From CS 160 Fall 2010
Group Brainstorm - Jon Stewart Appreciation Club
Chosen idea: Family Whiteboard
NOTE: **** denotes ideas that upon final review were deemed the better ones
1. Whiteboard teacher feedback
2. Students upload notes/questions during lecture
3. Classroom poller/voter/quiz taker
4. Grafitti dating/Virtual flirting
5. Conference broadcasting
6. Note recorder
Focus on classroom
8. Whiteboard chatrooms (tied to location)
9. Teacher lesson planner with State Standards
10. Collaborative note taker in lecture
11. Work delegation to readers
12. Conference Orientation
13. Attendance profiler (booths/seminars/meetings)
14. Interactive scavenger hunts
15. Location feedbacks (Go here! Don’t go here! etc.)
16. Instant referral to principal, punishments
Looked at employee/employer relationship
17. Employee work ethic tracker
18. Employee work records/task completion tracker
Back to teacher/student
19. Student participation tracker ****
20. Teacher to parent communication of daily homework****
21. Parent to kid behavior tracker
22. Activity tracker for kids (TV, video games, study time, etc)
23. Family whiteboard (location-based post-its)*****
24. Crime reporter (geo-location) *****
25. Accomplishment reports
26. Lunch meeting creator
27. Business brainstorming sessions
28. Group mural maker
29. Crowd-sourcing wait-times, traffic
30. Emergency texter/broadcaster of location
31. Employee of the week tracker/notifier ****
Tracking progress of students, children
32. Reputation tracker app
33. Classroom achievement tracker
34. Stats on assignments/comparing students
35. Dream planner for kids
36. Watch kid grow
37. College tracker
38. Learning game for tutor/teachers with points
39. Multimedia whiteboard/graffiti
Continuation of brainstorm during discussion, initial warm-up ideas
40. Walking soundtrack (left by people)
41. In-store feedback
42. grocery app
43. Team tracker (diet needs/fitness levels/)
44. GPS Workout/path tracker ****
45. How crowded is a place?
46. Synchronized drawing board (for lectures or meetings)
47. Stadium activity coordination (for cheers and stuff)
48. Proximity-based racing to location
49. finding people around you by similar statuses on twitter/facebook
50. Opponent tracker
51. Random academic paper title generator
Everyone’s seen the refrigerator with Post-it notes on it—the reminder to pick up stuff from your brother, the reminder that people are coming over for dinner… We’re proposing an app called the Family Whiteboard – a mobile version of this “refrigerator space.” Family members can interact with each other through this app, sending out reminders, having conversations, and posting multimedia like pictures. The whiteboard keeps a history of the posts in a conversation view, so that they can go back and see the history of their conversation.
We chose it for a couple reasons: we can all relate to the idea and can understand the need for it, there are specific users that we can identify and interview, there are few other apps already out there like this one, and it’s fun!
Target User Group
Our target user group is, for now, families. Specifically, Family Whiteboard is targeted toward families with many agendas whose members each have a different schedule; it is very difficult for everyone to sit down together and exchange information face to face. For example, a family that might be well suited to use our Family Whiteboard app is one with several children of varying ages who go to school and come home at different times. These are families that are constantly active and have many appointments on any given day (karate practice, bowling night, etc). Such families still want to maintain communication among all members and stay updated on everyone's daily lives and important events. Family Whiteboard provides a platform for keeping open lines of quick communication for the whole family.
In the future, we could certainly extend this Whiteboard to any group that wants to interact with each other — from groups of professionals that work together, to student groups, to just groups of friends. But for now, focusing on families might help us generate more ideas for that particular group.
Problem Description & Context
The problem we identified was that families are becoming more and more disjoint. There’s no longer a family dinner to catch up with everyone; each family member has many different activities on a daily basis that are constantly changing and other members need to be notified when split-second changes occur. In a more long term view, now that we’re in college, we don’t know what’s going on with our siblings or parents unless we coordinate a phone call or visit home. Sometimes it is nice to connect with the daily lives of our family. Email doesn’t work very well to send quick (1 sentence) updates about what’s going on. Twitter is not targeted to a specific audience; the updates you make to the world are different than the updates you make to your family.
So the problem is that there’s no way to keep in touch with a specific group of people, with asynchronous and short updates. The whiteboard lets you interact with and stay connected to that group — in this case, your family — without having to interrupt them or coordinate a call. It can be used for reminders (pick up x), for announcements (congrats on the job offer), for funny/interesting posts and pictures, or anything else. It also enables interaction. Members can “like” a post, reply to a post, or go back and see a history of the conversation. Family Whiteboard aims to reconnect families that lead busy lives or have distance separating them.
There is a similar application that is either in development or possibly abandoned, called Whiteboard. Some information can be found here: Whiteboard. It seems to share many of the same goals of our application.
There are also a number of web-based applications with similar goals:
and others. They seem to be less focused on the type of informal, quick communication that we are looking for. They would perhaps be more fit to keep in touch with a large extended family.
Mobile is the perfect platform for this type of application. We want families to be able to leave each other quick notes wherever they are. This is not intended to be an application where family members can write long letters back and forth. Thus the limitations of the phone keyboard are not harmful to our goals.
Mobile is even better than a desktop platform: a mobile device allows for the kind of spontaneous, informal communication that allows a family to thrive. Sitting down at your computer and composing an email to your parents is so formal and constraining. Posting a quick note on your family whiteboard is fast, informal, and can be done anywhere, at any time.