A turning point of the idea for creating the volunteer tag to the volunteer backpack.

According to the tag that I intend to create for the volunteer that allow public people can interact with volunteers. the volunteer tag design. The weak point of the tag is the touching point area is very small. The text for shall people to touch is unable to read clearly. So I will try to create another thing, volunteer backpack.


Where is the idea come from?

Ethnography, a method adapted from the field of anthropology. Watch the target group of people. Watch them in the real situation, how their behaviour, how they interact with things (Donald Norman, the design of everyday things, p.222). After I have decided to create the interactive tag for the volunteer. I regularly look at people backpack, how they hang the tag on it. Fortunately, I saw one woman carry the volunteer backpack. The sentence on that backpack can tell me know she is the volunteer. “TEAM LONDON Ambassador”. Team London is the big group of volunteer community, the volunteer who are working around London area.


Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 1

I show this picture to my tutor, he said is a good idea for creating the backpack. The backpack has the large area that we can put the touch point and show a status of the energy via the level of power of a battery.

So, I start to design what the volunteer backpack look like. The function of the backpack is same as the tag which allows public people interact with. The backpack will show the level of the energy that a volunteer has at that moment.


The idea for creating the backpack come from me, my friend and my tutor. There are the series of the idea.

Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 2 Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 3

The issue that I must to consider in this step. How can I show the level of the energy? How can I measure the energy of the volunteer?

For showing the energy level I choose to use the LED Stripe. It allows me to change the color and can config the value of each cell.

For measuring the volunteer’s energy. I have two ways, first measure by time. How long that the volunteer work. The energy will decrease according to the time. Second measure by their movement. If they move a lot is mean they will lose a lot of energy.

measure by the time, in the same period of time, each person will spend energy differently.

measure by the movement of the body. It may be precise more than measured by the time. Our body will lose energy when we move a lot. On the another hand, if we use our brain for thinking for talking with older people continually for a long time, our energy will lose too, without movement.


Made the prototype

Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 4

Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 5

Social things-the first prototype of volunteer blackpack 6


Sensor testing —@Social energy