Student Project, 2009

Whether just across town or somewhere on the other side of the world, we all have someone they care about deeply but see considerably less than they’d like. A number of mechanisms exist for sending composed messages to these people, in phone calls, emails, IMs, text messages, etc. But what about simply communicating a “Thinking about you,” without the added overhead of words? The deceptively simple way a touch communicates that sentiment was the genesis of the Touchstone.

In order to help determine expected behavior and better inform our shaping of the experience, we performed iterative user testing with man-behind-the-curtain prototypes. We concurrently performed a series of form studies, hardware tests, and code revisions, ultimately bringing the various streams together in a functional final prototype that used production code and wireless communication to make the experience real for a panel of visiting experts.

Touchstone is a collaboration with John Finley and Angela Huang