The city is my playground

Some updates since my last blog post…

Here’s my midterm presentation.

I wanted to create a location based audio storytelling app that allows you to listen to a dating story that took place right where you are at. I immediately thought of two different approaches.

One is mission driven where you 1) open the app, 2) greeted by a chatbot, “If you want to learn about how straight millennials approach romance, you can say: I want to listen to a mildly frustrated story, a medium frustrated story, a super frustrated story or an unbearably frustrated story”, 3) select a category, 4) chatbot told you to go to a designated location 5) once you are at the destination, a play button will appear and you can listen to the story.

The other is chance discovery where you are at a place (perhaps a cafe) and you receive a notification from the app, “There is a super frustrated modern love story that took place right where you are at”. You can then listen to the story.

I first started prototyping with the mission driven method through Dialogflow.

I initially had my chatbot read aloud the dating stories but quickly realized that it flattened the stories a little too much so I decided to use the actual voice of those who shared their dating experience. After user testing this prototype, I learned that the stories need to be longer (they were under 1 minute) with descriptions of the environment itself in the beginning to enhance the immersive experience. The other question I had was: how do I get people interested enough to travel across the boroughs or even just walk a few blocks?

Contemplating on the feedback I got from midterm reviewers, it was confirmed that chance encounter is a better method. So this is where I am at now with my project. There are two tasks I am working on simultaneously: stories and tech.

Stories:

  1. Outreach. I need more data. I reached out to people who I have spoken with earlier the semester, friends, friends of friends, aqquantances, professor (thank you Kat), asking for their stories in specific format regarding duration (3-5 minute minimum) and context (an intro of a description of the ambience). I have received about 10 so far and am waiting for more to come later the week. It is a big favor to ask from others and I am so happy with all the supportive responses.
  2. Editing. I went through the files I received and did some minor editing. Mostly removing words such as “hmm” and “like”. The one that needs the most editing is actually. I gag so much, re-recorded multiple times and still required a lot of editing. I finished editing a 5 week “relationship” I experienced last spring yet had a hard time writing about my recent past “relationship” that lasted for 5 months which am still working on the script at the moment.

Tech:

  1. MapBox. I realized the limitations of Google Voice assistant and that what I wanted to make can be built in another platform so I decided to move on to round two of prototyping through Javascript and MapBox API. I was able to get the map kind of working (not sure why the actual map was not visible when I set the longitude and latitude to NYU ITP) but there were no error messages in console so that’s some progress.

2. Geolocation. Many thanks to Shawn, I was able to get my audio file attached to my current location. My next step for the week is to migrate my code to a server so that I can test it on my phone at different locations.

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