Research Synthesis Design Solution
What Happened Last Night?


User Research

User interviews - Directed Storytelling

We conducted user interviews with people who had an experience or memory that they considered memorable, as well as interesting to others. Our focus was on memories that a person did not remember. We got a lot of intersting insight on people's experiences. The experiences in our focus, were mostly shared expereinces. For example, people go out together and get drunk. It was very interesting to see how this memory was replayed the next day, how the experience was shared amongst people and to hear different perceptions of the same event from different people who were present.

Brick and Mortar Observations

In order to conduct brick and mortar observations, we decided to go to bars and observe the kind of events and interactions that take place, and the observe how people behave the next day while sharing the experience from last night, or reliving the incidents that occured the previous night. We also went and spoke to bartenders to see if they would have any interesting insight with regard to this, but unfortunately, we found that they did not speak of these events even when assured of complete confidentiality.


Some of the intersting insights we had from our user research was that

- People have shared experiences (incidents that occur with a group of people) and they all have different perspectives of the experience

- People enjoy sharing their experiences, not just with people who were also present there, but also with other people as an interesting anecdote.

- People like hearing about/reading about these different experiences, not just from one person. Hearing different sides of the story is as interesting to a person as knowing about the actual occurance.


Focus and Iterations..

Although our initial focus was on experiences of people who consumed alcohol as a group, our design idea was later expanded to include all shared expereinces and not just alcohol related expereinces.



Given below are two examples from people who did the above user research:

Directed Storytelling

"Can you tell me about some interesting incident that happened with you that you didn't remember the next day?"

Actually yes, this one time.. me and a friend,ABC, and her boyfriend went to a bar down the street and we got a li'l drunk. And we reached home at 2. But that was when they began daylights savings time. So we realized it was officially still 1. Then we decided to go to this other place for the rest of the night called WPT. WPT was pretty crowded and we ran into two other guys we knew. They convinced me to chug an entire rum and coke, after which the only thing i remember is waking up in my bed, thankfully alone. I checked to see if my passport etc were fine, and saw ABC's jacket lying in my living room. I called ABC and she told me she didn't remember anything either. She called her boyfriend (who hadn't had much to drink since he was the designated driver) and he told us that we both were acting very silly and flirting with random guys. Apparently ABC insisted on making sure everyone reached home safe, so we had to drive around dropping everyone off at their respective doorsteps. He got so irritated with her and me, that he dropped us in my place and went home. How ABC reached her place and why she decided not to take her jacket, we'll never know.

Bricks and Mortar Observation

Friday night, I went to a bar near a college campus that was very crowded. Most of the crowd seemed to be students. There was hardly any place to move and it was very crowded, I spoke to the bartender when she had some free time and she told me it was usually this crowded on weekends. I ran into a few people I know and they all mentioned how 2 asian chicks were making out a little while ago. One person told me he was standing right next to them while they were making out. Another guy told me how he saw them getting asked to leave a little later.  I spoke to the other bartender (also a woman) and I asked her if she had any interesting incidents that take place, and she told us about how the previous night, a hot guy (who was a regular) was ordering shots worth $9 and gave a $20 bill. So the bartender (just for kicks) made him dance for her if he wanted his change back. And he started gyrating etc, and everyone had a nice laugh. I overheard a group of people talking next to me, about how it was Jenny's birthday the previous night, and she got really wasted at their house party and then started picking on Alistair. Alistair was very uncomfortable and had no idea what he had done to deserve this. Jenny seemed to get more and more pissed with his mere presence and finally ended up insisting he leave. Poor Alistair had to leave at this point because nobody wanted to argue with Jenny. At this point, Jenny said she should call Alistair and apologize. She called him and invited to come join them at the bar.


What Happened Last Night? . Human-Computer Interaction Institute . Carnegie Mellon University