Final outcome: speculative sales stand

Final Major Project / 04

Nov 18, 2021

Luchen Peng, Tiana Robison, Jinsong (Sylvester) Liu




As part of the final outcome, our group create an imaginative company, "Hypefuture", which produce and sell these products to "help" human-Al interaction. We collectively set up a speculative commercial promotion at the London College of Communication on 18th November 2021.

We tried to mimic a complete sales stand scenario by stacking all materials. At an open space around the main stairs at LCC, we set up a table, a large poster and a TV with “promotion advertisment”. Four low-fidelity critical objects were displayed in packages on the table, with text description and co-designers credit. Lastly, the experienceable “Yesboss” prototype is open to engaging with props like lipsticks, fake moustaches, glasses, and face masks.



Throughout the day, roughly 15 visitors stopped by and tried the experience. Most of them are user experience design, journalism, and interaction design students. They show strong interest in the project, especially the engaging experience in the “Yesboss”. Surprisingly, many participators believed that the “Yesboss” prototype could actually analyse their appearance. They first felt intrigued by the technical solution but then considered the unreasonable instructions unconsiderable mistakes or glitches. When we explained that the experience was random storylines, they laughed and gradually got our humorous critique in data bias. A male visitor who worked as a nurse expressed frustration when getting a low score. After our explanation, he showed strong empathy that the machine reflected real-life bias in the health care interview. Another visitor with a data science background said this prototype externalise his previous work and could develop into commercial use as an evaluation device.




Project video

Reflection


The one-day “promotion” serves as testing and end for our project “Materialising data bias”. It was satisfying to see the objects finally step out of the studio and face the crowd. Overall, I reckon the project achieve our goal to communicate the bias in data to people from a non-technical background and evoke social reflections. However, I also spot some potential improvement through observation. For example, we did not mention the participatory approach and could have documented qualitative feedback and contribution from the visitors, which could be a valuable evaluation. The other problem is the balance of simplicity and self-reflection. We almost guided the visitors to experience the prototype step-by-step and sometimes directly justified the critique. It feels more didactic than leaving an open space to debate. I’m interested in how people view it from a different perspective, or even support the idea. Moreover, could we give a chance for visitors to share opinions using the objects and transcend them into a more collective conversation? Undoubtedly, the proposed activity requires more time and deeper research.

Many thanks to my project partner Tiana and Luchen, who convey this ambiguous, exploratory and fantastic journey with me. It was an honour to work with them, and they gave me a lot of support on both projects and life. It is a fabulous ending to the course, and I will carry the experimental, critical thinking to the next destination.