Sensing Togetherness

UX Studio Practices / 01

Oct 25, 2020

Gabrielle Bennet, Moxue Jia, Jinsong (Sylvester) Liu, Shiwen (Svaney) Shen




The first week of the MA User Experience Design course has started. Finally! After a few welcome and intro days, we met in London College of Communication (with social distancing) and started our first project: the UX of Human Senses.

Meeting Point:  51° 30'24.7" N 0° 05'17.5" W


London Bridge Experience


This project is to experiment and document different senses in a specific location. After maintaining contact within our group, we should develop a deeper understanding of sensory and manipulate them in multiple ways to build an experience. We carry numerous methods including text, photos, videos and voice recording. My personal experience in London Bridge is a blend of excited, overwhelmed, confused and warm. When the field trip continued to the Borough Market, I felt more of togetherness.


Feeling togetherness via shared heater and food. Photos by Moxue.


Sensory notes. Image by me.



Experiments: What makes us feel combined?


Each of the group members came up with a few activities for maintaining contact. We’ve tried eight experiments with both success and failure.



Outcome & Thoughts

People tend to find connects unconsciously. Once we’ve started exploring how we feel connected, various examples, including simply holding something for others would make us sense someone else’s existence. As we live in a society built by our species, getting accompany with technology and sometimes just imagination is ubiquitous.

Sensory overload: happens every second. Human brains are well-trained to filter ‘redundant’ information. But I always believe that metadata completes the world. The attempt to isolate senses in our experiments shows that each of them is irreplaceable in formulating an experience.
I’m also intrigued by communications between strangers. Unconsciously, we form a temporary group with strangers crossing the street, communicating: who will press the traffic light button? Or do we run a red light?


A silent dialogue occurs with reading body positioning rather than talking. Then we get feedback from the ‘wait’ signal or others’ behaviour. It happens within seconds that we barely notice it.

References

  1. Sony Design (2018). _Hidden Senses._ Available at: https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/design/info/mdw2018/?j-short=milandesignweek_2018.
  2. Splash Games. _Pool Game: Marco Polo._ Www.Youtube.com, 4 July 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KimBaVETmw.
  3. Hiskey, D. (2019). _Humans Have a Lot More than Five Senses._ [online] www.considerable.com. Available at: https://www.considerable.com/health/healthy-living/humans-five-senses/.

Cover image by Sylvester.