Techniques
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Descriptive Template

Descriptive Template Design Dimensions

Descriptive Template

The Descriptive Template defined at a top-level the areas that designers need to think about, in no particular order of priority, but all needed to be covered at some point:

Activity

What your body does; e.g. ‘you walk around there’

Place

Where does it happen; e.g. ‘in Queen Square’

Equipment

The visible equipment e.g. headphones, backpack and ‘the small screen that you hold’

Content

What is it about? e.g. ‘personal stories’

Media mode

For example sound, still images, video etc.

Genre

For example: history, drama, documentary; ‘the real sounds that happened in that place’

Affect

How does it make you feel? ‘special “Magic Moments”, ‘a bit spooky/scary’, ‘like eavesdropping’

Sociality

Is this something you do on your own or with other people?

Skills

Do you need any special abilities to do it ? ‘It’s simple to use, easy to learn how to make it work’

Time

When will it happen? Does it have to be at a specific time/day/date/season?
Does it only happen once, like an event, or is it an ongoing experience that people can dip in and out of?

Considering each of these areas of the Descriptive Template would throw up a variety of questions that relate to the Design Dimensions that we defined, but cannot all be directly mapped onto them.There are complex relationships between the template areas and the dimensions, that become evident when attempting to apply the dimensions to a project; each decision taken having a myriad of possible effects on other areas.

One area of the descriptive template that is easy to connect to the dimensions is that of sociality, where two dimensions identified are private/public and solitary/shared. You could also argue that affect maps on to dimensions related to immersion, but affect could also have a relationship to the location, existing elements of the built environment, the type of media used, and the content of the ‘story’ of the experience.