Wk 5: 2/19 – 2/26

Updates from this week: a.) continued fabricating and testing materials b.) conducted user tests, c.) reassessed the form based on the user test results, d.) created a new cardboard mockup, e.) started a new teardown with a reused chrome book, f.) office hours with Marina and Brett (my previous Playful Communications professor), g.) ongoing conversations with Dibner Library and Sims Recycling Center about showcase interactive at their space, h.) 3rd user test with new form

a.) Continued building frame and testing materials
I finished the general frame of the bottom box of the stand. It’s hard to hold something and drill at the same time, so my partner Kasra helped with assembling the frame (ty so much!). The reinforcement bars were also cut. Unfortunately, the reused Innonlux touch screen that I got from eBay was not compatible with my Mac 10.14. I had to return it and because of this delay with figuring out the screen I plan to use, I was stalled with the top portion of the kiosk. For this interactive, it’s especially important to me that I use reused electronics. Therefore, I went back to eBay and really took a careful look at the drivers that needed to be installed for these touchscreens to make sure they were compatible with Macs.

b.) Conducted user tests
I asked people on the floor if they could user test. Sid was my first user test. My second user tester was Jesse. Both had similar feedback, which really helped me realize 2 main points: (1) the content is interesting but needs to be more engaging in the way it is is displayed, (2) the layout of the electronic components on the side of the first stand (“Birth” section) is not noticeable and (3) the feedback of the choice selected or item scanned needs to be instantaneous. They each had very specific suggestions for tackling these three problem areas.

Here are more thorough notes on what they both said.

c.) reassessed the form based on the user test results
The user tests were extremely helpful for understanding the pain points of the layout, interaction, and UX of content. Back to the drawing board I went!

I realized I needed the screen to be horizontal too because of screen weight issues (touch screens are very heavy!). This changed a lot of the top section of the stand. The “Birth/Making” section also needed to be rethought. Jesse’s advice to try out a bin makes a lot of sense, so I mocked it up for a 2nd user test.

d.) created a new cardboard mockup
This new design is based on the user test and screen restrictions. I think this new form is working better than the long vertical top design. There is even a mini mockup of the form.

It was also important to mockup the bin and so that I can get started on fabricating it asap. The cardboard mockup of the bin is helpful for both exact dimensions and for doing a 2nd round of user test.

e.) started a new teardown with a reused chrome book
Due to size constraints, it became necessary to use a smaller laptop. Thankfully, I had grabbed 3 not working laptops from my parents when I visited over break. One of them was a Chromebook which is great and only 12″ wide. I did a teardown on that and found that this device had a lot in common with the Lenovo laptop.

f.) office hours with Marina and Brett

These were very helpful sessions. I have been struggling to know what to do with the Future section. Brett’s main advice was to think about the takeaway that I wanted people to have and work from there. Marina brought up many helpful references and points especially in regards to the “Future/Speculative” section: (1) talk to Ashley, Lydia and Alden about speculative futures as they all have done speculative thinking workshops, (2) don’t tell, people are able to remember something better if you ask them to do/design something, (3) the prompt is crucial and that it will be good to work through the specific scenarios that people should go through, (4) Extrapolation –> future of green, (5) What does a pawn shop of the future look like? Ashes in an urn is not tonally off as I had thought, but the tone needs to be included in the beginning (not stuck at the end). Also, anthropomorphizing the phone is a tired metaphor and emphasizes our attachments to our devices. Need a new metaphor.

g.) ongoing conversations and visits with Dibner Library and Sims Recycling Center about showcasing this interactive at their space.

Progress on this front is being made! I will be user testing the interactive at both spaces for 1-2 days in April. From these initial tests I can see what issues come up and optimize the interactive so that it can withstand living at their space for long periods of time without maintenance issues. I visited the Sims again as part of my “Garbage in Gotham” course and used this trip as an excuse to meet Kara again, check out the space that the interactive could live in, and go on another tour!

h.) User test with new prototype
On Monday, I tested the new form for the “birth/making” section with Ada. With this new form, there was so much less confusion about what to do with the electronic component and I found myself having to explain less. The bin for digging through for components seems to be working well! She provided a lot of helpful feedback about how to reset and transition to the new station. Great suggestion: add a “Finish” button to help onboard people to the next station and to reset to the original page.

More notes on her feedback: here