, Ideation by Aarushi, Editing by Chun Li
Feedback and Learning:
Photos by John Fass
We got a lot of useful feedback from the class, such as:
If our prototype was a Goggle it would have been better to experience.
People didn’t understand why certain forms were used.
We made a lot of blunders in this project, it was not easy to come together on an idea, but it was great learning, as we understood that this course is not about screen presentations and explaining your project step by step, it should be good enough for people to experience it themselves, as the name of the course explains itself.
Macpherson, F. (2011). Individuating the Senses. The Senses: Classic and Contemporary.