Chip Running and Stretch Quests

Last week I volunteered as a ‘chip runner’ for an organization I volunteer for. If you don’t know what chip running is, it’s a physical activity that involves running around a casino making sure tables have a sufficient number of chips to deal. Well when I went it was more along the lines of ‘chip couch lounging’.

When I arrived at the casino at 7 to start my 9 hour shift I was greeted by a very calm and relaxed casino seeing as it was Family Day (a Canadian holiday). Going into this environment I expected to be mentally and physically engaged from the name of the activity. I ended up sitting on a couch for 9 hours since the casino had minimal activity. I was extremely fatigued from not interacting with anything and I thought about how I could apply this to interface design.

An interesting thing to connect this experience to.

From my experience, user fatigue with a design – not having enough meaningful interaction to a site – relates to my chip running experience. I became quite dissatisfied with everything around me when I wasn’t engaging with what I wanted to that I didn’t want anything to do with casinos. A similar experience could occur if a user is unable to connect with a design in the way they want to.

The main thing I got from my time thinking on the couch in the volunteer room was how important it is to understand the sense-needs of a design’s users. Research, consideration and application of designing an interface to satisfy the user should be part of the design process for anything interface related I believe.

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