Antagonistic and artful companions

Hey! It’s been a while. (I’ve really got to stop making that a habit with this thing.) I have to say, this quarter was a tough but incredibly rewarding one, and while I hope to find more time to write about it very (very!) soon, for now I’m excited to share a project I’ve been working on with a few friends over the past three months: Artbot.

Artbot is designed to improve your creative adaptability.

The idea came about in our CS147 class, centered on design thinking for user experiences. We interviewed a visual artist and friend of mine, who talked to us about this idea of “preciousness” in art and the self-destructive tendencies it can breed when artists find ourselves blocked and uninspired. This led us to create Artbot, which attempts to free artists from this mode of thinking using a gameified approach coupled with long-term check-ins; in other words, Artbot is designed to improve your creative adaptability.

As the UI/UX designer and project manager for Artbot, the ten weeks our team spent empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing our creation was a difficult and wholly new experience for all of us to navigate through. We spent many sleepless nights getting presentations, written reports, and working prototypes together. We had to learn communication early on, and to speak up when it comes to dividing our work evenly and fairly. We learned each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and parlayed them in each step to bring the best of our skills forward for the betterment of the team and the project. And we did this all with the constant reminder of who this app really was for: artists.

And we did this all with the constant reminder of who this app really was for: artists.

And so we ended up with Artbot, an antagonistic AI designed to intrude in your art process to foster novel, creative ideas. Coupled with long-term check-ins that track your creative adaptability, Artbot becomes a sort of companion in artists’ creative process (at least, that’s the goal!).

Perhaps the most gratifying thing throughout this entire process came at the project expo which wrapped up the class. Industry experts evaluated Artbot against 43 other projects at the expo, and about 150 Stanford students developed projects for CS 147 this year. Not only did I gain hands-on experience proudly displaying our hi-fi prototype to judges and visitors alike, but we also won Best Visual Design and Best Poster. 

I’m so proud of what we accomplished and what our end product became. More importantly, I’m excited to take the insights we gained from this process and apply them to future endeavors. Take a look at the documentation and process behind making Artbot, interact with the medium and high-fidelity prototypes, and let me know what you think! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Scan Mar 19, 2018 at 7.04 PM


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