This assignment is all about the observation of people and using this to understand design - mainly because we often spend too much time focusing on an object rather than the way it eddects people's actions.
Firstly we were given the choice to go to the casion, a football match or the bingo. All places which i would find very intimidating (especially at a younger age).
There are many different tools when doing design research. A number of them are listed on this website: http://www.servicedesigntools.org/.
There are two which stood out to me: Mind-mapping and Storyboards.
I find mind-mapping most useful at the beginning of a project where it helps me look at all area's of the chosen subject. The lines and arrow connecting words, show the system of thoughts i go through, around the starting point. Storyboards I use at the end of a project to show the journey i went through, through a sequence of pictures and drawings.
We decided to go to the bingo on a Thursday night as it was free night! We actually had a really good time and never spent a penny (although none of us won).
When we first arrived the old man at the door could clearly tell none of us had been before and took the opportunity to come over and act like he was older and knew better and id'd us all right away. Once we filled out our membership forms and were handed our cards we walked out of the foyer and into the main building. At the next desk we were handed a book of ten free games and a FREE BINGO PEN! As we arrived late for the first game the hall was deadly quiet when we walked it. I was shocked at just how large the hall was. I didn't really know what to expect to be honest. A small helpful, cheery woman met us at the door and went away to find us a large table. She was so chatty and seemed excited that it was our first time to the bingo. The most surreal experience was just walking in! Even though the game had started people still found the time to look up and glare at us. It was like they knew that it was our first time and didn't like the fact we were a lot younger.
When we were seated the woman stayed with us through two games to make sure we knew what we were doign and if we had any queries, which was really helpful. Even just after one game, I could feel myself getting more and more competitive at wanting to win.
It was like a game was split into three parts: the quiet stage when the numbers are being called out, when you get a fright because someone has shouted out 'bingo!', and the stage when every groans because they have been so close to winning. I also noticed the sighing got louder when there was more money involved.
Although no one actually spoke to us. I noticed that the more middle-aged people were those who stared the most and seemed annoyed we were there and new to it. An old man sat two table across from us would hold and and point to the game next being played, enjoying the fact that he was teaching us. It must of been pretty obvious we didn't really know what we were doing.
There was an interval between the two free games tat was filled with smaller games of bingo were it was "only" 50p or £1 to play and they seemed to rattle off the numbers more quickly.
Glancing around and the players it definately looked likes they had ALL been before. There wern't many big groups or couples playing but mainly people in two's or by themselves. To the left was a large older man sitting by himself, behind us were two old men, a couple older woman playing alone, a old man playing alone, and two or three sets of middle aged women. I got the impression that the older generation playing alone were perhaps windowed. All the old women seemed to dress the exact same: wearing bright cardigens, gold earings and rather than drinking tea, were nibbling on crisps and drinking fizzy juice.
The nice woman who helped us came back over at the end of the game and handed us all "five pound off vouchers for our next game, from the manager". I'm not sure if the woman was glad to see young people playing and wanted us to come back or if it was to try and get us back to spend out money... even though we spent none. She did seem really genuine though. When leaving through the front door it was like she had spoke to the manager about us and he was chatting to us whilst leaving, asking if we had won anything and to come back soon! Which was really nice too.
Although i have to admit it was quick scary and i did feel uncomfortable for the majority of the game, we all had such a good time (especially for spending no money) and although none of us won, we would like to go back sometime just for the fun of it.
I also decided to take some notes when waiting for my train home on Friday. Even though i was with someone at the time and have been there many times before, i don't know why but i still find it quite an intimidating place. Everyone who is normally by themselves and sitting waiting on a train coming like to have a stare at new people coming in. I can't really say anything because i do the exact same thing. When we finally got on the train, we were sat next to perhaps a travelling business man, alone, sitting with his ipod in ( the ticket man actually had to tap him on the shoulder for his ticket), two teenage girls who were chatting quite loudly, so everyone could hear what they were saying, an older woman who was sleeping on and off and a family who were constantly keeping the little boy amused by pointing stuff out through the window. I don't really find trains very relaxing. I'm not sure if it's a younger generation thing but I'm always petrified i miss my stop. I also like to have my ticket out and ready instead of rumaging through my bag when the ticket officer asks for it. The week before i got the train back to Dundee alone and i really don't enjoy it! I feel like people are staring at you even more and I'm scared that my music is turned up too loudly so people can hear it.
Although of course you know when you are feeling uncomfortable but you never really think about the people around you and trying to look closer into "I wonder why they are here? Or where are they going? Have they been before?"