I have always been highly aware of other peoples emotions, so much even that it held me back. I didn't want to bother. When I had to start approaching people for user testing, I did not really get how. My design skills were not good enough to bother people with user testing. My first real user testing was with children, It can be pretty difficult to reach a group of children because they all have parents that need to agree. Once we got permission to test in a primary school, it was actually really fun. The children were happy that they could leave class for a view minutes and the testing had giving us new perspectives on our design.
By now I have done many more projects were users were involved in the process. My favorite user experiment was one around warehouse robots(see below). This is because it was really about testing an fairly unknown area and it was in a multidisciplinary team. This made me able to clearly have the task of designing the test and be supported by their different perspectives and realization capabilities. I am quite intrigued by robots and their place in society as well. On the one hand I am very excited by the innovations in this field. On the other hand I find it quite as scary field from an ethical point of view. They are replacing care and sometimes even love. Is that innovation that we want? can it be done differently?
I want to put new things in this world and work in fields of new technologie. As if now, my interest is more technologie push oriented. If I want to keep doing that I have to stay aware of how society is changing and were it might be headed.
I also think that I should keep developing user studies as I think that every design should need it sooner or later. I think I have a lot to learn in terms of more casual user research. For example co-design or surveys to stay a bit more in touch during a design process.
To make the solution fit the user
For the course User Centered Design we were assigned to create a health related product with a user centered approach.
We wanted to make children familiar with the 5 basic food groups(de schijf van vijf). We made personas based on user interviews and user research. Based on that we decided on making a game in witch children could personalize their avatar and fill up their kitchen by winning food related quizzes. The game is controlled by a controller shaped in the 'de schijf van vijf'. To test if this remote is understandable for the children and to see if they were interested in the game we went to a primary school to do a qualitative test with the prototype. With a powerpoint (pictures left) we wizard of ozz-ed that the remote was connected with the computer. The children were very eager to help us and were not aware that the game was fake. Most children navigated very easily trough the game and there were only a view small things to enhance/change. That day we handed out a form to the whole class about the children perception of food to gain some more general quantitative information.
To adapt to a changing society
People don’t understand what the robot is thinking/doing therefore they impose false assumptions on the robot and will act under those assumptions. Or the human will just stop doing his/her tasks.
In a study done by Sauppé, A., et al It is already shown how giving the robot eyes can make its functions clearer for humans (2015). Peoples' jobs often change due to the introduction of a robot in their work (Salvini, P. et al. 2010). An application of the voice could be used to explain what the robot is currently working on or give instructions to their human counterpart. This research will mainly focus on industrial robots in warehouses as this is a common place where robots are taking over tasks.
CONDUCTING THE TEST
In order to test our hypothesis, an industrial-like robot (FAST platform) was used to see how people would react. The robot drove packages to a person who would place the packages in the correct box. The idea of the experiment is modeled after the warehouse robots used at Amazon where robots bring large racks with packages towards human order pickers.