MS1 Final | The Aftermath

Wrapping Up

In this post I will be wrapping up some information about Stealfie, providing a quick breakdown on final round iterations and going through my final Major Studio 1 critique on December 14, 2015.

Please also see my separate post that details my Research and Precedent works cited throughout the process.

You can also check out Stealfie on Twitter for more information.

Final Stealfie Prototype for Critique

The last week of designing Stealfie saw a few changes, mostly design related, as per user feedback and goals I set earlier for this stage (aka make it pretty and make it unbreakable by users). So, this week I added in all of the graphic and user interface elements, as well as functionality that allows the user to go directly to a web view of the Stealfie Twitter. I also added in branding elements such as a title screen, app icon, and user-interface elements such as colors and logos.

In addition, I decided to take the data from the first username pop up and incorporate it throughout the question in the app so that it actually is speaking directly to the user.

Finally, I focused on creating a workings Terms & Conditions for the app. Based on my research, it was unnecessary to have the users agree to these conditions via an in-app alert. Instead, I decided to use, abuse, and satirize Instagram’s terms, which really didn’t need too much editing (shock…). As they explain, just by using the service, or any apps related to the service, consent is given. I also saw that it is uncommon to show more than basic terms in the app, if that, and instead put the privacy policy and other information on the website. As such, I created a privacy policy page and linked it in-app through the terms.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.52.43 PM.png

View Stealfie’s privacy policy here.

Final Presentation, Video Demo, Code

Here is my final code for Stealfie.on my GitHub. It is in Swift 2, created using Xcode IDE.

Final Stealfie Demo Video

Final Presentation Video

Review: Major Studio 1 Critiques

Colleen Macklin, Mattie Brice, Katherine Morawaki, Kate Sicchio

For our critiques, we were required to prepare a final presentation to discuss our idea, our research, precedents, design values, ideas for future implementation and to demo our product.

My favorite part of projects is usually the presentation so I really wanted to build up a flow and emotion throughout my words. I decided to play on the trope of selfies being immediate, interruptive and started off the presentation with a big hook/emotional start – only to immediately interrupt myself and “take a stealfie” to do the demo. I also wanted to build concern throughout my research and precedents, so I very much tried to relate information about the research directly to users by framing them within it. “Did you know that right now, almost half of the apps on your phone know where you are?”  In my experience both presenting and working as a telemarketer, putting people into the narrative helps them to frame it and think more critically (or in the case of telemarketing get more scared and willing to listen to you!)


The most important feedback I got during the presentation involved my execution and narrative for the critique. Critical design really needs to make an impact, and even though Stealfie is funny, interesting, and does take users information, it doesn’t communicate this sense of urgency and critique as effectively it could tweeting out somewhat irreverent/funny/mean info about the user.  Other than this one central message, the critique group were very much split on what future applications could be for this. I had presented both my idea for a gallery context, using the app as the first exhibit and then revealing the info later, and/or posting it to the app store. There was also different suggestions for these applications.

Maddie very much enjoyed the line of questioning and thought the pop-ups were enough of a trope that they could be explored and critiqued as a vehicle. We are so used to clicking through these interface elements that when they start to get more and more serious/weird it can lead to a great sense of abstraction. She suggested starting off the questions even more innocuous/normal and making them get weirder and more abstract the farther in you go. Have the users feel something weird is going on only as they are forced to keep clicking through. Make them want to keep clicking through. She also thought that it would be interesting to explore social media phenomenon like I sort of do with Twitter, but that in its current manifestation, the integration of too much of this would splinter the focus since it’s such a large space for additional critique.

  • Descriptors are too goofy to be critical when revealed publicly
  • Need more serious and creepy things being “stolen”
  • More data actually from the users, move toward expressing the data more seriously
  • Think about what the message is and decide if the share supports what you want to say
  • Need to capture the offputting nature of predictions about us
  • What data can you gather right from there phones?
  • Don’t put it in a gallery, a gallery is such a safe space that people will forget about the critique when they leave.

On the other hand, Katherine very much thought I should dispense with the questions altogether. She said that she found the line of questioning very alienating and that fact that each only had two answers (I was using them as booleans for processing…) reductive and binary. By limiting the answers to questions, she felt that it was forcing people to drive their identities in certain information. Instead, she suggested that I explore how to make it really fun, but also collect information more indirectly.

  • Perhaps collect the info without displaying it immediatley, and then aggregate it to make future predictions/reveals after the app has been used for awhile.
  • Need to make sure the feeling of the reveal wasn’t just an “aha, gotcha!”, it needs to be more layerd and complicated
  • Needs to exploit the representation that was made of users.
  • It would be more scary to just share their information .
  • We need to be seduced by the experience, to blur the life and the message.
  • Try thinking about optimization and how that could fit in.

One final suggestion I really enjoyed was from Colleen who thought that I could play off the gallery context but instead of having the info revealed on screen, work to make it more of a performance piece. Have users play with the app in the beginning to take their info and picture, then have actors approach them throughout the evening who know the personal information. I think this would be really fun! I very much have realized that I like having a sense of dark humor in my design this semester and that fits perfectly with it. If it makes me chuckle, it’s good to go!

Here are some suggested works it was suggested I check out moving forward.

  • – dating site for facebook profiles
  • Mark Daggett- Every Desktop – send desktop images without permission
  • Mike Namak
  • Tina Segall – Guggenheim performance piece

Moving Forward

So the semester is over and so is this iteration of Stealfie (v1). For future work on this project I think would like to research what information I can take from phones that is creepy/personal: model number, random contact names from address book, time spent on phone, time spent on certain apps, orientation, accelerometer, face proximity, fingerprint etc.

I would also like to explore what is possible using the Facebook SDK for Swift which includes much more controlled data management, friend tracking, linking etc. I think that there could be potential to capture/parse/aggregate and display information better along these lines.

Other than Stealfie, I need to do some thinking, playing, learning, and just making this January. Colleen pointed out something really annoying/true to me the last day of class when I mentioned that I was going to return to more “serious” applications of technology given my background in policy/urban planning. She said, “Why?” and noted that all of my projects this semester seemed to be not in that direction. She is absolutely right of course. So  I need to think about that and remember that I’m not sold on a particular career, career path, or future and that I’m in art school to learn about what kind of art/design whatever I want to make, and what I want to say. So now I just need to figure out what I want to say… No Big Deal, lol.

So… on to a month of reflection, gaming, unity-learning, maybe silk screening with electroconductive paint, building my own wireless mesh network for an idea I might have using PirateBox, building my idea for a full-scale Sword in the Stone Arduino installation for union square using electromagnets, building a simple 2d game for iOS utilizing Game Design Zen’s gauntlet challenge, catching up on all the SciFi movies/books I’ve missed, and… I guess that is quite enough for a 1-month break.

Colleen, if you are reading this… I will play the Indiecade suggestions and boat-load of notes from the semester, but if you have any other games that you specifically think I should check out, please email them to me!!! (or comment)

Stay tuned for some post-Xmas blogging as I try to tackle any of the above and not just nap all day!


Dana out.



2 thoughts on “MS1 Final | The Aftermath

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 )

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.