Refinement of materialise resource interface icons

Purpose of refining icons


While the development of various forms offered variety of Icons, it became apparent that the key means of materialisation came in the form of resources being used in the moment and the sharing of the energy. Originally the design followed the reflection of the node red interface that would come to operate the system,


Research analysis into info graphics


A key reoccurring them in my design in the materialisation of the resources in their similarity to info graphics and a expression of the statistics behind the use of energy converted into data. In order to refine these designs I need to research in expressions of energy use and group representation in the form of info graphics.


Statistical Graphs


In my research of info graphics I felt that diagrams that represented statistics of data was most effective due to the relationship between electricity and data such as watts.


Line based info graphics


Line based diagrams gave form to the direction of energy use and the intensity of data that can be used to reflect a quantity of electricity.


Pie and circle based charts


Pie charts and circle-based icons are effective in their method to show information occurring within a single set of time rather than event occurring over time. Py providing a contrasting set of colours within the circle a different of information within that moment can be created. This could be used to define the change of low energy use and high energy use within a moment.


Map info graphics


My research into info graphics I cam across design that used maps to define groups of a people. These took the shape of countries and town that represent a potion of the population or ethnicity to define a group of people. If the info graphics could used to define the population and ethnic background, then I could apply it to create a representation of my tribe as a group in the form of a neighbourhood mapped out.


Application of research on awareness and sharing


The communication needed improving as the resource awareness had too much of a mix between imojis and statistics. The sharing while effective in-group use, gives me reason to simplify the design into an individual use of energy using circle growth as a design feature.

Power of many development images Development images

Development images for the progression of the power of many project


Click on link for progression images


How to use 

The link above will take you to a development presentation with relates to the FMP development categories.


FMP categories

FMP Tribe – slide 1-9

FMP collecting – slide 9-17

FMP using resources – slide 17-20

FMP reactive experience: Tales – slide 21-29

FMP reactive experience: resource materialisation – slide 29-42

FMP doing more with less – slide 43-49

FMP Social thing: power of many cube – slide 50-59

FMP Power of many user interface – slide 60-66


Research for interface survey

Power of many user interface Survey


Following the design of a series of interface icons and graphics designed around the materialisation of resources It became apparent that communication these design had with the targeted tribe had yet to be tested. Using the outcomes of materialised data focused towards resource awareness and sharing, I aim to conduct a Contextual Survey that identifies the Ideal means of communicating

Purpose of Survey research


In order to best test the effectiveness of the materialisation of resources, a method of survey responses to the design is needed. Towards t I am researching into survey methods associated with interface testing.


Interface survey research


Research revealed that many interfaces are tested by placing selective groups within the context of the function that the interface will have and gaining responses towards how the interface would effect the users.




Before conducting the survey a persona analysis must be taken into consideration to understand your target audience and the context the interface will relate to. Towards this I will refer back to my survey conducted on the Tribes understanding of sustainability and the survey relating towards the kettle as a social object.


Affordance of Icons


Research reveals that the affordance of the design in terms of communicating information is key method on identifying whether the information is easy to understand, such as high affordance or it is difficult to relate to such as low affordance. Therefore relating their comments on the experience to the affordance reflects the experience.




I have reflected on this information ad found that the survey needs to take into account the context which in this case is using energy to boil water through the kettle as a social object. Persona and affordance gives means in which and understanding of the user and the interaction they have can be analysed and improved.


Application of knowledge towards Survey


Identifying the context of the interfaces use as the kitchen, I will apply the use of a persona analysis of neighbours that takes into account what they need the energy for and why, with the application of affordance on whether or not my design communicated effectively





Plan Contextual Survey


Purpose of plan of Survey

Here I am planning the layout of the survey that takes into account context, persona and affordance associated with the Interface Icons I have design.




The Plan is to use a kitchen room as the location that the survey will take place or kitchen setting images that set the mood and mind set. The Kitchen setting will be following the theme of making coffee ans a lifestyle routine expressed in the social object survey.




Following the research into the survey, I plan to associate the icons into the lifestyle need that fits the persona of a neighbourhood resident, using electricity to fulfil a routine task and relate the purpose of the icons associated with that task. These involve the “in the moment” icons that can be related to the use of a kettle and the persona of the user that wants to save money for economical sustainability.




Defining the affordance of the design is will be based on how effectively the design communicates the information and by extension its purpose.


In the Moment


These involve the affordance of whether the rise in energy is understood and relatable to the users circumstances.


Sharing energy


The second is whether or not the use of energy within the community can be understood and related to their own community, giving the effect of a queue system shared between neighbours




The plan focuses on the application of the “in the moment” and “energy sharing” icons within the context of a kitchen setting along the persona of the user needing coffee and the energy costs associated to their sustainability.




With the plan Set I have put together Survey that places the use of the kettle within the kitchen as the context and places icons associated with the function and communication used in that context on individual pages.

Survey Feed back


Purpose of Survey feedback

Here I am listing the Survey as it was conducted according though the research and plan, with the responses and an analysis of their meaning.


Survey conducted


The Survey was conducted within my household with invited neighbours in order to fit the context.


Analysis of Responses to Survey


Here I have listed the responses associated with the Survey.


– In The Moment



– Sharing energy





These responses as seen in the analysis demonstrate a focus towards adult member of the community as a group most concerned with the sustainability of the household. The in the moment was most effective in the rising colours of Blue: low and its rise to red: high in the its rising form the centre mimicked the in the moment energy awareness. The responses to the sharing as seen in the analysis also revealed a positive response to mapping out the community as it reflected a sense of unity defining individual housing as part of a group.




Application of survey knowledge


In the moment


Based on survey and reflection I Will move forward with the design of a resource awareness that follows the colour tone of blue and red as a high affordance for understanding the rise in energy use. The Use of a Circle shape that rises from the centre and grew bigger in response to energy use acted as and easy to relate to communication that mimicked the rise in sound from the kettle in visual form.


Sharing energy


The Sharing energy Icons proved more effective when linked to an illustration of a neighbourhood layout, however responses from the design Spoke of a lack of understanding in what the energy was being used for within the community and how the energy would be shared. Towards this I aim to revise the design associated with energy use within the neighbourhood using the “in the moment” icons and design of a refined communication of how energy is being used within the neighbourhood and a icons that the users can relate the energy us to in the form of a queue system.



Power of Many Queue interface interaction


Merging the Icons to create Queue system


Following the application of the feedback towards the interface, I aim to refine the energy sharing interface to incorporate a Queue system that translates the what the how much energy is being used within the community and icons that associate an identity and time associated with the energy being used.


Restricting energy use for the people as a whole


The use of a queue system will humanise the energy as seen in the survey when combining the persona of energy use with the amount used in the moment


Queue interface design research


In order to understand how to effectively combine the sharing of energy with the in the moment icons, I need to conduct research into interfaces that share these qualities in the form of a queue system mentioned above.


Queue bar


Analysis of the queue bar show 2 main variants, the moment someone is added into the queue and the moment that someone exits the queue. Towards that method a list design style may be best as it more effectively expresses the users transition from the bottom to the tome as well as when they entered and exited.


Queue identity


Upon analysis of the queue I found that the identity plays a large role in how users relate to their position in the queue.


Identity code number


Number codes based queue often give a sense of an anonymous identity to the users, providing a sense of security for the users towards their identity and allowing the queue system to be more flexible by associating any person to the a particular number based on when ore where the were added to queue




In some queue systems I have seen such as the dominos pizza queues you are able to give your name as a identity to place in the queue, allowing for a personal expression of your place in the queue.


Queue times


In this Queue’s that I have analysis time seems to be a reoccurring them that tracks time that the initial has booked to use a meet with others to discuss issues. This translates the queue into a booking system that gives the sense that schedules in the queue can be planned and communicated with the other members of the community. The function to share a booking relates well to the way a queue system leads people to cooperate and become aware of the other people in the queue.


Icon associated with tasks


I found it interesting that as I looked into queue I began looking into a more abstract queue that had a more personal human quality. The coffee queue, where as you wait to receive your coffee you see the variations of hot drinks that other who came before have used, giving a little personality to the queue as you learn the tastes of the other people in the queue.


Reflection of queue icons design style


In reflection of these design influence I found the queue system needs to take into consideration a list format that simulates the rising of the individual of in the queue. The identity requires more experimentation on whether a Number or name should be applied while the queue number is necessary to track the place the user is in the queue.


Application of research


I believe the next step is to apply these design features based on the reflection of research, towards icon designs and plan how these icons would relate with the materialisation of resources.

Plan for queue system interface


Purpose of planning queue


With the more `I researched the queue system and how to apply the materialisation of resources, I came to understand that the use of a queue system takes the users out of their individual lifestyle and forces them into a communication with other members of their community.


Name, time and queue number


This design feature provides a personal touch, a time of use that can be scheduled and a personality to the use of energy


Over time icon applied to queue system


This design style applies the use of lines to demonstrate where a large amount of energy is being used and is associated with the user at the top of the queue. , However these lines also distract and create too much tension in the design.


In the moment icons applied to interface


Looking back to the “in the moment” icons, the use of a circle can be adapted to individual housing as a focal point of where energy is being used like turning on a light.




In the queue system plan the use of a list layout for expressing the shifting of the queue is the most ideal method to apply the icons. The use of names, times and queue numbers seems to require experimentation into how the identity should be expressed to find a balance between the humanising of the queue and the anonymous identity of the users. The use of the “in the moment” seems the most effective means of expressing energy use as it relates to what energy is being used at the time of the user at the top of the queue.


Application of queue plan


While the interface is expressed well by the “in the moment” and “Neighbourhood energy” icons, more experimentation is needed into how to develop the queue and the way the user is associated with the identity and queue number.

Experiment of queue design


Purpose of experimenting interface queue icons


While the interface of materialised resources is developed, the means in which the queue system designed based on anti affordance still needs experimenting. This follows the balance of high affordance in resource awareness with the anti affordance of restricting the users control of resources to that of being part of the community’s energy.


Name and queue numbers


The name and queue number provided a personal touch to the users association with the queue, however the design proves to have a lack of flexibility and requires the user to add their name, which may lead to misunderstanding to who used what and when.


The merging of queue numbers with the personal identity


Taking influence from the use of names, it became apparent that a more flexible, yet anonymous design was needed. Here I have design the identity for users to be associated with their house number, recognising anyone within that location has part of that identity and as a result providing flexibly. This method provides and anonymous feature as people don’t know exactly who in the house is using energy, but also gives a personal touch as it represents their identity as part of the communities households.


Humanising the users of the queue system


Looking back to the research into coffee queue’s and the personality it added to the queue by allowing the user to gain an understanding of what the others in the queue were doing. I sought to apply this sense of humanising effect to the queue icons and in doing so I referred back to the survey conducted on energy use for the “making database”. From there I identified key appliances within the household that are part of lifestyle routines and integrated icons representing though appliances into the House number icons, humanising what is occurring within the house hold.


Creating a time


Providing a sense of time was to give meaning to the times that energy would spike in the form of peak times, however integrating it into the name and queue over complicated the design. To that end I redesigned the time icons based on watches that revealed the key points of time that occur every 3 hours. These involve the morning 9:00, the mid day 12:00, and the need of working day 18:00 leading to after average sleeping time 21:00.


Reflection of queue system


The design of a high affordance materialisation of resources used to place the users in a situation of anti affordance in which their use of energy is associated with being aware of the use of energy of other members of the community. This experience may be looked as frustrating, as a control of a resource becomes a part of a community schedule. The control individuals once had is gone and in its place a perspective of seeing your energy as apart of the groups takes its place.

Prototype User Interface

Purpose of prototype


The prototype of the interface relates these individual icons and materialisations of resources into the context of their uses in the form of a User interface that the tribe can easily understand and relate to.


Analysis of User interface Layout


Queue Side bar


In order to integrate the queue system into my interface, I placed the queue to the left side of the interface, in the form of a list that icons are added and removed from as the queue shifts.


Neighbourhood energy map icon


With the queue placed on the left side I integrated the neighbourhood map with integrated line design that demonstrates an energy link to the right of the interface. By doing so the user is able to understand their place in the queue with the context of the energy use expressed in within the community.


In the moment Icon


While the queue and map gave function and context to the interface, there was a lack of resource awareness. Therefore I designed a miniature version of the “in the moment” Icon and integrated it within the household spaces to give awareness and communication between what was occurring in the queue list and within the community.


Reflection of Interface



The use of a queue list and a neighbourhood map provides context to the interface, while the “in the moment” animation provides an awareness of energy being used as they find themselves moving up the queue. The use of a house identity defines the user as part of the households that make up the neighbehood community, which is humanised by the changing appliance icons that reflect a personality to what energy is being used for.



Application of knowledge towards anti affordance experience


While the Interface was designed to provide a merging of high affordance icons with an anti affordance experience which restricted energy use to that of the community rather than individual. Changing the mind-set of energy that turns individualism on its head and redefines energy as part of a group. The interface materialises resources in the form of a high affordance interface, however the experience that the queue system provides is that of anti affordance to prevent high energy use