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User Experience | "How To" Project | Apple article response

The first project for User Experience is creating a "how to" video on any topic of your choice, demonstrating effective communication and creating interest through visuals and timely objectives. We will have partners for all three projects this semester and we are encouraged to work with people that we haven't yet. I haven't yet had the opportunity to work with Whitney yet, so I'm looking forward to sharing this experience with her. She, unlike me, is a really decisive person and I think our work habits/ethic complement each other very well. We decided to explore cooking and how we could make a culinary how to that people would be interested in seeing and learning about. We had a few ideas, how to make a macchiato, how to cook an egg, and how to make candles / or soap. There are five minutes allotted so we decided to stick with something simple and we narrowed it down to the egg because we had both put it on our lists individually. Because there are 5 minutes we decided to add a level of complexity to the video, making 5 different kinds of eggs. The outline of the video goes something like this:

1.) Hard-boiled Egg
     a.) What you need: eggs, saucepan, water, ice 
     b.) steps: 
  • Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. 
  • Cover eggs in one inch of cold water. 
  • Heat over high heat to boil. 
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Cover the pan. 
  • Let the eggs stand in hot water for about 12 minutes (large eggs, medium-9) 
  • Drain immediately and cool completely in a bowl of ice water or the refrigerator to allow the shell to break away perfectly from the egg.  
2.) Poached Egg
     a.) What you need: Egg, vinegar, cup or ramekin, water, saucepan, spoon
     b.) steps:
  • Make sure your eggs are really fresh.
  • Add a small dash of vinegar to a pan of steadily simmering water.
  • Crack eggs individually into a ramekin or cup.
  • Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk.
  • Slowly tip the egg into the water, white first. Leave to cook for three minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, cutting off any wispy edges using the edge of the spoon.
  • Drain onto kitchen paper.
3.) Fried Egg
     a.) What you need: Egg, frying pan, butter/olive oil, spatula, salt/pepper 
     b.) steps:
  • For over-easy or over-hard eggs: Heat 2 tsp. butter in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  • Break eggs and slip into pan, 1 at a time. Immediately reduce heat to low.
  • Cook slowly until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
  • Season as desired. (salt/pepper/Siracha)
4.) Scrambled Eggs
     a.) What you need: Eggs, milk, spatula, frying pan, butter/olive oil, salt/pepper
     b.) steps:
  • Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in bowl until blended. Add milk for fluffier eggs. 
  • Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. 
  • Pour in egg mixture. 
  • As eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs across the pan with a spatula, forming large soft curds.
  • Season as desired (salt/pepper/Siracha) 
5.) Egg in-a-hole (my personal favorite)
     a.) What you need: Egg, bread, cookie cutter or rim of small-mouthed cup/glass, frying pan,      butter/olive oil, salt/pepper
     b.) steps: 
  • Heat butter in frying pan (about 1tbsp) 
  • Cut small hole in middle of bread with cookie cutter or cup (about 1-1.5 in in diameter) 
  • Butter both sides of bread by flipping in frying pan with melted butter or put butter on before placing in the pan. 
  • Crack egg into hole in bread. 
  • Flip bread/egg when bottom side is golden-brown and egg becomes opaque/ when the egg can be moved without spilling into the pan, it is ready to be flipped. 
  • When both sides are golden brown, remove from pan and serve with salt/pepper. Add more butter whenever desired or to keep from sticking. 
Candle-making would go something like this. 

A.) Introduction
B.)Materials needed: 
  • Wax flakes
  • Pre-waxed candle wicks
  • Containers for candles
  • Non-toxic crayon or candle color block
  • Essential oils
  • Glass container
  • Saucepan or pot
  • Skewers or chopsticks
  • Tape
  • Stove
  • Scissors
STEPS: 
  • You’ll want to start off by cleaning your glass containers. Using regular dish soap will do the job, just make sure you dry them thoroughly when you’re done.
  • To set up the candlewicks in your containers, you’ll want to lay the metal piece flat against the bottom. Then use your chopsticks/skewers to hold up the wicks, and tape the ends of the chopsticks to keep everything in place.
  • Measure out the amount of candle wax flakes you’ll need for each of your containers. The rule of thumb is two times the amount of wax flakes to fill each container.
  • Fill a saucepan with water to about the halfway mark. Place your measured amount of wax flakes in the glass container. Then place the glass container in the saucepan. Be sure the water level is low enough, so it won’t splash into the wax flakes when it starts to boil. Turn your stove on to medium-high, and use a metal spoon to stir occasionally.
  • Your candles will come out a naturally milky white, but if you’d like to add a little color, you can use a non-toxic crayon or candle color block. I typically use 1/8 inch of red crayon per 16 fl. oz. to get a soft pastel color. Want a brighter color? Use a little bit more, only adding color a bit at a time. Like food coloring, a small amount goes a long way. Simply melt your color along with your wax flakes. Warning: The color will look a lot brighter in the melted mixture but will turn a milky color as it cools.
  • Once all the wax is completely melted, remove the wax mixture from the stove. My rule of thumb is 10 drops of essential oil per 16 fl. oz. It makes for a moderately scented candle. Use less or more depending on taste, and feel free to experiment and mix oils to create a scent of your own. Add the measured amount of essential oil to your wax mixture and give it a good stir to make sure it’s well-mixed.
  • Make sure your containers are in a good location where they won’t need to be moved for a few hours. Then slowly pour your melted wax mixture into your containers.
  • Allow 3-4 hours for your candles to cool and solidify. It’s best to let them solidify at room temperature, so the cooling process is gradual. This prevents cracks in the wax.

Personally, I think the candle video would take longer than 5 minutes and required more supplies than we wanted to purchase. We decided to go for the egg video and execute it in stop-motion to create more interest and a surreal sense of time. We also want to eliminate the hand from the video so that it has another interesting element. I think that will set it apart from other how to videos, although I have noticed this trend recently, but not so much in the way I'm imagining it. The egg can be utilized as a simple, graphic element throughout the video and Whitney and I were really excited about somehow making the eggs into characters, for instance they will be jumping into the pan without a hand present, making it appear as if they are being cooked at their own will. 


Here are some how to videos I looked at for typographic and aesthetic inspiration. 



I thoroughly enjoy this video for it's humanistic typography and vignetted aesthetic, maintaining the viewer's focus on the subject being shown. 



I love this video for it's cinematic qualities and manipulation of time. I think it's similar to the type of emphasis or feeling that I'm wanting to evoke through our how to video. 




This video about feeding the world is lovely for it's animated properties and the voice over is really nice as well. It sounds like a person I work with, Nick, from KCPT. We were thinking of including some animation in the intro/ informational excerpts of the video with the use of typography and motion graphics.


I saw an article not too long ago that was related to this one in which someone highlighted Apple's billboard campaign concerning the high quality photos that the new iPhone takes. The pictures on the billboard all said "taken with an iPhone" so that people could feel like anyone could be a photographer with the new phone. It also showed really cliche landscape pictures, the kind that no normal person actually takes, in places that people don't easily get to go. There were a lot of problems with the idea. This article goes through the fundamental problems with Apple's metamorphosis of design. They have taken the discovery aspect out of their user interface, completely lacking in signifiers, and therefore stunting the growth and exploration of the people that are using it. It may be easy to use at first, but there is a lack of understanding when you base your entire design on gestures, rather than intuition and consistency. The interface is sort of unforgiving with confusing methods of going back if you make a mistake, as they removed most of the back arrows. It seems to me that the problem is Apple approaching design from a shallow perspective, not considering all of the objectives that make good design.