Personal Honours Project - 'Show and Tell' preparations

After Tuesday's tutorial, we were given the brief for our first hand in of the semester - 'Show and Tell' briefs and presentations on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week. More specifically, we were asked to hand in a "succinct 1-page brief" for tutors and to be pinned on the wall of the class as well as prepare a 5 minute presentation to small groups of 6.

We were also asked to include 3 to 5 keywords on our briefs that summarised our projects - this is what I began working on first. I began listing everything that my research so far had touched on and would go back and narrow down the words when creating the brief.

Keywords:

  • Curiosity
  • Communities
  • Questions
  • Constructionism
  • Interests
  • Knowledge
  • Conversation
  • Experiences
  • Engaging
  • Development

When writing our brief and presentations, we were asked to consider the following questions which would provide structure: what, why, how and challenges?

What?

In conjunction with the rise of the Digital Age and the internet, two of the most efficient tools for learning new information - Google and Wikipedia - have emerged as the ultimate answer to all of our questions. While the internet has done wonders for making knowledge more widely available than ever before, it has also created a problem - instant gratification by answering every burning question we have. This instant gratification is stifling our natural curiosity. As a result these questions we have the desire to find out the answers for have no time to deepen or develop and do not allow us to further our knowledge surrounding these interests. 

Why?

The interesting part is that the Internet has not made us any less curious - it is something that cannot be taken away from us. Instead we need to stop relying on this instant gratification and begin fully exploring our interests again. As Ian Leslie wrote "The new challenge is to find ways of making more people hungry to learn, question and create.". To do this, we need to rethink how we ask questions in the digital age, to avoid falling into the trap of instant gratification while encouraging the creation of online spaces that satisfy our natural curiosity.

How?

Smartphones are one of the pioneering technologies that have emerged from the Digital Age, and have integrated themselves into every aspect of our lives. Allowing us to be constantly connected, it makes sense that these new online spaces we desire should be based on these devices in the form of mobile applications.

Challenges?

The main challenges will be how to encourage people to resist the temptations of 'googling' their answers. To do this, users will be need an engaging activity that will encourage them explore their interests further. Using the idea of "third places" suggested by Ray Oldenburg where conversation is the primary activity, creating a digital platform where users can ask questions and contribute to discussions about their interests whenever they wish should provide the engaging activity people require to explore their interests. These places also have self-selected populations - usually a group of people emerges that have common interests to some degree. Exploring interests with likeminded people will not only give them more perspectives and ideas to consider but will also enable to connect and communicate with these people.

I was also asked to consider who my users would be, but without a solid concept currently I had no idea who my specific target audience would currently be. With all my information gathered, I designed my brief, which can be seen below while the document can be accessed here: