Scratch Nodes User Testing

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Scratch Nodes is an IOT device designed to encourage changing the rules through coding in an Outdoor environment. Children can program sensor based devices by changing different parameters like acceleration threshold and output type.

In order to support our goal for enhancing outdoor play, we designed a case for the hardware that could be well integrated in traditional games such as hide and seek or 2 flags. The case was designed with a metaphor of a stick, following the notion that sticks are quite natural objects for kids and could be played with regardless of the technology inside.

In order to test this hypothesis and to test the functionality of the of the devices, we performed an outdoor user testing with kids aged 10-12 from the democratic school in Ra’anana.

The kids came to the miLAB to participate in a user testing and by that contribute their input to our design process.

The user testing was performed in groups of 3 kids. Children received a short explanation about the device capabilities and example of using it in a social context. The use case was – for each shake, other devices will receive a point.

While waiting for their time to play with the device, children participated in a making activity led by the miLAB’s Creative Learning team. Children used materials like paper circuit and kits like Makey Makey to create art that involves technology.

Our biggest limitation for this user testing was the stability of the devices in outdoor environment. This was the first time we did a real time experiment for our hardware and software in an unsupervised environment and with no range limitation. We did have some technical difficulties, but were able to identify them and apply changes so by the fourth session we had very few technical difficulties.

Our next milestone is to perform a pilot for an upcoming experiment, it’s details we can’t yet share..

Written by Tom Hitron, a third year student at Communication school & research assistant at IDC MiLAB.

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