Visual design and audio production of video sketch by Chris Arrowood; conceptual design by all team members.
Project Type: UbiComp
Course: Basic Interaction Design // Professor John Zimmerman // Fall 2013
Group Members: Shannon Impellicceiri, Chris Arrowood, Larissa Jantonio
The fanBand is a wearable ubiquitous computing accessory for music fans. It consists of a small screen that clips onto any bracelet or wristband, making it customizable to any style and personality. It tracks the user’s music listening habits, concert-going habits, and the degree to which they promote different bands in their networks. For each band that they listen to, they are assigned a “fan ranking” based on how their habits compare to those of other fans. Based on one’s fan ranking, the fanBand allows the user to receive perks such as notification of upcoming concerts, speedy concert entry, and VIP experiences. Best of all, these perks can be defined and initiated by the bands themselves to reward fan dedication.
1. Problem Space
The objective for this project was to design an intelligent UbiComp system for an emerging design space. Our group decided to focus on the experience of live performances. Initially, we considered many types of performances, including big-name bands, music festivals, musicals, orchestral concerts, and even stand-up comedy. However, we eventually narrowed or scope to music performances by bands. Our goal in this project was to improve the fan experience.
2. Exploratory Research
In order to have a better understanding of our target users and their performance-attending habits, we distributed a ten-question survey via Survey Monkey. We received responses from 44 people, generally in their twenties and early thirties. We found that most people attend live performances with friends, making the social aspect a key component. However, their main motivation for attending was their love of the band and the music. In the comments section, many people described the energy dynamic created by the crowd, being consumed by the performance, and a desire to feel a connection with the performers.
Based on our user survey, we brainstormed 50+ ideas for improving the fan experience in various ways. Some of the areas we explored include crowd energy and engagement, locating friends within a crowd, collaborative experiences, and proximity to the performance within a venue. We initially came up with 6 preliminary storyboards, and later revised them to produce 4 final storyboards:
Storyboard sketches by Chris Arrowood
4. Feedback & Refinement
We presented our final four storyboards in several speed-dating sessions with concert-goers. We received feedback from a total of 8 people, all students in their twenties, with a wide range of concert-going habits. Some people were casual fans who went to concerts every couple of years, and some were intense fans who went to concerts frequently. One guy we talked to estimated that he had been to 60-70 concerts. We received the following feedback and insights based on our storyboards:
- #1 Crowd Navigation: People love finding their friends, but even more love sharing a concert experience with others of similar performance expectations and habits.
- #2 Crowd Engagement: The “energy gradient” and variety of desired experiences is an important design consideration moving forward.
- #3 Rewarding Fandom: If we could nail the reward structure, with consideration of “fan Gradients,” people love the idea of being rewarded as fans.
- #4 Crowd Safety: Individual safety is a very real concern, but our concept didn’t quite address the key issues that people (particularly girls) were concerned about.
Early Design Concept
Based on the level of excitement we received about the “UbiBand” idea, we decided to move forward with a preliminary design. We proposed a concert wristband that tracks your engagement with the show through movement and biometrics. We included a points-based rewards system that would allow people to use their accumulated points to buy prizes such as beer, t-shirts, and other physical goods. In our storyboard, we also included a scenario that takes place during a show, in which the fan accumulates so many points that they are randomly awarded a VIP experience.
Refinement & Iteration
We received positive feedback about the general idea of recognizing and rewarding fandom, but people felt that the rewards system that we proposed wouldn’t accurately recognize “true fans.” They felt that physical movement didn’t necessarily indicate engagement with the show, and many fans don’t necessarily express their excitement by dancing. Furthermore, they felt that physical prized such as t-shirts and free beer felt superficial and removed from the true meaning and experience of the music. However, they did respond positively to the idea of the band noticing your dedication, and awarding you VIP experience. Finally, people didn’t like the aesthetics of the proposed design, feeling that it was too masculine. This feedback inspired us to pursue a new design concept, which would enable the fanBand to be worn on any bracelet or wristband. This would allow the design to adapt to an user's personal style.
5. Final Design Solution
The fanBand is a wearable ubiquitous computing accessory for music fans. It consists of a small screen that clips onto any bracelet or wristband, making it customizable to any style and personality. It tracks the user’s music listening habits, concert-going habits, and the degree to which they promote different bands in their networks. For each band that they listen to, they are assigned a “fan ranking” based on how their habits compare to those of other fans. Based on one’s fan ranking, the FanBand allows the user to receive perks such as notification of upcoming concerts, speedy concert entry, and VIP experiences. Best of all, these perks can be defined and initiated by the bands themselves to reward fan dedication.
Please view the video sketch at the top of the page!
*FanBand product image shown with Plaid Pattern Hand Woven Bracelet, image obtained from http://www.dhgate.com/store/product/12-pcs-new-plaid-pattern-hand-woven-bracelet/155319681.html, accessed on 12/4/13.