The design of the ShareTable is constantly evolving and the path to get our current design involved many other explorations, as well. Some of these, may potentially become other parent-child communication projects, while others will remain put aside for now. There have been several rounds of ideation and idea selection thus far:
  • Brainstorming ideas for parent-child communication with a team of 4 other designers, focusing mostly on fluency of ideas. Next, narrowing to 6 designs that represented the diversity of our ideas. We asked parents to rank these designs and the early version of the ShareTable idea came out on top. See Figure 1 (click for a larger view) for 3 of the other popular ideas.

  • The second round involved studying products that were already popular with children (with a special focus on mobile artifacts) to get inspiration for design. Results of this exploration, as well as results from interviews with divorced families were presented to a group of 9 researchers before conducting a brainstorming session. Selected ideas were embodied as sketches. Figures 2-4 highlight a few of the ideas we generated.

  • The third round of design iteration was fueled by the success of the initial ShareTable deployment. Through a studio-based brainstorming dialog between two designers, we were looking to consider alternatives in ShareTable construction, interaction paradigms, and use of space in the home. This stage is still ongoing, though you can get an idea of our process and energy through the snapshots of our "idea landscape" in Figures 5 & 6. Major themes of this exploration include:
    • Different arrangements of space
    • Alternatives to projection
    • Alternative construction and hardware arrangements
    • Managing availability and asynchronous modes of communication
    • Modularity of components and exploring various levels of portability

 Figure 1. Some initial thoughts...

 Figure 2. Portable & Mobile Ideas

 Figure 3. Wearable Tech Ideas

 Figure 4. Memo Cube

 Figure 5. The idea "landscape"...

 Figure 6. One of the groups...

Lana Yarosh,
Apr 15, 2009, 11:12 PM