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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

-Mark Twain

I feel that after the whole observations and deeper research into our concepts, it is important to remember to first idea of travel by MTI. We needed to create impressions of the emerging markets and attract attention towards the region. We had to make sure that people are interested in the place that we are promoting and hopefully, our users will be turned on to the idea of travelling to the emerging market of our group.

After these couple of months, I was exposed to more ideas of interaction and deeper understanding of what is travelling and why people do it. We have initial ideas and concepts of a certain place. We feel that third world countries are just third world countries. That they are low class, dirty, unkempt and dangerous. But what we fail to recognise is that emerging markets (be it third world country or not) encompasses a whole new culture, different people and different behaviours.

Simply because of the ease of classification of the modern world, we choose to understand each country differently, all understood by a certain main event that does not and should not define one country.

I feel that throughout this project, it is important to go back to the roots, what is it that make people want to travel? Afterall, that is the step we want people to take. At best, my group has to do what we can to erase pre-known negative ideas of what the Middle East is and introduce a different side.

#59 the connection of social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine etc

these are popular social media sites that foster strong communities. All these already have strong content and users. While my group is currently making use of just instagram, I feel that once these different platforms combine, it can create a very strong community. App like instagram allows multiple posting, once you post a new photo, you can choose to share the photo to your tumblr and facebook profile! One app can make links to different websites.

Not only does this make for easy posting across multiple platforms, one image is now simultaneously exposed to 3 different groups of people. This increases the exposure of image and I feel that this is something that will be relevant to my group because we need the exposure.

of course, it would be too ambitious to work with all these different platforms right now, the content available on all these platforms would be enough to kill us. :x

but it is a great thing to work on should our initial concept take off and garner popularity.. (hopefully)

#58 Concepts of conveniece

Initially my group was fixated on the idea of working with QR codes because we felt that the QR code would be a good tool that can link people quickly to links and images. Of course one thing was that QR code is not convenient at all. For people who are new to the QR code, they have to download the app first, make sure that they are able to scan the QR code before the QR code scanner bring them to the external link.

While it is easy to scan the QR code, the process of scanning this QR code is surprisingly deterring to people. It seems easy, but it is NOT really that easy.

Just to mention the line app, this application makes use of the a “shaking function” to locate a near by phone (literally side by side) and users will be able to add each other as long as they are nearby and have the line app. This was actually fascinating to me and jeremy the first time we tried it (which is why we have decided to include it into our project; to shake and check out images) BUT while it was fascinating the current issue with this action is: WILL people be actually WILLING to shake their phones in public? it seems like a small action, but Singaporeans especially are very sensitive to their behaviour in a public space. (think blood drive pledge)

This is now something tentative instead of confirmed. My group is still in the process of designing the prototype and ideas of how interaction should be made with our concept board.

All these ideas about movement and ease made me more aware of what should be considered convenient and what really is convenient. Given that, it is also important that we note if it is simple enough that people will be willing to input their effort. The effort require should be so minimal that it is like a snap of their fingers!

this allows us to generate weak links easily.

#57 General Preconceptions about the Middle East

Throughout this week, I did some research regarding the general concepts and view people have about the middle east. Generally, my friends told me about how they felt Egypt is dangerous nowadays and Middle East reminds them of Iran and Palestine conflicts. The general views I get was that Middle East reminded people about warfare and conflicts. If I did not start on this project trying to expose people to the Middle East, I guess that would be my initial reaction too.

But Middle East is so full of heritage and the cultures are varied and beautiful. It is a pity that the region is stuck in a violent zone and people have such deep misconceptions about the region. I think right now while my group is focused on attracting attention of the undergrads, it is important for us to include concepts-changing photos.

I mean. its a camel in a building!! how would people NOT be interested. #LOL (image from reddit)

There is a city, Sulaymaniyah, the most western and liberal city in Kurdistan. It looks modern and buzzing with life. Image from

I mean, Middle East is huge! theres so many things to see and do, I really think that it would be a great place for people to visit and as long as are exposed to different, genuine, interesting and beautiful ideas of the Middle East, we will be able to be that initial “click” for people to travel to the middle east.



#56 Paranomio

This is a great website that Ms Foong pointed out to my group regarding the layout and presentation of photos.
Paranomio allows users to type in a location and it will provide photos for the users to see. The images are pinned onto different locations on a map and when clicked on, the image will enlarge to show more details.

I think that this is a great layout and it provides good fundamentals for my group to work on.

The photos are uploaded by users and the photos garner comments, favorites and likes. I feel that if we are able to have the resources, we can further improve on the aesthetic and layout of such a website function.

NM3221 Notebook: #55 Chance interaction OR?


After looking at our general outline, Ms Foong pointed out an issue, that we should just focus in creating an online community OR just focus on the chance interaction.

I didn’t realize this problem earlier, but while making earlier observations, I did realize that my group had two focuses which…

#54 PRinCiPleS

During tutorial yesterday, Ms Foong taught us a process to make our presentation easier and also to view a general view of our project.

P - chancing upon interaction
- an online community that supports cross-cultural interactions

R - P: motivation to travel
- S: weak ties, volume, content
(Leads to building of social gratification where we want to have a gratification system)

I - to trigger motivation of potential travelers to Middle East through building weak ties

C,P - InstaMap
-map, QR code, shaking of mobile phone
- public vs private space, how to motivate users

S - physical crowd sourcing environment
- create buzz
————> further development to 1 to 1 use (mobile platform)

#53 problematic function
I tried out the blood donation drive earlier this week. The initial feel towards the act of pressing the button was of course the sudden pressure out of nowhere. I knew that this machine is in the central forum because it is a main crowd area but similarly there was a self-inducing pressure maybe because it was crowded at the time and while people may not necessarily be staring at me, I do feel looked at.

But after that, I realise that the machine do have a sensitivity issue. Pressing on it too hard or if the hand lingers too long in the sensor/button, the machine registers more than one input. Well, I couldn’t help but feel that the machine is “smart-cheat”. In a sense, people don’t blame the machine for being so sensitive, I was just told not to press so hard. The ultimate aim of the machine was to garner a million pledges. But after looking at what previous people and friends have done, one person coils easily have pressed on it too hard it too long and input like 10 responses. It made it easier for a total million responses to be made…. But. /: I feel that the machine was made sensitive for the wrong reason.
Of course I could be thinking too much, the machine is just sensitive but the sensitivity wasnt taken into consideration as a problem meant to be fixed. BUT I don’t think people can deny that it does make reaching the goal of a million pledges easier.

NM3221 Notebook: #52 gatekeeper


My group did not initially think about using a gatekeeper for our content. However, Instagram do have unrelated content (for our application) posted despite the use of hash tags. Thus it is important for us to have a gatekeeper to filter out irrelevant and inappropriate content for our app.

#51 reorganizing knowledge to retain attention

Right now for my group, we do have the content that is available online (from Instagram)
How do we let users understand something about the middle eastern culture? While I have mentioned regarding re-presenting content through our application, I feel that it is important for my group to focus on presenting knowledge. Rather just a simple step of attracting attention, we also need ways to retain attraction. I think that is the most important point for us to garner action from our target audience.

After discussion yesterday in tutorial, my group need to find something specific to the middle eastern culture and bring it out to the crowd. Rather than a big mass of information, smart organizing and aesthetic is important to retain attention.