Coursework, notes, and progress while attending NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

Interaction Observations

Gym equipment

I hate cardio equipment but I have been exposed to it enough to have some assumptions about how it’s used. I thought their use would be interesting to observe because while I have a friend who literally train for marathons on treadmills and just watches TV, I’d never do either of these things even though I did track in high school and go running all the time. Anyway: I assumed most people would take advantage of these giant screens that are now installed to listen to music or watch T.V. or plan their workout. I figured my marathoner friend was an anomaly and probably most people would get bored after about 30 minutes.

I picked my own cardio spot with a good view of everyone’s screens and was surprised that multiple people had what looked like a track on their screens. Like simulating a track environment? I didn’t even realize this setting existed. No one was watching TV and some people were listening to music straight from their phones. A lot of people use this equipment just for walking, which seems SO boring. The walkers also spend the longest time on treadmills! I was just confused because it seems much more pleasant to me to walk around in normal clothing outside. People just starting out usually went with quick start and then checked out other options, or knew something specific they were after (a workout on the ‘track’) and did that.

I had a small sample of people that I observed, but everyone fell into a low-intensity category playing with their phone, or an intense-workout category where they were not really using other entertainment. Time spent on machine varied but maybe on average I had it right around 30 minutes. It was interesting to consider the Norman and Crawford readings because it seemed like there was a lot of functionality built into these entertainment monitors, but people weren’t really interested in most of the options.

The dishwasher at ITP

I just have to note that the system of signifiers (washing, dirty, clean) on the dishwasher must present a design opportunity, because the dishwasher clearly isn’t communicating its state. I also know I am not the only one who has opened the dishwasher while it was washing, because someone did not move the magnet to the washing square. One of my classmates the other day, after I opened it and noticed it was hot, joked “You are a human sensor.”

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