novel ideas might need novel contexts

Given my peers’ reactions to my initial sketches, I felt encouraged to pursue the “pebble” volume control idea. I created a low fidelity prototype of an interaction that would sit on top of a car dashboard. The interaction included the driver removing a pebble-sized object from the dashboard and placing it into a small bowl. The more pebbles in the bowl, the higher the volume.

I prototyped different forms of the pebble by considering size, shape, and affordances for easy grabbing. I received feedback from my peers that the wooden balls in the prototype looked like a bowl of olives (hinting that it was a familiar mental model) and that it was satisfying to pick up the wooden balls and hear them clink together (an auditory feedback I had not originally considered.) This led me to keep the wooden ball shape as the “pebble” object.

During the check-in meeting with my professors, I was pushed to think about the context within which this control would exist. I expressed my apprehension that this control would be too distracting for a driver, which led me to imagine a context without a driver: autonomous vehicles.