Landing : Athabascau University

Social Media Artifact - Blog entry #2

In week 2 I’m starting to document the purpose, objectives and outcomes that I’d like to get out of my artifact so my design decisions can be guided by that.  I have started teaching myself how to build out maps in as well, a little more cumbersome than I originally thought but once you get the hang of the interface and how to lay down the floors, walls and objects it is fairly straight forward.  My next step is to lay down the Effect Tiles that mark objects as impassable, generate spawn locations and demark private conversation areas.  This will be an important feature to get right in the design to really drive engagement.  In creating the lunch room for example, the room is a quite space that is separate from the hall way that leads to it, but also, within the lunch room I’ll make the various booths and tables their own separate private space.  This will simulate running into people in the lunch room for a chat, but then also being able to sit at a table with a colleague and have a private lunch.

There are other design ideas I’m toying around with for the private conversation’s areas, as in cubicles, office spaces and conference rooms.  I will need to explore some of the native conferencing features enabled on Gather to balance out what I actually need to build out on the map.  For instance, you can set your avatar to do not disturbed, or when you working in a different window your video/audio is by default disabled but people can ping you to let you know they want to talk.  This native features on the conferencing end, may end up allowing for a more naturally immersive experience than creating a dedicated private convo area for a say a cubicle in an open space or a bullpen area with multiple seating in it. I may have to recruit some guinea pigs to play around with it with me.  Another option would be to build out separate spaces where each uses one of these design ideas and then have the COMP 650 class use both during the demo and give me their feedback … a free test group!

There is much to consider from a design perspective so I’ll have to more clearly write out my outcomes that I want to achieve from integration/behaviour perspective as well as functionality/effectiveness perspective.  This will probably facilitate clearer design decisions.  I’m going to adopt this moving forward.  I’m also going to start thinking of growth.  More specifically, what design decisions can I put in place that will facilitate easer growth and wider adaptation.  More to follow on that!