Slice of Touch
Jingzhou Li & Elaine Wang
When was the last time you received a hug?
Our relationships with our touch have shifted due to COVID-19. There is an opportunity to talk about touch and how it plays a role in relationships and well-being.
To encourage others to have conversations about touch with themselves and others through a safe and enjoyable experience, we collect and share people’s personal stories about touch, and visualize them in a poetic and interactive way to evoke interest and critical thinking.
Experience our interactive animation now!
↓ Click the play button to start ↓
Please use the button below if you have trouble experiencing on this page.
We conducted interviews with over 20 people and collected survey responses from over 200 people. In our interviews, we asked about their personal stories and memories related to touch as well as a few questions about how they experience touch and touch hunger.
From the survey results, it became clear to us that people’s relationships with touch are incredibly diverse, ranging from: craving for touch, disliking touch, or not caring at all about it. Many people had incredibly interesting stories to share about a touch experience.
Everyone has different comfort levels, and should be respected.
To keep the story open for interpretation, we sought to have the writing be abstract, and as such, chose to write a poem. We didn’t want to guide them into thinking whether touch is good or bad and to leave it open for them to determine the meaning. We decided later to translate it to Chinese since that is what helped us both connect to this project more on a personal level.
At each stage of our project, including all the various iterations it went through, we did user testing to make sure our goals were being met. We followed a Lean UX methodology. In total, we created more than 10 prototypes and tested with over 50 users. We determined that our prototype was near completion because many of our user’s feedback became more focused on the meaning behind our project, rather than the usability. At the final stage, we focused on creating a refined product, where the theme and meaning of our project were made more clear to users. Here, we did guerrilla testing to determine the success of our project. Is our project actually able to encourage people to reconsider their relationship to touch? Some of the users shared their personal experiences with touch after interacting with our project, and others began analyzing the meaning of the poetry and visuals.
This type of explorative project was new to both of us. We learned to both broaden our horizons by taking into consideration the user feedback that we received, while also narrowing down our scope by picking out the feedback that was most meaningful to us and would help us achieve our goal.
We learned to make our workflow more efficient using various tools for online collaboration, and also were able to distinguish our strengths and weaknesses.
This project was so much fun and such a great learning experience where we could experiment and use new tools, we are proud to showcase it to you.
Elaine Wang is a Chinese-Canadian interaction designer and illustrator. She was born in Vancouver, and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelors of Design. She combines her passion in the visual arts with her skills in UX, game design and research in her discipline. She developed passion in creating board games, video game jams, comics, and writing during her time at Emily Carr. Elaine is currently striving to create even more illustrative games and research-focused experiences, and will pursue her goal of growing professionally in public service and the games industry.
Jingzhou is an interaction designer based in Vancouver. His works focus on creativity and provide a unique experience with illustrative and playful designs and interactions. Jingzhou has proficient art and visual design skills with interests in motion and creative programming. He is also passionate about working with multiple media and experimenting with the latest technology.