Week 16 till 20 – This is the end

Oops! Due to all the hectics of the showcase and the prospect of goodbyes we forgot to update our blog. Over the past four weeks we have been finishing and refining our prototypes, started on a final booklet and bought all the supplies necessary for our showcase. Need had his first Ikea visit. Lama and Neel bought mesh boards. Ron and Ylona came to the studio to say goodbye and enjoy our final presentation in which they also got to test all of our prototypes in person! We had our showcase and it was a huge success. We even included smoke in our time-machine! The day after we finished our project with a mini showcase for Evelien, Jacqueline and Sandra. They were very pleased and took the prototypes home so they can be presented in the police’s offices and at the ministry! Sadly this was also the day we already had to say goodbye to our lovely Lama, as she was traveling back to Egypt. In our final week we spent an afternoon on a boat with all of the DSS members and received our certificates. Afterwards we went out on the town and cleaned the whole studio. For now we will say goodbye to you, but perhaps you will see more of us in the future! Stay tuned!

A recap of our showcase

Week 15: Hemelvaart

This week was very short as Thursday and Friday were off due to a national holiday. We managed to continue with our plans for the showcase and make a start at our final booklet which we want to present to the police. Sascha made some final changes to our second prototype, the question board and everyone looked for inspiration for the booklet.

Week 14: Sprint 5

Our time is almost up! Our showcase is nearing and we have started our second to last sprint. Cooling down from sprint 4 and our performance at the Next Web, we are now focusing on rounding up any loose ends and preparing a convincing end document to present to the police. However, our creative juices are still very much flowing as we are challenged to create our own exhibition space for the showcase! We are working together as a team to create a powerful and beautiful booklet which will be presented at the showcase amongst other visuals and experiences. Stay tuned!

Week 13: Sprint review & web workshop

The team was proud about their successful presentation at the TNW and need a recovery week after the overload of work.

Ready! Set! Rest!

After the recovery week, the team had a sprint review at Driebergen with Sascha, Neel, Lama and Wouter. Sascha and Neel presented and discussed about how do we interpret and visualize the data collected from TNW. There were some discussion on how to take the project ahead and fixed on the deliverables with the Police.

We applied for the DRIVE festival in the safety and security category with high hopes of getting selected. There was some time spent on analysing the data and discussing briefly on what could we do for the booklet for police.

There was a fruitful workshop with Jake on Web Development which gave us some ideas on how to implement our work in the form of a website.

All in All, slowly we pulled our focus and bucked up for upcoming showcase.

Week 12: TNW

The t-shirt we wore, designed by Mick

We started off the week early on Monday with multiple reservations for the laser cutter at the Makers Lab. Lama and Sascha had the files ready and started off on the outer box then onto smaller details. Neel was at the studio working on Unity and coordinating its sequence in accordance with pressing the buttons. Ola was busy with editing the video and adding some special effects. By the end of the day, we had the box ready with some of the parts already waiting to be integrated. Also, we used some of the paper we got the week before to cover up the box instead of painting it. Sascha received the pins that day and brought them to the studio; everyone there wanted one!

On Tuesday, we completed decorating all of them and glued the box’s sides together adding some final touches with the help of Ola, Neel and Mick. Sascha decided to re-do the the box for the buttons and covered it with Aluminum like paper. Later that day, we connected everything together: put the box over the TV and connected the cables to check if everything works.

Wednesday was for last minute adjustments and extras. Lama printed business cards for the team and rented the laptop that we were to use during the conference. Sascha decided to add some funny labels under and above some of the integrated parts on the front of the time machine. Halfway through the day, we started trying out the prototype on people from the DSS community and got good feedback! At 16:00, we started to pack and headed to NDSM in Noord where TNW was gonna take place to set up. We also got our name tags on the way.

Thursday, the first day of TNW, we met there straight at 9:00 and already, people were starting to come. The first person to try our prototype–to our luck–was the chief of the current police. He liked it and even wore the badge for the whole day! Eveline was with us for the first half of the day and was constantly encouraging us; on the second day, Illona joined as well and was very helpful. All throughout the day, we took turns standing beside the prototype to give people who would agree to take the survey a quick explanation of what our research is about and how we’re using the prototype in it. We also tried to look around and go to some of the talks and the workshops that were ongoing in parallel. We noticed that some people got a bit bored during the the streaming of the scenes in-between the questions and decided to add a skip button for those who wouldn’t want to spend the whole of the five minutes at the stand. Neel worked on adding this feature after the first day of the conference. All in all, it was a successful day!

The second day of the conference was even better than the first, now that we had the skipping feature, people were more okay to try it out. We rotated, taking turns standing with the prototype, explaining and giving people who finish the survey the pins afterwards. The conference was very well organized and set up; and it was nice to get feedback on the prototype and let people know about what we were currently doing at DSS. An experience that will be remembered for sure!

Week 11: The universe is testing us

Less than one week to go until the next web! We are starting to feel the heat, but nonetheless we are powering through. On Monday we all resumed our tasks from the week before, with Neel on the Unity coding, Ola editing like a true champ, Lama sketching on our time machine look and Sascha learning how to work the wiring for our buttons. One of our biggest challenges this week was to work with limited resources. Our workshop of the HvA was closed due to spring break, causing us extra sweat and anxiety. Luckily our coach reached out to a few other makers spaces around the city. Thanks to Kingsday, we also received a lot of old parts of electronics and can use it for our time machine look!

On Tuesday we had our translate session with Jacqueline, Ylona and Emma. We went over the script of our video and the questions that will be integrated via Unity. Our coach also sat us down to check with us whether we will make it to our deadline or not. He had his reservations, but we are confident and excited. In order to make the old television work that Lama found on the street, we ordered the necessary converters and cables and patiently waited for them to be delivered, only to be delayed twice and consequently delivered late. Yet another way of the universe testing our commitment and patience, if you ask me.

On Wednesday we set out to buy the cable in a shop instead of online and made the tv work! Sascha went to the makers space of the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam where she was helped using a tiny lasercutter to cut the frame for the buttons and wiring. She also created vinyl lettering and soldered everything into place. Lama and Sascha also prepared for lasercutting on Thursday by buying the necessary supplies at Gamma.

On Thursday Lama and Sascha set out to visit Waag, a design studio with open house every Thursday. Unfortunately for us, their house was not as open as we had hoped and they did not have any time or space available for us to use their lasercutter. Instead Lama and Sascha went to de Vlieger, a specialist paper supplies store and bought the necessary decorations. Ola and Neel in the meantime were still editting and coding like true heros. Lama and Sascha also designed and ordered pins to give out at the Next Web for people to remind our installation and to draw in a bigger audience.

Week 10: Making Mode: On!

This time, our week started on Tuesday as Monday was Easter. We started our day with a meeting with Emma to discuss the script Sascha worked on the Thursday before. Emma gave us some recommendations and suggested rephrasing some terms but all in all told us that the script was well written and had an entertaining edge just like we wanted. Based on these amendments, Sascha finalized the script and made a table for all the scenes to be shot and the sequence guide needed for Unity as well.We all bought the TNW tickets, finally! For the rest of the day, we did this sprint’s planning where we decided to plan only for the first week because everything depended on each other. But the main goal was fixed as preparing the prototype for TNW and we would divide tasks to finish it. Lama decided to try out and ask people about their vision of the future using one of the methods in the design method toolkit called Break-up/Love Letter. Neel looked more into Unity and Martin had some free time to help him out. Ola was busy making sure all the equipment she would need the next day was available.

We all met at the studio on Wednesday morning and moved together to the HvA’s Amstel campus to help Ola in the shooting. Ola and Sascha arranged the location to be the labs where the engineers work as they had machines that matched with what we had in mind for the look and feel of the video. Neel stayed at the studio to work Unity out for a while and then joined us later. We spent the whole day shooting the scenes in order and in different locations around the labs and were lucky enough to find some project leftovers that we could use in our installation.

Thursday was a very productive day. We cleaned up our desks and changed the setting a bit. Lama found an old TV screen that can be used in the installation. It needed a specific cable that she ordered on the same day and will test it when it arrives. She looked at possible materials that could be used in building the installation. Neel had some progress on Unity and got help from Martin and Lucca from teh Grow kit team. Sascha spent the day figuring out how the buttons work using the Makey Makey Kit. She succeeded in making them work and connecting them to the computer. Ola stayed home and worked on editing the scenes for the video.

On Friday, we started the day early with the second part of the workshop on design ethics with Charlie Mullhond, a professor of ethics from the CMD department at HvA. We worked a bit afterwards as we waited for a special King’s day mini Olympics that the coaches arranged for the community.

Old TV screen selfie!

Week 9: We’re building a time machine!

On Friday last week, Ola hosted a brainstorm session at her place after our prototyping workshop with our coach Mick. We sat down together with a couple of her friends whom she thought could help us in generating ideas for our prototype. Laura Ghitoi, a researcher, consultant and journalist, volunteered once at TNW and gave us insight on what kind of people we should be expecting at the conference and what the environment was like there. Other than Laura, there was Erik Anyone, a creative, storyteller and builder who helped us visualize the form in a more realistic way. There was also Marco Grandia, a director and storyteller. Ola presented our process to them and afterwards, they just started proposing different ideas and approaches we could take on. It was a fruitful session that paved the way for narrowing down our focus and settling on an idea.

On Monday, we started with the notes Neel and Ola took during Friday’s brainstorm session and while discussing them, Ola came up with an idea. We found that it kind of combined all the aspects we want the prototype to include. Sascha also had a refined idea so we voted to choose one between both and Ola’s idea had the most votes. It was centered around the idea that the participant is a reporter from the present time trying to explain the current developments in tech to someone from the past in the 1970s when AI was just starting to bloom. We thought it would give some sort of a reference/context to the participant while answering the questions. For the rest of the day, Lama worked on the sprint review’s presentation and creating a list of everything the team will need to make the prototype. Neel spent his time trying to find digital platforms to use instead of programming something from scratch. Sascha wrote a version of the script and created a word-web of the results of her workshop with the community at DSS. Ola was trying to find a location to shoot the video. Also, Martin, someone from another team in DSS showed us how to get started on a game developing software called Unity to setup the input/output system for the prototype.

On Tuesday, Sascha, Neel and Lama went to the Ministry of Justice in The Hague for the third sprint review and presented the team’s progress so far and the final idea for the prototype at the TNW. It was the same audience as the last sprint review plus Sandra so we did a quick recap of what happened during the last two sprints to bring her up to speed. The sprint review went smoothly and at the end we had some time to brainstorm for amendments/additions to the prototype idea. Ron said that he would like to have the next translate session for revising the questions with us before we shoot the video. We scheduled a meeting with Emma next Tuesday as well to work on the questions. Ola stayed home and worked on her thesis.

On Wednesday morning, we had the peer pitches during which we gave a more concise presentation than the sprint review’s.

Neel had food poisoning so he didn’t come and we worked from the Makers Lab that day. Martin showed Lama how to navigate on Unity while Ola and Sacha worked on the script and the questions. Sascha read the summary of the Online Harms White Paper Emma sent us and Ola found a couple of sets for shooting the video. 

On Thursday, Sascha and Ola went location scouting and found a very good one at HvA’s Amstel campus so they booked it for next Wednesday right away. Sascha spent the rest of the day finishing up the script while Neel focused on learning how we can use Unity for our input/output mechanism. He also checked the studio for some electronics we might need for the prototype. After meeting up with Martin, he sketched the scenes for navigating the video and created a coding to-do list. Lama worked on a more general to-do list for the whole prototype and wrote the week’s WordPress blogpost.

Week 8: Sketching, Research and Goodbyes

On Monday we had a meeting with our IT-guy Jake to discuss the technical feasibility of our designs. He recommended that instead of doing a 3D model, we could better focus on a 2D design. He also recommended us to look for opensource examples which we could edit. Sascha created a Venn diagram to group all of our previous research topics and get an overview of our research directions. Neel had another look at our research questions. We agreed that we should not reinvent the wheel and want an accumulative data visualisation. Lama and Ola showed us their reworked designs for their prototypes.

On Tuesday Neel and Sascha showed us their reworked designs for their prototypes. We printed all of our sketched and we did a more in-depth brainstorm about the content, purpose and goals of the prototype. We then had a session with our coach Mick to condense all of our ideas and talk about feasibility. We divided tasks for the further development of a prototype. Ola would be responsible for the overal theme and narrative, Sascha for the content of the questions, Lama for the interface and Neel for the data visualization. On this day we also received the unfortunate news that Eva will have to quit the project due to personal health circumstances.

On Wednesday we wrote down all of the questions we thought could be used for the prototype’s content. We then had a meeting with Sanne, a digital security specialist and new media scholar. She advised us to make our questions more embedded in reality through the use of case-studies or scenarios. This will help our participants to imagine. We also had a meeting with our track consultant Emma, who agreed with Sanne’s advice and emphasised that we should first settle on the content before agreeing on a certain form. We also learned that Mick can help us with the developing part of our prototype.

On Thursday Sascha spent time looking for case-studies of the use of AI for policing in the Netherlands. She also read the article Ron provided us with about principles of AI for policing. She also did a workshop with our peers to find out what personas the police should resemble. Neel and Lama worked together to generate ideas for a visual language of the prototype. Neel tested different ways of interaction and Lama created different interface design ideas. Ola was working from home on her thesis.

On Friday we continued our research working both separately and together. We also had a workshop by our coach Mick for making paper prototypes and working together with other teams on their prototypes.

Week 7: We are going to the Next Web!!!

On Monday we started our third sprint! We planned our sprint and had a feedback session in which each team member discussed their strengths, desires and pitfalls. Neel was working hard on his participation in a design competitions. Sascha digitised our sprint planning and cleaned up our office space. Lama organised our drive and Sascha looked up precedent studies

On Tuesday we presented each other with the precedent studies that we found. Out of this we created 4 final which the prototype has fulfil. We also sent out our requests for student tickets at the Next Web. Neel filled in the relay document of our second sprint.

On Wednesday Neel and Lama worked together in the studio whilst Eva, Ola and Sascha worked from home. We also got the news from Jesper van Putten that there was space available for us at their stand at the Next Web!

On Thursday the team got back together and worked hard on forming a prototype idea individually with a mood-board and sketches and presented it to the team at the end of the day.

On Friday we invited Jesper van Putten to the studio and had a successful presentation of our individual prototypes and we learned more about the police’s plans for the demo’s and workshops at the Next Web conference. Eva and Lama attended a workshop by Zlatina in which a DSS alumni gave tips on the ideation process. Ola wrote another Medium blogpost and Sascha updated the WordPress board.