Creative Process


Before we started sketching, we brainstormed lists of various interactions we could place in coffee shops and created an affinity diagram surrounding different themes.

  1. Gaming
    • Collaborative Crossword puzzles
    • Augmented Reality game
    • Fun with coffee cups on a larger table
  2. Ambience
    • Table music lights
    • Ceiling mood lights
    • Ambient noise light
    • Ceiling projection for each table
    • Gaze tracking lights
  3. Leave your mark
    • Item projection wall
    • Digital stamp wall
    • i-Corner. Stuff that makes them come back
  4. Visualization & projection
    • Social media wall projection
    • Sustainability visualization
    • Activity based projection (Eli's fish tank)
    • SIM style on customer projection
  5. Loyalty program
    • Birthday Spotlight
  6. Services
    • Interactive menu and payment
    • Live feed from kitchen
    • Wireless charging with indication
    • Branding for local events
    • Know what someone else is eating
  7. Outside displays
    • Outlet/Branch map
    • Reactive glass
    • visualizations for ppl outside


Based on our affinity diagram, we created some sketches that aligned with our motivation of introducing new interactions in a coffee shop setting, which we didn’t limit to just tabletop technology. we also wanted to explore wall interactions and different ways that people can find information or have other engaging experiences on these surfaces. Sketching was a great way to see these ideas on paper and to decide whether or not they actually made sense in a coffee shop setting. Here are a few of the earlier sketches that we ended up creating storyboards for.


We grouped our sketches together to create a few scenarios centered around a few similar experiences. We had one scenario centered around tabletop interactions with your mobile phone, one scenario where you’re looking up a drink to order, and a final scenario where you interact with other surfaces around you.

Scenario 1: Customized tables

Scenario 2: Ordering

Scenario 3: Interactive visualizations

Speed Dating

We conducted speed dating with the storyboards with 11 coffee shop regulars. We coded the field notes and pulled several themes of feedback we received.

  • Additional features
  • Privacy issues
  • UX considerations
  • Low utility
  • Personal vs. communal space

Wireless Charging

  • People liked the idea of charging wirelessly
  • Concerns about usability of the interface
  • Can I also charge my laptop?
  • Does the interface show up only if I put down my phone?

Interactive Menu

  • Concerns about design of the interface
  • Labels were not indicative
  • Requested additional features (ex. widgets like a clock etc.)

Exploring Local Events

  • People liked the interactions (push things back to the phone)
  • Events? Maybe something else makes more sense
  • Additional features will add value (ex. purchase tickets)

Table Spy

  • Wouldn’t mind if someone knew what they were having but were reluctant to use the feature themselves
  • Privacy issues
  • Concerns about the interface requiring spatial skills

"Like" A Drink

  • Not compelled to “like or dislike”
  • They’d rather see it somewhere else (ex. in the menu)
  • How can we make this personalized or social (ex. recommendations / sharing with friends)

Custom Themes

  • Using wallpapers alone is not enough. Wanted more!
  • Pull photos from your phone to make a collage
  • Create their own theme by drawing or painting
  • Control brightness / Makeup mirror??
  • Not sure about how the table will recognize them

Virtual Pets/Item Wall

  • Some found it useful, others not so much
  • Deeper connection with the cafe, others felt it wasn’t appropriate
  • Idea of a shared communal space (ex. Virtual bulletin)
  • Personal and Communal articles must be separated

Recycle Bin Visualization

  • They felt incentivized to recycle
  • Everyone recycles anyway... how is helping people do things differently?
  • Some questioned the impact of merely showing statistics
  • Wanted it to be more fun (ex. coffee related)

Storyline Script

The storyboard evaluations provided great feedback about which interactions people felt were natural, and which were uncomfortable. After several iterations, we decided to cut out the recycling visualization in the interest of time and the customization storyboard due to low utility and privacy issues, and wrote a story surrounding the remaining storyboards.

Storyline 1: David and Angela

This is David. David is a regular at his local coffee shop, where he likes to sit at his favorite table. When he puts his phone down on the table top, it automatically starts charging wirelessly. David then orders his regular drink from the table. The table also provides other useful and entertaining options, such as reading the news, or finding out about local events.

While David waits for his drink, Angela enters the coffee shop. She is new to the coffee shop, and sits down at a table across from David. Angela sees that her table prompts her to place her phone down, and when she does, the order menu pops up and asks her what she would like. Being new, Angela wasn’t sure what to order. At that time, the barista comes by with David’s order, which catches Angela’s eye. She is intrigued by David’s drink, so she uses the tabletop menu to look up what he ordered, and decides to order the same drink.

Storyline 2: Chloe

Nearby, Chloe has been working at the coffee shop for a few hours, and is getting ready to leave. On her way out, she stops by a large wall, which suddenly comes alive and catches her attention. As she approaches the wall, it turns into an aquarium and Chloe is completely captivated. She touches it and starts feeding the fish, which flock towards her. After playing with the wall for a while, Chloe exits the coffee shop.

Watch our final video sketch!