These are a few of our favorite things:
an exploration of preference, interaction & community

Adobe Creative Residency Application by: Kelly Mackie


Describe your Creative Residency project with two sentences.

My Creative Residency project is called, “These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things: An Exploration of Preference, Interaction and Community.” Based on extensive UX research, prototyping and testing, an interactive installation will showcase how in these tumultuous times as Americans, there is more uniting us than dividing us.


What is the area of focus for your project?



Please describe your project in detail including:

Hypothesis: In these tumultuous times as Americans, there is more uniting us than dividing us.

End Physical Product: An interactive installation where users make a list of their 20 favorite things. Their list is fed into an art-making algorithm to create a one-of-a-kind work of art printed and shared on the spot. The users’ data will be added to a database informing the aesthetic of an ever-changing piece of artwork representing the entirety of the project. Users will have the opportunity to make a donation to charity at the end of their interaction. The installation will be set up in a gallery or convention space like the Adobe Summit and MAX conferences. The end physical product will be based solely on the results of extensive UX research, prototyping and testing.


Phase One (Open Card Sorting): 1-2 months

User testing will be rudimentary creating the minimal viable product, starting with focus groups collecting data about experiences and expectations. Begin testing in an open card sorting fashion where the factors are least constrained to observe how test subjects perform naturally when asked to create a list of their favorite things, respond to artwork and charitable donation. Gather test metrics in successful task completion, critical errors, non-critical errors, error-free rate, test duration, user feedback and ratings.

20 Favorite Things: Study how people innately format when asked to make their own lists. Look to find patterns in list-making styles, hierarchy, common topics, and more when given a blank sheet of paper.

Artwork: Test for preference and gauge response to art styles, color, subject, abstract vs. concrete, size and materials, etc.

Charitable Donation: Preliminary testing for preference on social issues/charitable organizations people care about most and what percentage of proceeds should be donated if this project was to make a profit.


Phase Two (Closed Card Sorting): 3-4 months

Begin to shape a more structured process, honing each component based off feedback from Phase One. Testing in a closed card sorting fashion where factors are constrained. Gathering test metrics in successful task completion, critical errors, non-critical errors, error-free rate, test duration, user feedback and ratings in hope of improvement in all categories from Phase One. Based off user test results, create personas to help inform decisions in the interface design process.

20 Favorite Things: Constraining the list making process down to a “fill in the blank process” to have more uniform, distilled answers. Begin testing different data collection methods, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc. for collecting user background information.

Artwork: Based on feedback from Phase One, categorize art and test revised selections with users. Gauge responses and preferences of combinations of art styles, color, subject, abstract vs. concrete, size and materials, and sharing on social media channels.

Charitable Donation: Based off feedback, distill donation options down to short list and collect data on preferred organizations, fee versus free engagement with installation, and donation percentages.


Phase Three (Prototype and Construction): 3-5 months

Build beta digital interface and test installation configuration possibilities. Build full interface and final installation.


Part One

Beta Digital Interface: Conduct extensive user tests, including heuristic evaluations with usability experts, individual interviews, first click testing and System Usability Scale evaluations. Using Experience Design CC, create wireframes and send users the live link. Ask them to navigate through while using the video record features and leave feedback in the comment stream. Download and save all videos to review. Based off the wireframe and comments feedback, create prototype version with XD (in combination with Photoshop and Illustrator for additional asset creation and editing functionality) and send to users to give feedback. Ask them to navigate the prototype using the video record features and leave comments on the live link. Download and save all videos to review. Continue user testing and updating. User tests of the beta site will be done both in-person and remotely.

Physical Installation Testing: Study difference in speed and enjoyment in varied installation configurations. Do test subjects prefer privacy? Do they want to be seated? Do they prefer a touchscreen over using a keyboard and mouse? Does the configuration affect their attentiveness, speed and enjoyment? What materials are they most intrigued by in terms of external installation design aesthetic?


Part Two

Final digital interface: Using the full suite of Adobe products -- namely Dreamweaver, Animate, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Illustrator -- and importing the content created in XD, build the full digital interface in both desktop and mobile sites, and create an app.

Physical installation: Based off the prototype feedback, construct final installation.


Phase Four (Live): 1-2 months

Final interactive installation goes live. The full site is launched in parallel with the traveling installation. It is a smash success, tons of money is raised and donated to charity, and there is an ever-growing interactive database of evidence proving how we as Americans truly are a united state with the same core values and human behavioral instincts.


Budget: $3000

  • Registering domain: $10-$35
  • Apple iOS App Publishing account: $99/year
  • Google Play App Store One Time Fee: $25
  • Installation materials (building materials, labor fees, display screens, artwork printing materials, 3D printing materials, etc): $2850


How does this project build off of your previous work?

This project is inspired by the year-long UX project I have been conducting on myself, “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things.” I am curious to understand the nature of preferences. Are they acquired organically? Are they dictated by the constraints of the individual's environment? How does the data fluctuate throughout the year? Does the ratio of different kinds of preferences vary? Are there connections to be made between preferences or do they operate independently? Using myself as a test subject, I keep a list of my 20 favorite things each week and post an image to my Instagram. I am 38 weeks through my year long study, which I intend to complete in addition to the Creative Residency project. At the end of the year long study, I plan to create a website showcasing the lists and the results using XD to prototype and Dreamweaver to build the full site. Check out the project page here.


What are the main creative tools you plan to use for your project?

  • Paper and writing utensils for administering initial user tests
  • Release forms for user testing participants
  • Materials samples for artwork: Paper of various sizes, weights and colors, ink
  • Printed images of artwork samples
  • Paper, ink and printer for printing images
  • 3D printer and printing materials
  • Adobe Creative suite
  • DSLR to record footage of testing, prototyping and final product in use
  • Exhibition building materials, monitor/computer or tablet


How do you plan to share your project with the creative community?

I plan to share the project with the creative community through my personal social media channels, the user testing process and public speaking. I will post daily updates via Instagram and Facebook, weekly Youtube videos and blog posts tracking the progress of the project. I will encourage the creative community to take part in initial data collection, testing and giving feedback on the prototypes; in addition to inviting them to engage with the final product in-person at the installation or online. As a former professionally-trained classical ballerina and Dale Carnegie trained public speaker, performing and engaging with people is something I enjoy. I would love to speak about this project and my love for Adobe at design and UX conferences, schools, tech companies, and more.


What do you want the community to learn from your project?

I want the United States as a whole to learn how in these tumultuous times as Americans, there is more uniting us than dividing us. I want the creative community to learn Adobe has the best suite of products on the market to take an idea and turn it into a tangible finished product with the power to change our world for the better.


Please share projects that represent the quality of work you will make during the Adobe Creative Residency.

Below you will find links to a few projects selected from my portfolio closely related to my proposal for the Creative Residency. I have selected these projects because they showcase my award-winning student work in UI/UX and background in web design. The first project is called Top 100, my first UI/UX passion project focusing on information architecture and systems design; which won me a Silver Addy in Digital Creative Technology.  The second project is smartglass, a UX project I designed during my time at Michigan State University and won First Place at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. The final project is the collection of webpages I have designed for Lincoln Motor Company.

Website Screens-01.jpg



Top 100 was a study of systems and categorization. Selecting a collection of 100 items, in my case 100 tops from my closet, I wanted to find a unique want to filter, organize, and categorize the garments. While looking at examples of categorization studies...



Alcohol education programs have not been associated with being effective in the prevention or overall decreased participation in the consumption of alcohol in college age students. The only positive outcome of these programs has been an increase in knowledge of the risks and effects. With the understanding these programs have failed to change behavior...

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For the 2017 year, Lincoln has begun building creative to better align their Top Market and Dealer Level presence. Lincoln asked for a series of webpages for offer to their dealerships, these pages would be added to their existing dealership sites...


Share your resume with us.

View and download my resume here.



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Please tell us how you heard about the Creative Residency.

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Feel free to share additional information with us related to your application.

As a young professional located outside Silicon Valley, entry-level UI/UX opportunities are virtually non-existent in my area. In order to make myself eligible for positions in my market, I am determined to seek out every opportunity to gain experience necessary to launch my career in UI/UX. The Creative Residency is the springboard I have been searching for. If selected, I will honor the tremendous generosity of Adobe and become an expert in UI/UX. I will be an advocate for Adobe to speak about how they have the best suite of products on the market for UI/UX designers, and encourage young artists to consider User Experience as a potential field.