Please visit this page, or you won’t understand what i’m talking about:

http://ginfographic.chez.io/research/workshop

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I loved collating these results, and there are some interesting patterns in the responses. I hope this is a webpage that people will visit and find easy to use, and find some interest in the results and the similarities or differences between them. Maybe I could incorporate this into my final project, or being realistic, this could be something that I could show in the exhibition. It isn’t pretty as such, but I just like how it works, and it does have its issues.

>The technical part
A while ago, I already created a base site for the project using Flask. This renders Python to the browser, enabling you to do all sorts of crazy server side things, and applying programming logic to the client side. Python is quickly becoming my favourite way to work, for sure.

Firstly, I cut up the videos of my friends’ reactions to the flavours. I found that Dave and Rosy’s reactions lasted around 12 seconds, whereas Tony’s lasted longer, due to the audio aspect and the fact that it is more of a discussion in some places.

Then, I started the laborious but somehow relaxing task of cutting up each worksheet into the ‘question’ categories and putting them in folders, ready to be placed onto the page in a near efficient way. When it comes to mass renaming, bash scripts are your friend!

I created a ‘research’ blueprint within my Flask framework to house everything research related. This organised my code massively, and I am really trying to focus on making this website robust enough to pass on to someone else maybe, but generally keep up to industry standards. Sometimes it feels easier to just plug a routing function somewhere general, but really it’s inhibiting future development.

After rendering and saving my videos, I added them to the project.

Previously, I have used popcorn.js to manage HTML5 video events, and I felt pretty confident using this again, although it’s been a while since i’ve used javascript. The idea was to play each of the videos of one category (i.e ‘Sweet’) at the same time, and loop the shortest videos until the longest (Tony, always) finished, then freeze all frames. There will be a function to pause the playback, and also to return the playback to the beginning at any point.

Crazily enough, this wasn’t too difficult. Since learning more about the javascript language the docs seem less daunting, even so the docs helped me learn in the first place, but i’m glad I persevered.

Flask uses Jinja2 templating, enabling you to use objects passed from the view (python) to the template (HTML with Jinja2 templating) with the ability to loop through them and access values, therefore looping through each of the files in each of the categories took such a small amount of time compared to hard coding, and displaying the images in my static folder.

For this, I used the Bootstrap CSS and JS framework, as it makes initial coding pleasant and gives you a general idea of what the final thing may look like – in my case, I decided not to change much of the CSS, as I want the images and videos to speak for themselves.

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> The Outcome
Within the results, you can see some general patterns emerge.

Within ‘Sour’, the biro images seem directional and sharp, and generally minimal bar the first. The nettle is interesting, as I gave little direction as to the form the images must take (images vs abstract), the other images don’t resemble much – maybe for this participant, the taste was a memory. The colours are ‘cool’ in general, though there is some warmth, the general hue leans towards the blues, purples and greens, with multiple colours in each.

In ‘Salty’, well, people didn’t enjoy this one so much. Amongst sad faces and screaming cats, the results are somewhat pinched, drawing the eye into the centre of some of the images. Within the coloured images, orange stands out amongst complementary hues, and in some, darker colours are used to outline the image. This could represent the encompassing nature of salt, perhaps?

‘Umami’ was a bit of a failure – I definitely did not put enough paste in. Some would also argue, and actually did argue, that Yeast Extract is umami in itself due to its inherently savoury nature, and I would agree with this. So the results are a little sombre and flat, though interestingly there are some geometric shapes within them. The colours are muted, one box left blank, i’m not sure wether to dismiss this as the lack of flavour in the jelly, or accept that savoury flavour is common (especially in our western diet) so may not evoke such a reaction anyway.

‘Bitter’ is really interesting, people took quite an aversion to this. Maybe some of the participants are super tasters! There are many sharp angles within the biro prints, quite a lot of ‘bursting’ and stars, generally quite a lot going on. I’d also like to note that this is the second time a participant drew a conical flask, a different participant actually. As for the colours, brown crops up quite a lot, alongside black. In some images, the images take up the whole frame, with the bitter taste almost overwhelming the images. An anomaly is the image with bright secondary colours, but still, it ‘feels’ overwhelmed.

‘Honey’ was the nice relief at the end, I felt it was important to end on a high note. This is the flavour with the most pictorial representations, pointing towards memories evoked by the participants. A strawberry, a smiling flower, a windy sky pointing towards spring/summer (also noted in the textual memories). I’m not going to comment on the picture of the spring, it’s almost directly representational, but I can’t put words in people’s mouths. The colours are light and the images fluid, generally pointing towards warmer colours but with some cooler hues also.

These are huge generalisations, of course. Although the words are interesting, I decided not to analyse these, at least not yet. I feel like I have some really good colour information to implement, perhaps average these and begin to tenderly implement them – i’m not very good at sketching, I tend to write the whole structure of something then add the design later. By sketching I generally mean interactive, but sometimes I block things out on paper. To me, it’s like relief at the end of something difficult, and a lot of the time I don’t really let myself think about the design until last. This serves me well in production, but for sketchbooking and showing progress this isn’t so helpful, especially because when I start sketching it always always turns into the end product directly.

My friend Sarah is going to dance some flavours for me, so I think I will analyse the video alongside her movements so I don’t get any preconceived ideas of what I am seeing!