BINGO! Assignment 3C: Observe and Record.

21st Century Design, Assignment 3

So for the 2nd part of my “21st Century Designer” module assignment, I had to team up with a few people and people watch in one of the following places:

  • The Bingo
  • Football Match
  • Casino

I decided to go to the Bingo hall in Dundee with Errin Miller and Amy Malcolmson! Neither of us had ever been before so no one knew what to expect (unless of course, family members who go to bingo told us!). We were to go based on an place that we would never normally visit as opposed to a place we always tend to visit. So, we picked the Bingo!

Firstly, to get into the Bingo, we had to become members and pay £4.90 for 7 books and an extra Easter bonus game (this was for the second half as we arrived during the first game).I found that the staff were particularly helpful and explained everything that we had signed up for and made the membership quick and easy! We got allocated our welcome pack and free dab pen in any colour that we wanted too! A member of staff explained the rules of the game as we obviously didn’t look like frequent bingo game players! The concept of the game seemed fairly easy but the staff were at hand if there was any problems. Having helpful staff made the environment much more friendly so I think it would make the players feel happy and welcome. Especially newcomers.

So…as we had an assignment to do, I tried to get as much information I could before and in between games as Bingo is quite a fast paced game! Before the game started, I decided to put my people watching skills to the test and began to observe my surroundings. There was still a game going on when we sat down so this gave me a chance to see the bingo players in action! this is what I observed:


  • Probably one of the first things I noticed about the players was that they were all very focused and very quick! whereas, I found it quite intense! I would have probably got a headache if I had been there a while!.Suggested that a lot of the regulars are very keen players and found it particularly easy to concentrate without getting distracted. They could be avid readers? or dedicated to certain hobbies such as knitting/cross stitch? something that requires a lot of concentration.
  • I noticed that a few of the players had electronic game cards as opposed to paper ones. This suggested to me that they were frequent players. They may have been computer literate? so they may be used to using computers everyday or every other day.It suggested they were fast learners and opted for a more modern approach so were keen to try to experience new things.
  • That a lot of people sat by themselves or in small groups. Also, they seemed to sit a part from one another even though the bingo hall is very big and has many seats and tables. Each area was also coloured coded (Red,Blue and Green) so it would make it easier for the staff to find the winners.
  • There was a lot of older people there but it was surprising to see another group of younger adults and a few other younger couples!
  • We had also noticed that the staff had glanced over to our table a few times whilst the games were on. Most likely because they could tell who the newcomers were! We were also quick to realise who the regulars where as they were very quick and were frequent winners. This felt quite intimidating I thought.


  • Highly patterned and a lot of bright colours on walls, carpets, furniture etc. This suggests a fun and welcoming environment that would make you want to stay and play more games! As well as the bright interiors, the game packets, tokens and dab pens were also brightly coloured! This emphasise a much more enjoyable atmosphere.
  • When walking through to the large bingo hall, we entered a room filled with brightly coloured flashing slot machines and change machines! It felt like being at the carnival or in an amusement area with all of those bright lights! This could have been a plan when planning out this building? ways to encourage more money spending and gambling.


  • On most of the tables and the reception/help desks, there was a few leaflets on different offers held throughout the week for example, Monday was “Play for a Tenner” and Friday Mornings was “£1 for the Friday”. The colours used for those leaflets were also quite contrasting so It encourages more players as the deals are temptingly cheap!
  • We noticed that the food and drink was also at cheap prices so I think this tries to encourage players to stay longer and spend more on games.
  •  I noticed from a flyer that Mecca Bingo has online game playing so this suggested that the Bingo could be branching out to a wider age range and are also trying to encourage players to become much more comfortable with electronic equipment.


  • During game play, it is very quiet so there was no talking, only the sound of the bingo dab pens on the paper game cards. I noticed that this could be part of a “rule” .The only other noises are those of the bingo caller and anyone who shouts “House!” (which was a lot!). I noticed that whenever someone had shouted house or held their game cards up when a member of staff went over to check, other players would whisper to each other or would have sighed or “tutted”. This suggests that some of the regular players could have been impatient or even jealous as they did not win, perhaps a sore loser or easily angered?
  • There was a few slot machines in the main bingo hall but they were only played in-between game play. This seemed like another “rule”. They were quite loud machines so it would only be polite to play when a game is not on. I witnessed this during on one of the breaks.

After all of the games, we all discussed our observations and how we thought we coped with the speed of this game. We were not the only students there so we got a chance to discuss what we observed with two other 2nd year textile students. Dione Bowlt and Eilidh Alexander. When we all discussed, we found that our results were pretty much the same! Fast, intense but oddly addictive! Dione and Eilidh also spotted the much more experienced players in the hall right away whilst they were playing.They had arrived an hour before us so they had got really into it by the time we had arrived for the 2nd half! Overall, I think that we had all really enjoyed the experience and agreed it was very addictive!

When I was thinking about things that related in previous workshops or lectures, I had thought about our Subcultures and style tribes workshop and the brief lecture as I had missed the main lecture due to being in beautiful Paris with a few other textile design students! When I thought about subcultures and the bingo, I tried to think of it as in how the bingo attract their players and is it with their offers? I noticed it’s mainly an older audience, about 60 upwards. However, the brightly coloured interiors and flashing lights suggest a younger audience and more fun environment, not an older and more calming environment. I think this is because they want the players to stay as long as possible! keeping the interiors bright and fun makes the environment much more exciting and relaxing I feel because if it was dull and grey, the atmosphere would quickly deteriorate. It could also be a way of trying to attract a wider player range and not just the usual age groups. When thinking about style tribes, I found this one quite unusual as the bright colours and flashing lights do not necessarily attract the older generation, more so the younger generation so what attracts the older generation? could be that it was something very popular years and years ago and they had been brought up with it.

During some breaks between game play, I put my observation skills that I learned from “Snoop” by Sam Gosling, to the test! Snoop taught me to look between the lines and look for things that are not as obvious, things that could tell you something brief about a complete stranger. Encourage you to ask questions like Why did she sit there? Do they come here often and if so, is it daily? As I was facing the back wall ( I know, not the greatest place to sit!) I noticed an older woman at the very back. She was by herself and seemed a little angered when other’s called “House!” so this suggests she could be impatient or easily angered? Also, could suggest that she likes to be on the go and constantly having something to do. It was clear she was a regular because she was very fast, had her own dab pen and from what I presume, had a few different bingo game books (she wasn’t as close to see how many she had) so this could suggest she is a fast learner and can easily multi-task. When I decided to observe much more closely, I started to gain much more information.The objects and her behaviour whilst playing this game helped give me a brief insight into what I think could be part of her personality. Her impression on me was that she was a regular due to her speed. I noticed something quite strange whilst in the Bingo but then it came clear that it could have been quite common, who knows! Anyway, there was a couple who were sitting just a few tables away from us and when they left, that same woman who I had seen up the back, moved down to the recently emptied table for the next game. Odd?…perhaps but I thought that maybe that was her regular table so that was another point that made me think she was a regular player. This gave me another insight to her personality, maybe she was a very fussy person and who liked things done in a certain way? neat, organised and likes to stick to a routine or schedule.

When I imagined the bingo, I imagined it to be quite slow and maybe a bit boring?…oh, I was very wrong, it’s fast and quite addictive once I got into it. It was an interesting experience!

Overall, I found this assignment oddly exciting! I think it was great trying something completely new and in an environment that I am not entirely used to. When I first started playing the game, I found that it was quite intense and really fast paced but when I play a few games, I got quite into it! Once I figured out and remembered things about the bingo that my Gran had told me such as, the numbers being in a particular order, particular place etc it became quite addictive! If it hadn’t been for this assignment, I probably wouldn’t have stepped foot into a bingo for a long time so this experience was quite fun!


Assignment 3A: Service Design Tools

21st Century Design, Assignment 3

Last year, I studied a module in University called “Change By Design”. In this module, I learned a lot of interesting and very useful information about design and information like how to design for a purpose as well as a particular person or client.There was a particular topic that came up during last year and it was based on Service design. Service design is about planning and organising people, communication and the materials of a service in order to improve the quality and communication/interaction between clients or customers.

For one of the lectures last year, we had a guest speaker who discussed her company and what service design is all about. Lauren Currie, our guest speaker, is the director of her own service design company called Snook. She focuses on changing the lives of people in Scotland with service design and practical actions. Her lecture was very interesting! there was a lot of different information about service design and it was something that I had never knew about before.

For one of our very first assignments last year, I was put into a mixed group of different second year design students. This gave us the opportunity to get to know different students from a different design specialism and experience different ideas and views from another students perspective. So for that first assignment, we had to brainstorm and then create a mind-map based on “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. We had also been assigned to read The Mind Map book so it would teach us how to mind map properly and more effectively. Also, when Lauren Currie held some workshops, she taught as effective ways to brainstorm and mind map.  From doing this assignment, I feel much more confident with mind-maps and I think that since then, I have learned to use them a lot more within my projects.

Mind Mapping is a service design tool and it has been one that I have come to use a lot since my “Change By Design” module!

At the start of each new project, I start my first page in my sketchbook as a mind – map. Reason being, I feel that after my previous workshops in last years module, the skills I have learned have really helped me with my work. When doing my mind-maps, I always create them the way that I had in my previous module. This has helped me remember a lot more information about any theme or project work because of the effective layout of my mind maps. For example, it is essential to use different branches that show the different points that have to be remembered and it is best to colour code them so they are easier to remember! Also, it is also suggested to include small diagrams as this helps makes things easier to remember. Good excuse to get creative! Also, the mind map is always there to refer back to if needed.

Here is an example of a few mind maps done in my “Change By Design Module”. I really liked creating these mind maps and I have found them useful in my sketchbooks. Not just for me but I think that by having them there, it makes it easier for the viewer to understand parts of the project illustrated in the sketchbook.

There are many different Service Design tools such as:

  • Mind Mapping
  • Mood Board
  • Affinity Diagram
  • Story Boards
  • Task Analysis Grid

and many more…

Throughout my studies, I have only used the mind-mapping tool as it has been the most effective and perhaps easiest way to approach any new projects or tasks. Even in school, mind maps proved useful (even though they may not have been done correctly!). When I was looking through a website based on Service Design, I looked at a lot of the different service design tools and related case studies for more inspiration and ideas on how to approach new tasks, projects etc.

A Service design tool that I came across that I would like to explain is the Mood Board. A mood board is basically a visual composition of photographs, pictures, drawings or ideas. When together, it is easier to see all of your ideas and thoughts on a current task as they are arranged neatly in front of you. I have never used a lot of mood boards in any of my current projects but from reading about this tool, I think they would be highly beneficial. If I were to use it in my current project at the moment or projects to come I think that I would first start out by creating a mind map and then once I have my key ideas that I really like from my mind map, I would create a mood board based on those ideas. I think that this would help me visualise what would be best to do for my project as I think it would give me a much clearer idea of my current theme. Also, I think that by doing this, it could also spark off other ideas. I think it would be important to have your mood board looking very neat and precise as I think it is key that it must have a good composition so you can clearly outline your main ideas.

This is an example of an effective mood board.

People Watching…in the Zoo!

21st Century Design, Assignment 3, Photography

Last Thursday for my 21st Century Design Module, I was on a class trip to Edinburgh Zoo. I had never been before so I was really excited for it! As it was a class trip, I had to go there not only to see the many animals but to observe and take a note of the different types of people and their reactions whilst in the zoo. This was quite a fun experiment because it was interesting to see how different people/age groups etc reacted to the animals and the zoo as a whole.

For this trip, I decided to go in a team with Amy Malcolmson and Errin Miller. As the zoo was very big, it was easier to do it in a smaller group!. Whilst walking around the different enclosures, we managed to take a lot of information down about different people’s reactions as the zoo was quite busy when we arrived!

When I was looking around, I was thinking about the sort of social behaviours that are normally associated with the zoo for example, the strict rules (for obvious reasons of course!) not to feed animals etc so this makes me think about how people feel more cautious around the larger animals, how different ages groups react for example, children seemed much more excited and more enthusiastic than their parents to see the animals however, their parents were happy that their children were enjoying themselves.

So when I was walking around looking at the animals and people watching, I noticed particular behaviours among different age groups, here’s what I observed:

  • Children – very excitable, eager to get to the front of the enclosures to see the animals, laughter, raised voices when talking about the animals to their parents,, brothers sisters etc, energetic as were moving around a lot/running.
  • Parents –  Protective of their children when they get close to the enclosures or when the animal came up close. Also, when they were walking about and making sure their children didn’t run off or hurt themselves. Parents didn’t seem as enthusiastic as their children but were happy to see their children happy. Some were telling their children about the animals, teaching them different exiting facts.
  • Adults – Some of the older adults were discussing the animals and maybe discussing interesting facts or reading the information signs. When I went to one of the monkey enclosures, an older couple were there discussing the monkey’s and laughing at the monkey’s playful behaviour…as was I!
  • Zoo Staff – very organised and focused on what they were doing, strict when some children/people got too close.
Here is some photographs from last Thursday!




Whilst on this trip, as a group, we got the opportunity to visit the Panda’s! We were only able to see one of them as the other’s were not on show unfortunately. The Panda we got to see was Tian Tian.


Tian Tian is the female Panda and when her name is translated, it means “sweet” or when repeated in chinese, it puts emphasise on the word so it would be translated as “sweetie”. So Cute! The Panda’s haven’t been in the zoo for a year yet so the Zoo staff said that the Panda’s don’t fully settle until they have been there for a year. It was great to see the Panda’s having never seen one so close before! it was a great experience to see Tian Tian and what she is like in her enclosure. When we went inside to one of the large windows outside her enclosure, we learned all about her and other Panda’s and the many interesting facts! When we arrived for the tour, she was sleeping but we were told that Panda’s sleep most of the day so it wasn’t uncommon for her to be asleep. However, she did move around a few times into different sleeping positions! (so there was a lot of pointing and excitement when she did!)

Whilst in the enclosure, I began to observe again so I could get information about different people’s reactions. As it was mostly my class from our module, we were all roughly around the same age however, our lecturers and a couple of older students were also there.  Here is some of my observations:

  • Students ( roughly around the same age…18-22?) –  Taking lots of photographs so this to me, showed the excitement. Crowding round the large windows to get a good look at the Panda, talking to one another about Tian Tian, listening in to the information being told by the zoo staff.
  • Adults – discussing the Panda’s, taking photographs so it suggested they were still as excited to see Tian Tian! Listening to the zoo staff telling everyone the facts about Tian Tian.

After about 10 minutes or so, I noticed that the students that had been previously at the front, had moved to the back so as to let the other students have a look. Whilst they were at the back, I noticed that a few had their phone and were talking with friends so it kind of suggested that they may be discussing the Panda’s or had seen what they wanted to see already so may have been discussing other things.

To get more information on the different Panda’s, here is a link to the Edinburgh Zoo Website: PANDA’S!  I totally recommend the Zoo if you have never been! was lots of fun and is a great day out!

Overall, I found last Thursday really enjoyable! I learned quite a lot and I think I have become much more observant through this experience as this experiment has taught me to be more aware of my surroundings and not just a certain thing. Seeing all the animals was great as well!

Hope you enjoyed this post!