Zombie, Zombie, & Emily

As Halloween approaches, and the veil between worlds grows wan, threadbare, and permeable, Cooper realizes that we can serve the spirit, spook, and creature population better if we understand them from a Goal-Directed perspective. In service of this we present a short series of Halloween personas. Today’s personas are either zombies, or about to become so.

That zombie that kind of looks like an undead Crispin Glover

Background:

That zombie that kind of looks like an undead Crispin Glover was resting peacefully in his grave when he awoke with a powerful hunger. In spite of his mostly-decayed flesh, he was able to push his way to the surface to begin his (second) life of mayhem.

The bulk of this zombie’s time is spent gathering brains to eat. What should be a simple activity is complicated by the fact that most humans are reluctant to share.

When not eating brains, this zombie spends the bulk of his time shufflin’, shufflin’.

That one that kind of looks like an undead Crispin Glover

How we can help the zombie that kind of looks like an undead Crispin Glover:

  • Use flashing lights and recorded human sounds to guide him in the right directions
  • Provide interaction cues that are hard to miss. Really hard to miss.
  • Make it possible to interact with very crude gestures and two, one, or no arms.

Zombie #1 analysis

Factors affecting the zombie that kind of looks like an undead Crispin Glover.


That scary fast zombie in the sweater

Background:

While still alive, that scary fast zombie in the sweater was a well-respected zombie fighter, once taking out a small mob of 20 zombies single-handedly. Unfortunately he was bitten during a careless moment relieving himself in the woods, and he quickly succumbed to the zombie virus. Ever the over-achiever, he went on to destroy 2/3rds of his former zombie hunter colleagues within the first four hours.

That scary fast one in the sweater

These days that scary fast zombie in the sweater is a victim of his own success. In his local area human flesh–his preferred meal–has become scarce. Animal meat is available but is more difficult to catch. As a consequence, he must hunt ever farther distances, staying alert for any sign of human activity.

How we can help that scary fast zombie in the sweater:

  • Augment his reality with the weak points and hidden and unguarded entry points of buildings
  • Keep messages focused, directed, and delivered as soon as possible
  • Provide tools to make detecting the weakest–yet uninfected–humans easy

Zombie #2 analysis

Factors affecting that scary fast zombie in the sweater.

Emily

Background:

Emily received a zombie bite during the struggle as her small band of humans attempted to relocate from a boarded-up restaurant to a more easily-defended former mental asylum. Since then she has felt the inevitable progression of zombification. She has worked hard to keep the infection a secret from the other humans, especially her younger brother who is barely holding on emotionally as it is. She knows her brother won’t have the strength to kill her once she has become fully zombie, so she knows suicide is her kindest option. But she can’t help but hold out hope that somehow, some way, her life will be spared.

Emily

How we can help Emily Lashinger:

  • Help her monitor trending and critical biometrics during her descent into zombism.
  • Keep her (and any of her fellow survivors) updated of any advancements towards the cure
  • If a cure is not found or accessible, provide a clear indication of the appropriate moment to turn to suicide
  • If she hits “snooze” on suicide, alert the other survivors privately.


Zombologists: Stefan Klocek, Jenea Hayes, and Andreas Braendhaugen.
Special thanks to Monstrous.com, KQED.com, and Flickr user katyhutch for their willing zombification.

2 Comments

Interaction Design for Monsters | Cooper Journal
[...] Emily was fighting a zombie infection, but real-world humans are fighting infections all the time. Is there something we can use for medical interfaces? [...]
iZombie? A zombie self-diagnosis and self-destruction app | Cooper Journal
[...] iZombie? A zombie self-diagnosis and self-destruction app by The Editors on October 25, 2012 | Comments (1) As Halloween approaches, and the veil between worlds grows wan, threadbare, and permeable, Cooper turns its collective attention to the spirit, spook, and creature population. Last year we sought to understand them from a Goal-Directed perspective. This year we take the next unholy step and design software, devices, and services around these personas. Today we revisit Emily. [...]

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