Instruction Sets for Strangers Part 3 | (Final) Prototypes & Intervention

New Intervention Prototype!

After a lot of brainstorming about our old prototypes and what went wrong, we decided that we could both enhance the interaction (taking photos with bull’s balls) while still making our point by continuing to use humor, but making something that isn’t meant to block the balls but complement them and the idea of posing with them.

For our final prototype, we decided to create a set of signs demonstrating for users how they should and should not pose with the statue. I was inspired to use the MTA subway signs as inspiration for the layout of how these should look, and Lorraine and Yan did an amazing job of getting them to really come to life through their crazy good computer illustration skills.

MTA Courtesy Counts Campaign
Play on the MTA’s Courtesy Counts signs filed in New York Post


We developed 6 signs for the project using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and mounted 2 on each of three foam boards. We then tested setting these boards up in four different ways. First Yan held one board at a time and stood next to the bull. Then she and I held the 3 boards all together next to the bull. Next we put all three signs leaning against a pole about 5 feet in front of the bull, finally we put one side on the left of the bull, leaning on it, and the other two on the right.

This intervention was much more successful!!!

Overall we noticed people liked the signs, posed with them for photos, and people of all cultures got them and stopped to point, laugh, and mime the positions. Lorraine, who was filming, said that when we held the signs, people came up and actually tried some of the poses out with the bull as welL!


Check out our presentation for more information, videos, and photos of the intervention!

Lessons Learned

  • Our new intervention enhanced the interaction, but was able to subvert it using humor & playing on the ambiguity of the relationship between the users (and their cultural/sociological paradigm) and the printed signs
  • Using semiotics can be an effective method for sharing interventions with diverse user-groups.
  • Imitation of public art/symbols especially effective. The universal convention of Do & Don’t.
Image Sources

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.