Prototyping Digital Futures - Qualitative Data and Stories

At the start of week 2, we were asked to gather all of our insights and arrange them into various categories including movement, actors and objects. We arranged this data to locate any qualitative data that could give us further insights and help develop concepts. Unlike the last module, I felt this was a more useful way to gather information rather than through internet research since it was easier to attain insights. There was a number of things we learnt from our session of observing the city square.  To start with the actual space itself was very open and intimidating to be in if on your own or in a small group. This helped us notice that the only people really using the square was to either pass through to reach other parts of Dundee, or to access the buildings around the edge of the square. These buildings included a mixture of banks, a coffee shop (which drew in the most attention) and council buildings. While the Caird Hall was also extremely prominent, during the day it did not receive much attention.

We also spoke to a busker as part of our observation and she confirmed that the space was too large for her to play in, and instead she preferred playing where she is unavoidable while still not drawing large amounts of attention to herself. She felt that the latter would happen if she tried to busk in the square.

As mentioned the most visited building in the square was the coffee shop located about half way up the square. A lot of traffic through the square seemed to be heading in there and that helped us start to form one of our concepts in the next weeks. While the coffee shop's placement benefitted the square, it did not actually bring people into the square itself.  No one seemed to want to use the benches in the square or even the picnic tables; instead they preferred to sit either inside the shop or use the seating outside provided by the coffee shop.

Another factor that affected the square was its location to the high street and the nearby shopping centre the Overgate. With no actual commercial shops around the square this was another issue that drew people away from the area.

With our insights gathered, our lecturer asked us to create fictional stories based on our insights. This was to make concept generation easier and a way to gather our thoughts in a way that should make finding solutions to problems easier. Below are the rough drafts of my partner and I's stories.  Week 2 concluded with the stories being written up and submitted to our lecturer, which let us begin concept generating.

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Insight Stories - the final draft.