Public Screens in Weymouth House

I went to the public space and analysed which public screen to display my interactive piece on. This is important as the screen it is displayed on can alter how successful it may be. I looked at which screens stand out more in the public space and what size screen would work best for my piece. As well as thinking about where I would position a camera and white screen. Below I have analysed each screen in relation to the public space to evaluate which would be most successful to display my interactive piece on…
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Screen 1 – I feel that these screens would not be suitable for my piece due to their being six fairly small screens. Also, due to the layout of the space, there is a seating area and a white post obstructing its view. I feel there wouldn’t be enough room for users to interact with my piece and feel that these screens are a bit segregated from the main public space. Not many people walk through between the seating areas so I feel my piece would not be successful here

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Screen 2 – These double screens are situated at the front entrance to Weymouth House. The screens are a good size for my piece and there is a large area around in which users can interact. People walk past the screens when going in and out of the public space, so I feel my piece would be fairly successful in this location. The automatic doors are opposite, which could obstruct the falling shapes so I would have to put a white screen up a few metres from the screen. I would have to ensure that this doesn’t block the entrance and people can still freely access the space.

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Screen 3 – These double screens are location opposite costa in the main path through of the public space. I feel that again they are a good size for my piece and feel they are the most noticed screens. Due to Costa being in the background as well as numerous posters on the walls, I would need to put up a white screen. This could be positioned a few metres from the screen, near the table. This means the screen would be more out of the way and doesn’t block peoples walking path through the space.

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Screen 4 -This single screen is located in between the lifts at the rear of the public space. It is a suitable size but I feel it is slightly isolated from the main space. People waiting for lifts may interact but that may only be for a short amount of time until the lift comes. I feel that this screens isn’t that noticed and think that my piece would not be that successful if displayed here.

 

I have decided that the screen I will display my interactive piece on is screen 3 (opposite costa). I think it has the best location in the public space and is the most noticed screen. I feel my interactive piece would work best in this location as it is in the main path through the space so there will be lots of people to hopefully interact with it. I feel it is also in the best location to put a white screen up as it won’t block the pathway and cause any obstructions. Analysing each of the screens is useful as it has allowed me to evaluate where my piece would be more successful. I feel it is very important as the screen choice can alter whether a piece is successful or not. Next, I will continue to make improvements to my piece and then test the final piece on my chosen screen.

Userbility Testing

In a recent s1419225895usability_testingeminar we learnt about usability testing and thought of possible questions to test the usability of an interactive piece example. Usability testing is when you test/evaluate a product with its aimed audience. It is important that I usability text my piece with the target audience as it will allow me to see its suitability and fitness for purpose. As well as allowing me to find out how users behave with the piece and what they experience from it (UX). Kuniavsky (2003, p.18) claims that

‘A good user experience doesn’t guarantee success, but a bad one is nearly always a quick route to failure.’

This shows the importance of carrying out usability tests, as without a satisfied audience my piece would be unsuccessful. He also suggests:

‘What makes a good experience varies from person to person, product to product, and task to task, but a good general definition is to define something as “usable” if it’s functional, efficient, and desirable to its intended audience.’

Carrying out usability tests will allow me to collect both quantitative and qualitative data to determine whether my piece is desirable to its intended audience. Quantitative data is that which deals with numbers, it can be measured and easily analysed and made into graphs/chart. An example of a quantitative question could be ‘Did you understand how to use the piece?’, the responses from this would simply be yes/no, hence allowing you to easily measure/analyse user responses. Qualitative data is that which is more descriptive, giving you individuals own personal opinions and views on the piece. An example of a qualitative question could be ‘Discuss what you like about the piece?’, hence giving you more detailed, quality answers. Quantitative questions are normally used when testing a big group of people as they could be good in order to find out who to target, however the responses aren’t usually very accurate and aren’t detailed enough for you to gain ideas on how to improve the piece and hence follow an iterative design process. Therefore, for my piece it would be best to use qualitative question when carrying out usability tests as it will allow me get more descriptive, useful answers as well as gain more feedback and improvements that I could possibly make. I need to ensure that I word the questions in the correct way in order to get qualitative responses from users as sometimes they can give yes/no responses which wouldn’t be as useful, therefore to do this I could use ‘discuss’/’explain’ in the question which encourages them to give a longer answer. From this, I have learnt a lot more about usability testing and quantitative/qualitative data. It will benefit my piece and means I will follow an iterative design process. Next, I will go on to create a prototype for my piece and test it with the aimed audiences.

Kuniavsky, M, 2003. Observing the User Experience : A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research [online]. Burlington, MA, USA: Morgan Kaufmann.

Processing Workshop – Object Orientated Programming

Today, we learnt about object orientated programming. We learnt how to create and use classes within processing. A class  is a blueprint that allows us to create an object. Within a class, it needs to contain class data, constructor and class methods. The class data is unique to each class, and within this you have to declare the variables of the particular class that you are working on. The constructor is where you assign the variables to the class. Class methods are the interface of data, and these functions are shared. In the workshop, I created a class named ‘Agent’, that consisted of data, constructor and methods and a draw function of a square. I then incorporated the class into the main tab by using an ArrayList. An array is a block of data and an arraylist is a block of object data. I set up the basic void setup and void draw and incapsulated the class ‘Agent’ into these. I also used existed knowledge of mousePressed and mouseX mouseY, so that each time the mouse is click it creates a new agent(square). Here is the code…

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Here is the outcome…

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From this workshop, not only did I Iearn new skills regarding classes, I also developed my existing knowledge from previous workshops, about integers and floats, variables, for loops, arrays, mousePressed and random functions. We also briefly explored how we could convert images to agents in order to create some interesting motion effects to the image pixels. Using for loops, it iterates through the images pixel array to create an agent for each pixel, and by altering the class update methods, the motion of the pixels changes. To convert the image pixels to agents, I had to use previous knowledge from Workshop 4, in order to obtain the 2d array of pixels, using a nested for loop and the formula x+(y*width).  Here is the outcome…

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When the mouse is pressed on the image, the agents(pixels) are updated, and in this instance they move randomly in a brownian motion. I would like to learn more about this and experiment with some different motions. Representation is a a possible concept I could explore for my final interactive piece, of which this could relate to as the moving agents blur the images representation. Next, I am going to look at some processing examples, in order to help me to further my understanding of processing and also to help gain more ideas for my interactive piece.

Poster in Public Space

We put our poster up in Weymouth House to see how many people noticed it and any comments they had about it. We put our poster on the automatic doors – the entrance to Weymouth house as we thought it would attract peoples attention as they walked in. We also put it on the orange wall next to another groups poster to see if people notice it more if it was grouped with other independent posters.In a 15 minute period from 12:45-13:00, we spotted 17 people looking at our poster. We also received some comments about it:

  • 20141016_130333“What does20141016_124349 it mean?”
  • “I didn’t even notice it”
  • “I glanced at it when passing, but it didn’t mean much to me as I was in a rush”
  • “Wow look at all of these poster “
  • “Thats quite white”
  • “It has a strong clear message”

The importance of doing this, is that it allowed us to analyse the public space in preparation for my interactive information graphic that will be displayed there. I have learnt a lot more about the space, people and graphics within the space. Also, the processes we went through for the production of our poster is that which I need to follow for my interactive piece. Here are the steps I plan to follow…

Requirements Gathering – Collecting information about the public space and target audience

Analysis – Analysing other examples and concepts, and the data gathered

Design – Creating designs for the piece and development of idea

Testing – Gaining feedback from target audience and improving designs

The requirements gathering I carried out for the poster will also be useful for my interactive piece. However, some further requirements gathering such as deciding which public screen to use will need to be analysed. From putting the poster in the public space, I have realised that the expectations I had about the space and people have been challenged. It is hard to predict how people will behave in certain spaces so I have learnt not to make assumptions. Everyone behaves and engages with media in different ways based on their own experiences and background, something that I need to consider when making my interactive information graphic. I need to be aware that people may not behave how I want them to and that the behaviour of people can alter at any point in time, this could relate to whether they are with friends, doing work or in a rush etc. Jenkins (2006, p.210) suggests that:

‘new meaning take shape around what we already know and what we already think, and thus, each player will come away from a game with a different experience and interpretation.’

Even though my piece is not a game, I feel that Jenkins idea can apply to my interactive piece. I’m aware that after interacting with my piece, each user will come away with a different experience and varied decoded meanings of the piece. Audiences are highly complex and challenging, which is something to be aware of especially when displaying a piece in a public space. Next, I will go on to explore prototypes, what they are and why it could be useful to create a prototype for my piece.

Jenkins, H, 2006. Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. London: New York University Press.