Monday, April 15, 2013

Final Video Animatic

From the 29 pictures in our storyboard (which seemed a bit much so I will not post it to the blog), came this amazing animatic that will be used as the template for our prototype video.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

User Study 4

Many people participated in our most recent user study.  We tested out the cube with the set faces, and recorded how people interacted with the product.

What did we learn?

1. Some people prefer to just read material on issue and do not want to watch a video before. You may want a wig of the info will be selecting from the start the video text (like once one of the characteristics we thought).

2. Currently lacks any hint of physical option of moving the cube freely (not all users realized they could move it themselves).  This might be due to us holding the cube during the user study rather than have it free-standing like we plan for in the future, and then the structure of the cube solve this problem, but in any case here are a few possible solutions:

A. Place the cube in such a way that it swings a little when not being touched, so you need to stabilize it when you start, then the transition will be intuitive to roll next face.
B. Place the cube at an angle, so that right at the beginning the user realizes that there is more than one monitor and understand that you need to roll.

Another option is what we talked about with Noa is to find a technological way to cause the user to understand that they received all the possible information from the current face, and so move on to the next one.

From what we had seen in the user study, it will certainly improve the user experience, so it's a subject worth exploring.

3. A participant who did not want to be photographed suggested that users be able to write your opinion as a comment/talkback.  It's a great idea and we considered it a while ago, but it doesn't work very well with our system.

4. Someone suggested to add personal information question about occupation, information wants to know videos opinion (because, for example if someone engineer can be'd prefer to see when I have the video to someone that whore, just an example to see if you came up here and reading e-mail).

5. People enjoyed playing with the cube and loved the idea

6. A note about the third face (recording opinion): In cases where the user does not watch public opinions before recording, it is not really immediately clear what to do. She suggested that we write that section "Record Your Opinion" instead of just "Your Opinion".

7. Many people wanted to record their opinions, but since it doesn't say where the information is kept, they find it daunting.

8. Add an option to cancel at the section for filling out information for those that come to it and decide they do not want to fill in details.

9. Something interesting that we noticed is that people choose different orders of interaction.  For example, one participant only watched the informative video before moving directly to vote, while another went through the whole process.  A third first recorded her opinion, and only the watched other people's.

Everything was quite clear and intuitive.  One thing we forgot to check, and we are not sure about, is the buttons that appear after the video is recorded.  We talked about the watch, submit and cancel, there is a possibility that the submit unnecessary.  Opinions are divided on so this is something worth checking out.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Final Design

As was decided before, the digital system will be in the form of a cube with four active faces:

Face1 - informative video + textual information about a topic
Face 2 - Opinion videos recorded by residents
Face 3 - Video camera to record one's opinion on the issue
Face 4 - Two physical buttons, red and green, to vote for and against the issue.

The cube is placed on the street on a stand (see diagram attached) that holds the cube and allows it to turn 360 degrees without the user having to hold it in their hands. Above the cube, a question will be displayed, most likely in print format. The columns that support the cube will have LED lights that will light up after a user votes to show the current voting state.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

From Pillar to Cube

After seeing the many interaction problems with the pillar, especially with the lack of touchscreen, we decided that we can't ignore the calls to change how the product will work.

We decided to move away from the pillar idea to something else (again).

We brainstormed many ideas, from Dance Dance Revolution type interaction to Hyde Park.

In the end we went back to the idea of the voice carrying weight.  We took the idea of a balance

The main interaction will be with a cube.  Four of its sides will have touchscreens (tablets), with one being for information, the second to listen to public opinion, the third to record one's opinion, and a possible fourth function.  The vote will be done by placing the cube on one side of the balance.  When the cube is placed, the balance will show the current voting conditions.

Below are some basic models of the cube.

Friday, March 8, 2013

User Study 3: Paper Prototype

We took our product to the streets!

In order to understand how to characterize the product: what buttons to use, where to place them, etc., we decided to test the product on people.

The test was done at the IDC, because we knew that most students are opinionated and that we can learn learn a lot from any opinion they may give us.

The test was very successful! We were glad to hear that people like the idea and are waiting to use it in real life, and more were glad that we learned a lot about the interaction of users with the product.

Here is a short video of the test:

Below are some questions that arose from watching the interactions:

* Is it right to decide that the amount of time a user is interacting with the system affects the level of the weight of his voice? If so, we should think about making it in a way that the use would intuitively understand.  At the beginning of the interaction, it should show that the amount of time they are going to invest in has a direct effect on their vote.

RFID tag -
As mentioned, the tag is supposed to signal that the user started his route to the front page, and help us to measure the amount of time they used the system, as a way to indicate the amount of time they had invested in learning about the issue, and thus calculate the weight of their vote. The idea is that a user who has taken more time to learn about the issue, listen to pubic opinion, and record their thoughts knows more about the issue, and so should have their vote count more.

Examination revealed a number of advantages and disadvantages in the existence of the RFID tag.

Many respondents indicated that this tag would go with them from voting ballot, and will be part of their keychain, thus creating a sense of commitment and a community between people to whom expressing their opinion on their surroundings is important. The tag may cause an emotional connection.

Some suggested that the tag will be used for things other than voting, for example, instead of plain tags, they will contain personal information, like resident identification.

Some respondents felt the chip very redundant in the interaction.
We realized that the tag requires the presence of a stewardess/machine in order to give the tag to people who had not received it elsewhere. Because this process requires a registration system, it may be cumbersome.

Buttons -
We noted that, without exception, users intuitively thought that the screed was a touchscreen. 

The fact that the screen is untouchable (because the screen is inside a glass "wrapper"), incurs a significant drawback. It seems that people are so used to touch screens, and we realized that maybe we should think about changing the form to one that contains touch interaction.

Disregarding that fact, here are the conclusions regarding the different buttons:

Informative Screen: 
A green triangle-PLAY, which everyone understood intuitively

Opinion Screen:
- No need for up/down arrows, just right, left and enter.

- Middle button - don't make it a square.  Some said that square reminds them of STOP, maybe do a green triangle in the middle of the screen as a piece of paper and right and left arrows << >>.

- In the future, this screen will not be in a loop. The two options, record yourself and view opinions, should have segments that correspond to the weight of that part of the process.  For example, if recording the opinion is more important, it should have a larger space.

- Some of the subjects felt it was important to see their recording before deciding to have everyone be able to see it.

- When watching public opinions, many subjects thought it would be helpful to know some personal information about the speaker, such as age.

Voting Screen:
- It is not clear yet how to vote - if we decide to go with the RFID tag, we need to make sure that there is a way to intuitively understand that it should be used as a voting tool.

- Are red and green for and against confusing for the user.  They could be confused with the PLAY and RECORD buttons.

In the end we learned a lot from the paper prototype, and still have many issues to solve in regards to the interaction.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Because we want the system to be able to recognize the amount of time a user spent on the system, we thought of using RFID tags, like these ones:

Since we want to check the amount of time a user spends in front of our product, the RFID tags can be checked in at the beginning, and at every station.  At the end, the amount stations tagged would calculate the weight of the vote.

These tags will stay with the person, and go with them from vote to vote.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tweaking the Idea

Coming back from semester break, we realized we had a lot of small tweaks to the system to make the interaction more intuitive.
After much thought, we decided that it was important to have some sort of indication of the level of a user's investment. Today, in a world where everything is fast, we do not think as deeply about things, mainly because we feel that we do not have the time.
We decided to use a user's interaction level to indicate the extent of their involvement, and through that, calculate the weight of the total votes. It makes no sense for one who chose to read the issue, watch public opinion and shoot video of his thoughts and someone who chose only to vote should have their vote carry the same weight.
In practice, we decided that some have measured the amount of time the user is interacting with the product, once it starts to consume the information until the moment when he chooses to vote. Time indication will be the extent of involvement.
In addition, we realized that it is important that the user go through some sort of process while interacting with our product, so that it is clear that there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. We decided to paint the floor around the track with the Board, the user marks where the process starts and where it ends.
So we thought back to the metaphor of a voting booth that you are going through a process, after which you vote on your choice.
We thought about adding a small printer at the point where the interaction begins. The user gets a piece of paper that continues with them throughout the entire process.  At the end of the process, the user can vote by inserting the paper into the voting slot, which will be part of the pillar.

The following is a drawing of our idea (bird's eye view)