Yudan Li

12/09/2018 Final Write-up + Digital Prototype

Final Write-up: https://ucsb.box.com/s/7psm581fc3yg4f0ehb96mj5yhdrwgkg2

Digital Prototype: https://pr.to/RXOGB2/

12/05/2018 Digital Prototype

digital prototype

11/28/2018 Observation

  1. When texting, the alarm should pop up before people start typing, rather than when they finished and clicked the “send”. One user says it’s really annoying when she types several sentences and find out that her friend will not check it right away.
  2. In the main interface, an option of deleting certain messages is needed. Sometimes people don’t need to reply some messages but right now the system keeps reminding them.
  3. Instead of using a yellow border line to represent unread messages, simply bold unread texts or use a different color to distinguish.
  4. In the settings, users could design their own signs to represent the messages that are held and messages that need to be replied.
  5. users should set their own prioritization in the interface.

11/26/2018 Paper Prototype

Write-up: https://ucsb.box.com/s/udmqilx7kdpf6le1moc8iucfetwzv060

Video: https://ucsb.box.com/s/9n6bjf7pm3tkir6p9zf615mo1cbc3ihi

11/14/2018 Wireframe


11/07/2018 Persona


10/31/2018 Scenario

Here is the link to access my homework.


10/24/2018 Synchronizing & Categories


  1. Chat: including text, video calling, audio calling, slang translation 

This cluster is clustered to ensure that the users could understand each other’s meaning exactly. Since long-distance communication usually lacks facial expression and tones, people could misconstrue the texts. Also, when communicating with different languages, the existing translator like Google translation fails to translate slangs. Therefore, the video and audio calling facilitate the users to communicate with facial expression and tones, and the slang translation helps the users to understand some slangs and avoid misunderstanding, making the long-distance communication more efficiently.

  1. Interaction: including VR interaction

Long-distance communication, especially among family members, requires not only facial express and tone but also the interaction. Sometimes words could not comfort others and sometimes people need actions to replace words. If the users really need a hug, a thumb up or a kiss, the VR interaction helps the users to physically interact with others, to increase vividness of communication. 

  1. Time Reminder: including time zone section, time zone alert, time schedule synchronizing, physical status check, live camera, hold the message and etc.

Finding a proper time slot for both parties to chat is hard for long-distance communication, and this category helps users to find the proper time slot for both senders and receivers. Time zone reminders help users to find the proper time to start a chat. Even for domestic communication where the difference in time zone does not exist, the synchronization of the users’ schedule will help users to avoid disturbing during their working time or sleeping.

  1. Unread Text reminder: including unread text reminder, unread text synchronizing, coloring unread text.

This is a section designated to solve another problem in long-distance communication. Sometimes people receive the message during their busy hours and they may forget to reply it later. Therefore, to increase the efficiency of communication, functions in this section remind the users to reply their unread/un-reply messages.

For this quarter, I decide to focus on the Third category—Time Reminder. I choose this category. First, it is the most realistic to address physical constraints. For the VR interaction the relatively small screen of smartphones may make it hard for people to interact. However, the reminder section would not take too much space in the screen. Second, it is the most urgent problem in long-distance communication yet it gets very little attention from the existing social media platform. For most of the users, they want to keep in contact with their family members while receiving no disturbing during working/sleeping hours. Many users waste too much time  searching for the proper time to chat by consistently calling the other user or calculating the time zones. 

10/17/2018 40 Solutions

Design problem: In a long-distance relationship, especially among family members, how to ensure the efficiency of the communication, (considering the lack of the facial expression and the difference in time zone), to ensure they quickly apprehend and respond timely my messages and vice versa?

40 Solutions:

40 solutions.jpg


Approaches to the Individual Design Problem

My design problem is the difference of time zone in social media. When we have transnational communication, such as video call and audio call, we always face the problem of time zone. Sometimes we interrupt others’ epigenetic clock by giving a phone call when the receiver sleeps. Therefore, I hope to design a problem which could remind the users about the difference in time zone. 

The first approach could be setting a reminder of the time zone in the application. For example, there should be a huge section in the upper part of the screen, which demonstrates the time zone of the receiver. If the sender tries to send a message when the receiver is sleeping, the “time zone” section will continuously flash, to remind the sender that it may not be a proper time to chat with the receiver. Also, the reminder could also be used to remind the user to follow their own epigenetic clocks, because sometimes people are chatting so excitedly that they forget to go to sleep or doing other important tasks. Therefore, with this reminder, the application could remind the user to go to sleep on time, or it is time to perform other tasks.

The second approach could be cooperating with other infrastructures like a sensor and a detector, which tests the user’s blood pressure, the heart rate, and other data that related to the user’s condition, whether physical or mental. Then, with the facilitation of these infrastructures, the application itself could tell whether the user is relaxed or not, and then give suggestions to the sender that whether the receiver is ready to chat with or not. For example, if the receiver is lying on his or her bed, watching on TV or checking social media platforms, the sensor could then “tell” the sender that it is OK to chat with this person. However, if the person is sleeping or does not use his or her phone for a relatively long time, which may mean that the user is having a meeting or studying, the detector could tell that the person is busy. Then, when the sender tries to send messages or have a video call to the receiver, the application could provide reminders for the senders. Also, the application could then give other choices to the sender like postponing the message until the receiver is ready to talk. 

The third approach could be cooperating with other applications. Sometimes, people do not necessarily have a really long conservation with their family members every day, considering the difficulty of finding the proper time to chat for both the sender and the receiver. In fact, for many of them, the meaning of communication is to ensure that they could “see” their family members,  let their family members know that they live well and share some interesting events around them. Therefore, instead of using sensors to check the proper time for both of the parties, the application could automatically share some pictures or short videos when one of the party wants to check the other’s condition. For example, with the permission of the sender, the application could give a short “live” of the sender’s life to the receiver, so that the receiver knows what the life looks like. If the child wants to share an interesting concert to his or her mother, he or she could give consent to the application, which takes a short video automatically, recording the child’s activity and sends it to his or her mother when she wants to check on her child’s condition. 

Bug List

  My design problem focuses on the difference in the time zones in transnational conversations. However, the current applications that I frequently use fail to address this problem.

  1. Wechat: 
    1. lack of reminder of the time zone: 

             WeChat is an application created by Tencent Co. It allows users to have a group or personal chat and provides free video-call or audio call features. Once users get accesses to the Internet, they could communicate with each other whenever they want. However, the application does not have features to remind the users about the differences in time zone. For example, lots of parents may send messages or share pictures/articles with their children without realizing that it is midnight. Theses messages sometimes disturb the children’s study or sleep. Children may also make the same mistakes as their parents do too.

      2. could not hold on the message

WeChat does not have features that allow the users to write the message on time but send it whenever they want. For example, the application should allow users to write the message whenever they want, but the application will only send it until the desirable time that the user chooses arrives.

      3. The alert feature

It is frustrating that if the user uses the alert features, it will always alert the user no matter what time it is. However, many people have to use the alert feature because they want to make sure that they could respond to the messages from their family members on daytime. Therefore, the application should allow the users to set their desirable time slot when they want to receive the alert of the upcoming messages.

  1. Weibo

Unlike Wechat, Weibo allows the users to set the time slot that they want the receivers to receive the message. However, since it is not an application emphasizing conversations, it has several drawbacks too.

    1. lack of video call

          It is inconvenient that people could not see each other’s face. Since the problem is the transnational conversation, the feature of video-call is fairly important.

      2. people do not check Weibo on time

Most people only use it to share photos or short video, so people do not check this Instagram-like application very often. Usually, they would not use the alert features and only check the messages on Weibo twice or three times a day, usually before getting on the bed or getting up in the morning. Therefore, users may ignore some important messages.

My name is Yudan Li. I come from Beijing, China. During my college year, I am a video editor and reporter for The Bottom Line. I am also interested in Journalism and Film History studies and prepare to apply for graduate programs majoring Film and media Studies.

I do not have experience in interactive design, but I hope this course could be a good start for designing interfaces.

Design Problem