This is for the week beginning January 22nd.
(1) Go someplace interesting. Bring a cell phone. Spend maybe a half-hour noting what information issues are going on there. Identify all of the information resources that people are using. Talk to the people if you can. What questions do they have? How do the information issues relate to the larger structure of their lives? What kinds of futuristic information services would be useful to them? It's okay to go someplace where you already know the people, but don't go to a place that is highly familiar to you.
(2) While you're still there in the place, call Phil or Christine on your cell phone. (We'll have a schedule to sign up for a time slot for this.) Try out your ideas. Maybe Phil or Christine has some ideas. Brainstorm.
(3) Resume your work in the place. Dream up more information services. Talk to people about them if you can. Document all of the important issues.
(4) In class on January 29th, we will divide the available time among everyone in class. Assuming that twenty people take the class, that will be ten minutes each. Spend exactly five minutes telling everyone where you went, what's going on with information there, what the people said, and what the important issues were. Then spend exactly one minute telling everyone your best idea for a futuristic information service. Use whatever media convey the ideas best. Phil or Christine will offer a two-minute (uncritical) commentary on your ideas, and then will lead a two-minute discussion.
(5) Write a 400-word summary of your ideas that we can include in a publication about "pervasive information services". Put it on a Web page in HTML format and e-mail the URL to Phil by February 5th.
The goal here is to build a culture of design thinking in the group. At this stage, therefore, creativity is more important than practicality. The best ideas will pioneer whole new dimensions of information services design.