Colorful orbs to display your status in a coffee shop

Selected Process

Researching Coffee Shops

Our goal for the project was to investigate future interactions in coffee shops leveraging ubiquitous computing. We started off by going to several different coffee shops in Pittsburgh and interviewing people who were there, gathering information about normal coffee shop interactions. We took all of that information and synthesized it using an affinity diagram.

Statusphere synthesis

Disruptive Brainstorming to Generate Ideas

We took all the information that we got from the research and used a technique that we called "Disruptive Brainstorming" to come up with a lot of different ideas. We started off with our assumptions of what a coffee shop should have, such as seating and a barista, and came up with ideas that would specifically go against our assumptions. For example, instead of having seats maybe the coffee shop could be a place where you could get a massage. Some of these ideas obviously wouldn't work, but it was a very helpful (and fun) tool to generate a lot of ideas in a short period of time.

Statusphere brainstorming

Speed Dating

We narrowed down to 10-12 different ideas and needed a way to test which ones people liked the best. To do this, we created different storyboards to illustrate the ideas in action. We took these storyboards to different coffee shops around Pittsburgh and asked people sitting there what they thought. This process allowed us to narrow down our ideas further.

Statusphere speed dating

Photo Credit: Joe Medwid


From the speed dating sessions we were able to narrow down to our final idea of having a lamp on your coffee shop table to show your current status, we wanted to make a quick prototype to see the scale we were looking for. We created the prototype using a ruler, an elastic band, and a stuffed animal (all conveniently available at the MHCI lab).

The Result

The final deliverable was the video sketch (above) explaining how the product would work.

Project Details
Date: Spring 2012
Class: Interaction Design Studio
Team: Rajat Agrawal, Joe Medwid
Skills: Ubiquitous Computing, User Research, Personas, Speed Dating, Interaction Design, Wireframing