Color Harmonies Décor App

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Home furnishings is a $79 billion industry, according to IBIS World as of December, and the space is attracting innovators and investors alike 2015.

Once home décor was dominated by retailers or professional interior designers, now we can see more innovative startups are leading the changes. I start to pay more attention on interior design when some of my friends and myself moved to new apartments.

Displaying wall art in home can enhance the character of living space and add color and vibrant to an otherwise plain room. Around the time combing with the picture frames project I was working on, I start to think about what would be a valuable way to help people picking aesthetic artworks or photos for decoration without an expert eye.

Problem 01: Not many people are able to afford to hire home decorators.
Problem 02: Buying art pieces is expensive that people don’t want to make the mistake buying a wrong match one.


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I did an experiment seeing how color plays a huge role for the artworks people select and how the artwork would affect the entire home environment.


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As we see the importance of color harmonies, I came up the mobile app concept so people do not need to invest time working with interior decorators to choose art would suit their home environment from color harmonies. It’s efficiently help narrow down the possibilities into the colors that best fit user’s vision for the space. And the simple process would encourage discovering.

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How the Color Harmonies app work is by taking a picture, the system will analyze color palette based on the home photo and suggest artworks from third party or personal photos (if users allow the app accesses to their photos). To make the discovering process delightful, “core” as the primary color from the room; “Parallel” as the adjacent color based on the room and “Trilogy” as the triad color based on the room suggesting various of artworks according to the color palette.  

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UI Design Tips for Multi-Touch Experiences

At Microsoft Production Studios, Director of Emerging Media, Paolo Tosolini and I have created a tutorial explaining some UI design techniques that we have adopted in a variety of multi-touch applications to be used on large displays. We hope this design sharing is helpful for any storytelling interactive experience!

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I have worked at MS Studios for a year and designed 7+ interactive experiences for corporate events, trade shows and public spaces. Recently Paolo suggested that we should create a tutorial sharing some of design techniques we found effective in the year. Paolo is an expert in creating short storytelling video so we only spend three days completing the video from kick off meeting, writing scripts, shooting by iPhone and editing the pieces.
We would love to hear your feedback!

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Backseat Driver: Intimate Interaction between Kids and Parents

Recently I have been researching some automotive apps on the market for another final project from class, COM597: Interactive Design. The practical functions of current  automotive apps include educational tutorials, driving logs, gas finders for cheap gas, repair estimates, finding a mechanic near you and tracking personal or business mileage any time with log applications. Since I don’t drive, I am not a huge fan downloading those apps. However, I am really impressed by one unique concept of an app called” Backseat Driver”. This iPhone application is introduced by Toyota, which allows users to enjoy driving from the back seat of their car.

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How the app works is the player—it is designed for the kids— controls the app following the driver. The moves mirror the route of the real car in which the player is riding by GPS functionality but the scenes are created like animated cartoons. By steering left and right on the app, users follow the driver’s car path and pick up and collective items such as pencils or paperclips. Users can gain points by collecting the items, landmark icons of shops and facilities that are from the real maps. After gaining some points, they are able to customize their car with own designs. Besides, the route they took will be saved automatically for looking over. Having fun alone is not enough, the designs of the car and the saved route can be shared via the User’s Twitter.

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The app targets kids who are not able to drive and builds an intimate interaction with the drivers. Their marketing strategy reminds me when I interviewed the car buyers for my final project and some of them mentioned when picking a car, they are influenced by the brand preferences of their family. Also, some brand images have already deeply rooted in their hearts. Therefore, apps like “Backseat Driver” definitely offer passengers a new way to enjoy driving and increase their brand favorability.

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How to Motivate Retailer Shoppers with QR Codes

QR code is a kind of a gateway connecting a digital world and a true life via mobile devices. Though nowadays more and more people believe QR code is going to die out or be replaced by other cutting-edge techniques, marketers still put so much effort into encouraging customers to scan the QR code. Last week Kelly showed us some giant QR code from the slide which tried to catch customers’ eyes. In fact, not only the size matters, I find a QR code campaign impressively initiating conversation by a novel experiencing of a 3D QR code created by sun and its shadow.

The case is E-MART, the largest retail chain in Korea, recently launched a QR code campaign called” Sunny Sale”. The company realized there was a sales gap during weekday lunch time. We might take this phenomenon for granted but the marketers came up with the idea of giving people a unique lunch shopping experience to increase sales during the period.
擷取1E-MART launched 3D QR code sculpture only readable from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, due to the position of the sunlight and shadow. E-MART expanded a concept of QR code from digital 2D image which is composed of 0 and 1 to analog 3D figure as an artwork which has width, height and depth. The unique time limit restricting chance to participate per day quickly brings the attention to many people. The campaign gives an added scarcity value to participants making obtaining the benefits more attractive. Consumers who scanned the QR Code were directed to the E-MART online store and received $12 coupons for products to be delivered in their homes. This action expanded to 36 locations in Seoul, increased the number of members by 58%, and led to a 25% increase in sales during the lunch hour.

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So, what’s the reason the sun plays a key role in the campaign? According to the marketers from this campaign, they indicates that sun uses that time to direct to the location, and represents positive meanings such as happiness, and hope for the brand. The campaign definitely brings positive thinking about E-MART and their brand to potential and original customers through experiencing a novel QR code created by sun and its shadow. Since this campaign was so creative and successful, it won 5 Lions at the Cannes Lions 2012, 2 prizes at London International Awards and 7 prizes at Spikes Asia 2012.

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Why Should We Think about Mobile Security?

I complained to my friend that my phone is getting slow and crashing easily whenever I use some apps these days. “Hmmm…Have you tried an antivirus software on your phone?” she said. My mobile device should have Security Software? This is a totally new concept for me. An antivirus protection and firewalls have become necessary standard-issue software for our home, business computers and personal laptop. Mobile phones have more and more powerful hardware and the overall function almost matches the computer’s. We web surf, download, check e-mail and make online purchases on our phone.

However, the concept of antivirus protection is still not widespread. Our smartphone pretty much contains vital personal and business information, so we should consider mobile security software as the new standard to avoid smartphone from mobile threats. According to TopTenREVIEWS: 2013 Best Mobile Security Software Comparisons and Reviews,

A mobile virus can drain a phone’s battery, delete personal and business information, and even cause certain features to be completely nonfunctional. Not only can a virus disable functions on your phone, but other forms of malware may also send infected files to your contacts, send mass messages without permission, make expensive calls resulting in unwarranted billing, and turn your mobile device into a recorder or even a camera, taking pictures wherever you go and displaying them online ( TopTenREVIEWS, 2013).

This warning shows how we should emphasize the mobile security. Also, there should be a way to prevent crises if we carelessly leave our phone in a taxi, shopping mall or a restaurant. The best mobile security applications should give you the ability to lock phone and SIM card remotely, wipe important information from memory card and activate phone’s built-in GPS chip to locate a lost or stolen device. With the right software solution, users don’t have to sacrifice security for mobility.

Lastly, with the limited resources and small size of mobile phones, it is especially important that the design of mobile security software is straightforward and easy to navigate. Here I recommend LINE Antivirus with clear interface and cute icons surprising users when the software scans your system.

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Another interesting usage of 2D Code

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Most of our experience of 2D Code is

l   Step1: Open 2D Code Scanner

l   Step2: Stabilize your hands and scan the 2D Code from the posters, magazines or brochures

l   Step3: Follow the link to a website, watch a video or trailer

2D Codes only bring people to the web page and then leave them there, so that’s where business falls short. However, it is more like extension of the advertisements or marketing campaigns. The book “Go Mobile” mentions that “ Don’t run 2D Code program in isolation. If you integrate the promotion with other marketing campaigns, the result will improve.”

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I found that JC Penney, the US department store chain, has come up with an ingenious use for QR Codes called “Who’s Your Santa” campaign, in last Christmas. JC Penney invited customers to personalize their Christmas giving with the use of 2D tags and mobile phone technology. When purchasing in JC Penny, consumers get a “Santa Tag” in the form of 2D Codes and enable so record a personalized gift message for each of their gifts. Attaching 2D Codes to gifts allows givers to record a 60-second message. The gift receivers scan the 2D Code on the gift and listen to the blessing message. At the same time, the codes enable the user to reply with a thank you note to the giver.

In fact, customers can complete the same process through e-mail or voice message instead of 2D Code. However, the process would be lack of the instant feeling of gifts being on hand and listening to the wish immediately. It is a small creativity but it breaks through the application of 2D Code for just accessing the website. The novel campaign is able to interact with the customers and improves the impression of JC Penney.

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