Connected design project

Project brief

This project was to create a connected experience that was able to be Alexa compatible and work with multiple applications like a mobile device, app, alexa skill and something of our choice like an apple watch. I chose to come up with an Alexa skill that would help aid artists get out of an artist block and connect them through an app. My goal was to create an interactive skill to help generate ideas or topics and be able to show off what you created with those ideas on an app connected with Alexa. This connected experience is about growth of the artist and the joint community that is safe to show off this progress.


October 26 – November 8

Introduction to the project

Press Release

November 9 – 22

Multi-modal flowchart

Components table

November 30 – December 7

Demo video

Case study

Press release

Amazon is working on an add on skill for the Amazon Echo that can help kickstart your own at home personal art ideas. Users have the ability to interact with the skill to get new art designs or prompts to help generate new art. This feature is there to help pull you out of an artist block. Interact with Alexa to ask what new art mediums to try or what today’s art prompt is and Alexa will help generate new topics. Users then can interact with an app version and upload the art they created and can then share it with others all over the world. This added skill is a multipurpose tool to create, share and be inspired by art.

Full press release

Components table

ComponentExperience goalTech specs/requirements
Internet-enabled productThe creative thinking app and the Alexa compatible product is there to be an aid to help creative people get inspired and out of a creative slump. Its role is to connect people visually or to help generate ideas so the user can expand their own art level. This product will be connected to the Alexa, IOS and android software. It would be compatible with phones, tablets and smart watches for a combined experience. 
Amazon EchoThe amazon Echo part in this is to enhance and encourage a positive experience coming up with art ideas. It is one of the main platforms that the user will interact with hands free while working on art projects. Alexa already has a program set up where I could utilize it and mend it to work with the creative thinking experience. When it comes to designing the interface and the app coding like java and html connected with design programs like adobe would help perfect and finalize a smooth experience.  
Mobile/tablet appThe app works where users can connect and get inspired by other artists in the creative field. This is important for users if they want to find out what other artists are creating with certain art prompts and will help to have a visual experience tied in with the Echo dots audible experience.The software needed to run such apps would need to be compatible with IOS and Android software.  
Additional digital componentThe experience would be compatible with the apple watch or other smart watches. It would give reminders and what prompts you can try and motivational reinforcement messages while you are in the process of creating art. This will aid users being handsfree in case the art they are creating is messy. Allows the user to still access the program if they are not near an Alexa.Smart watches would need to be compatible with the users phone with either IOS or android. The smart watch will also need to be able to download the creative thinking app to be able to receive notifications and respond to actions.
HumanThis product is important for the user since it is always helpful to see what other people are finding inspiration from or to find inspiration for yourself. Users would need any art materials either that be digital or physical products. If the user would like to try a different art style products would be listed for the user to buy and try out.

Multi-device flowchart


Who I designed for

Currently as we go through a pandemic we feel disconnected and may have trouble being creative in this time. This is for new and experienced artists to enjoy creating something they are proud of and being able to share and connect with a community safely. Covid has taken many opportunities to be able to be social but we live in a time where we are still able to connect virtually with people. As someone who enjoys art and creating it I myself have felt disconnected and lacking ideas of creativity. I wanted an interactive experience that would help others to be inspired by art and other artists.This way people can feel less isolated and have some sort of feeling of normalcy.

Design feedback

For feedback I wanted opinions from artists and non artists to see if they liked the idea or would be interested in trying it. I received positive reviews from both artists and non artists that they would be interested in a skill like creative thinking. They liked the idea of having weekly or daily themes to help you come up with your own ideas around them. I got questions like “can you use the app without an Alexa?”. To this I respond yes you can use the skill without the app and vice versa but using both together gives the connected experience. The users also liked that you were able to connect and share with other artists on a different platform. Being able to connect with other artists and being comfortable with it was one of my main goals. It is easy to be critical of yourself as an artist so the users liked the friendly environment.


Project retrospective

What was most challenging about creating an connected UX product concept?

One of the challenges I faced was seeing if the idea in my head would actually work across multiple different components. Just because it is a good mobile idea does not mean it will be an effective Alexa skill. I had a lot of trouble coming up with an idea I liked enough to further expand on and work with that I thought would have success. Funny enough to bring me to an idea for an Alexa skill to help to come up with ideas. I also struggled with the press release because formatting writing is not my strongest skill.

What part of this project did you enjoy most? What part of this project did you enjoy least?

The part of the project I most enjoyed was coming up with an idea I was really excited about. Once I came up with an idea I really enjoyed it made working on the project that more fun. Part of the project I enjoyed the leased was probably the press release. I struggle with writing sometimes so figuring out how to write a good press release was a struggle for me.

How was your creative process challenged by this project? What were the similarities in how you approached this project and other digital design projects? What were the differences?

My creative process was challenged by this because I had to design not just an app but to be compatible with an AI. Normally I just have to focus on the one thing but this made me be more conscious of each decision. Similarities I had with this project compared to others is how I first approached doing a design project. I break down each project I start with into sections and I figured out what each element needs and I conquer each one until i’m done. I spilt up this project the same way I do my others. What was different about this project though is I worked by myself. A lot of the projects that were similar I have done in the past have been group project based. I enjoy working alone and in a group but it was nice to have some references from years past of like the press release I did with a team.

What new challenges did you face when communicating and prototyping your connected UX product? How did you overcome them?

Some new challenges I faced was what I thought would work for my program and what actually worked. I at first had way to many ideas I wanted but when I tried making it work it was just to much. Users when they tested it got confused of what did what and where to go next. I overcame this by going back with the feedback I had and revised alot of it. I was not disappointed at all and I think the changes in the end actually made my project better.

Between designing for digital and designing a connected experience, which do you prefer? Why?

This is a hard question because I enjoy doing both because I find both to be important. I slightly prefer designing digital because it is what I’m most comfortable with. I only recently started to learn connected experiences so if I gain more experience my feelings might change. I like designing digital because my workflow is alot faster and Im able to work through problems more efficiently.

For this project, you had to simultaneously focus on original concept, physical/digital interaction, and movie magic. How did you juggle those responsibilities? Which were your strengths? Which can you improve on, and how will you work on those areas of improvement in future projects?

How I balanced everything was I broke it up into smaller parts. Sometimes looking at a large project overall can be intimidating but breaking it down helps make it more manageable. It also is rewarding to accomplish a lot of small tasks because it feels like your making progress with every task completed. My strength in this project was coming up with a different creative idea. I thought the challenge of coming up with an unique idea was fun. A challenge I faced was making sure I stuck to my own personal deadlines. I think I have more time then I usually do and that can cause problems. I have to be better in the future sticking to when a deadline is a deadline and I have to finish by then. I will work on this by setting up my own personal calendar. If I set up weekly deadlines for myself I will not fall behind and have to rush last minute.

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