Design Document: Building a Better Bloor Dufferin
Building a Better Bloor Dufferin (BBBD) is an organization that consists of Bloor Dufferin’s residents, businesses, and artists who are concerned about the current decision the government plans to do with the local land. Currently, there is a proposal in the air where the public land of the Bloor Dufferin block is going to be sold to private redevelopment. The government is deciding to replace this small community hub into many high rises with expensive condos that are surrounded by a bunch of modern shops. BBBD is the voice of the residents who fear that if this proposal passes, they might lose their local businesses, have higher and unaffordable living prices, lose their quality of education, and surrender their main area to mingle and connect with others. As a group, Erin, Jerry, Ronnie, and I, also Erin, decided to help out their cause. With the help of our community partner, Nahum Mann, we were able to accomplish an AR Hoverlay project with a variety of short interviews.
What is the story?
What’s the narrative?
- The narrative is trying to explain the reason that the community’s voice needs to be heard more on the subject of the Bloor-Dufferin Development, as well as asking to community to spread the word more to others who aren’t aware of the potential changes to the block.
- Also the narrative is about why the current space of the Bloor-Dufferin block is significant to the bond of the community, and why the developers shouldn’t destroy the block for expensive housing
Who are the stakeholders?
- The Stakeholders are the Developers, the City, and the Community of Bloor-Dufferin
What are their needs?
- The Developers want to push the development of the high rise condos and shops, as they can earn more money from the newly made condos
- The Community wants their voices heard, because many do not agree with the current plans for the development, and wish for a better plan that has community input
What are the conflicts?
- The community’s voice is not being heard and the development is still advancing despite criticism and complaints
- Not enough people in the community are aware of the changes going on
- 30% of the high school didn’t even realize they were going to relocate
- High rise condos in a neighborhood that does not want them
- Would prefer low income housing
- New School is not getting enough funding and not enough amenities
- Park space is being replaced with a high rise, less space for outdoor activities
- Less dog walkers
- Would drastically shift the dynamic of the neighborhood.
There are many problems and disconnects with these two groups in terms of their ideals of the space. The developers would want to build all these high rises condos to earn money, while the community would want to keep the price of living low. The developers are willing to move high schoolers to a different location, while the community would rather have the school stay, as the new school has less amenities. The developers want to crowd the area with shops to boost business and revenue, while the community would want to have a large park for dog walkers to wander around. There’s a huge disconnect to their ideals, causing many conflicts between these two main stakeholders.
Design for Interaction:
Imagine…a local who just got off the Dufferin Subway Station and saw a QR code telling them to explore the Bloor-Dufferin Square by downloading the Hoverlay app…
|Stimulus (Objective)||Response (Subjective)|
|Attraction||Website Ads, QR codes
QR codes or posters/flyers posted at the subway exit, right across from the block
|–Subway station sounds, outside car noises & people talking||Their phone screen and possibly the QR code so they could properly scan it||Subway station smells||“Let’s check this out and see what’s going on in Bloor Dufferin!”
|Entry||Subway or walking to the corner of Bloor and Dufferin||Cars and other assorted vehicles Street banter||Their phone overheating because Hoverlay is resource intensive||Cars and food||Heads towards one of the anchor points on the sidewalk and starts to learn about Bloor-Dufferin|
|Engagement||People pop up on their screens
Compare and contrast the information the people are showing vs. the actual area
|People speaking about Bloor Dufferin||Phones to find more information Also more overheating
Interaction with the environment, such as their feet as they are walking down the park or inspecting the old kent school.
|More cars and more food||Maybe they got a snack along the way||They continue around the block and look for more anchor points
Interested to know the complete story of Bloor-Dufferin
|Exit||They find all of the points and stop||They hear the last speech and stop||They feel their phone crying for mercy because Hoverlay’s intensity||Even more cars and food||There are a bunch of shops for food there||They are done, but want to spread the message or learn more, so they research the topic and share it with their friends|
|Extension||Asked to share the project back at the station, using a button that says “share”
Also another button that leads them to signing a petition
|The floating link that leads to the person either sharing the project or signing the petition||People spread talk about Bloor Dufferin and what they can do to stop the tyranny of the development|
5 E’s of Usability:
- With this app, the user is able to form their own opinions of the Bloor-Dufferin block with not only the videos we provide, but the sense of perspective. They can get a combination of why people love the place while they are allowed to wander around freely by themselves.
- The interview videos autoplay while the user is walking around. This allows the user to not need to press anything, as well as have the videos completely ready as the user arrives at a specific location.
- We feel that this app is a great fusion between technology and the physical world. Our app is engaging because it doesn’t force the user to look at the screen constantly to gain information. They are given the freedom to explore and dérive from the app and find out why they love the place.
- Error Tolerant:
- All the user has to do is to tap the specific account they would want to look at. Afterwards, they’re free to wander all they want while the Hoverlay app continues to play. However, since Hoverlay is currently in beta, there are many times where the app crashes. This will get better as the app continues to develop more.
- Easy to learn:
- While placing objects in Hoverlay isn’t the most intuitive, pulling up someone’s else content is easy. All the user has to do is to tap the BBBD layer, and just walk around the block. There’s no need to press or physically interact with anything on the screen, as we want the user to be more aware of their surroundings rather than the screen.
- What unique affordances does AR offer to enhance the story?
- The ability to go to Bloor Dufferin and the various sites along the way while learning about the development and community
- AR allows the user to see Bloor Dufferin with their own eyes as their being presented the information in a non-intrusive manner. With AR, our story is enhanced because we are giving a “tour”, where the main points of the tour is pointing out reasons why Bloor-Dufferin in its current state is unique and important to the overall community. It allows the user to not only follow the information we present, but also help them find and explore their reasons and passions as to appreciating the place.
- What aspect of the larger narrative is addressed by your AR experience?
- The community’s voice is being heard and the people are being seen
- Our main points of our AR experience is to create an awareness around the community about the current state and the future losses, along with asking them to act and support the cause.
- How do you reveal what is hidden?
- With AR, we can reveal the hidden gap of mystery and the stories. Through our AR project, we are able to give freedom to the user, letting them choose to either listen to other people’s voices and stories, or explore and form their own reasonings as why this place is worthwhile to keep. We reveal the hidden voice of the community, and also give the user to reveal their hidden opinions of Bloor-Dufferin.
We’d like to thank Nahum Mann and the rest of the BBBD group for being such an amazing community. They have a passion to protect this place since it’s not only public land, but it’s a place where the entire community gets together. When the four of us were walking around the block, there was so much liveliness. There were high school students talking and laughing as they left their school for the day. There were kids in the basketball court competing against each other as they were smiling. There were people wandering across the school yard, quietly strolling with their dogs. We hope that their concerns get through the government, and we hope that our app becomes a good use as to spreading the word to others.