Challenging the system

I designed a method for people to form their own, self-projected, labels as a tool for self-discovery.

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Systematic labeling exists all around us, when referring to identity and projected labels these systems can become plagues. I am exploring this idea of labeling. Since classification systems are so heavily engraved in this world, they are impossible to avoid. Everyone around you is labeled a certain way based on physical, mental, emotional attributes. 

 

Constellations have been used over the years as a way of navigation, mythology, insight into the future, and as a way of identification. The relationship between man and the stars is one that has existed since the creation of man. This form of astrological identification is based have off of the positioning of the stars on an individual's birthday. Why did humans use patterns and symbols amongst the stars as a way of representation? It becomes a ‘cop out’ or ‘short-cuts’ to representing ourselves. Making it seem as though it was created as a method for clarifying one’s qualities to others, will ultimately affect our perception of introspection and communication. 

Context

Role: Interactive Digital Story, User Experience Design, Programming

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, HTML, CSS, Javascript

Problem

Usage of symbols becomes a shortcut way of self-representation and also a shortcut way of labeling others. Once these shortcuts become overused that’s when the system of labeling becomes shallow, restrictive, boxed categories of people. We begin to sacrifice quality for scale.

Laid out on a table in front of the user are various puzzle pieces that have symbols or words engraved onto them. When certain pieces are connected, a visualization mirroring that of a constellation will appear on the screen in front of them. The user will be able to use only four puzzle pieces. There will be a box with four puzzle pieces outlined on the top of it, signaling to the user to place their pieces there. In exercises such as these, users gravitate towards symbols and words that best describe who they are as an individual. The goal of this exercise is that the users start to form their own labels. This abstract portrayal of the user will be based on the symbols they have chosen to self-project. The output of this project would be for the user to put their personal constellation on a website. While on this website they have the opportunity to compare the label they have chosen to self-project to the zodiac sign that is associated with them. The users will be challenged to answer these questions: 

What are the similarities and differences between your self-projected label and the label projected onto you? 

Are they similar? 

Are they different? 

Why?

Ideation

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I made a tool for users to choose the labels they want to self project. This tool has three sections: input, visualization, output.

Experience

Prototype

1

User Testing

1

Not too intuitive

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You have to push hard to make the connection

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It's cool to have the physical puzzle piece create something on the screen.

Prototype

2

User Test

2

I like the concept of this interaction. How can I share my results with people?

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Final

Prototype

Copyright © 2020 Milan Gary

Developed and Designed by Milan Gary

milangarydesigns@gmail.com.