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User Scenario-The Gummy Ball March 5, 2010

Posted by Junbo Dong in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Problem:

To create a prototype that test curiosity and patience of the user and find out corresponds to the user’s mood.

The Gummy Ball:

It looks like a normal gummy ball with black surface. You squeeze and knead it but you don’t know what will happen. Actually, it’s an electronic ball. It will light up if you don’t stop squeezing it.

User Scenario:

Two individuals walk into a dark room. A is one person who appears to be very happy because he just finished a difficult project successfully.  B is the other person who appears to be sad because he lost his wallet an hour ago. They are invited to participate the game. The person who wins the game will be awarded $200 USD.  There is a ball with dark, smooth rubbery skin in the dark room. They were told to find the bumps on ball and press them down. They were not told what would happen eventually. The ball is electrical, when all the bumps are poked out; the object switches on the light that is plugged into the box. The light flickers on and the ball will start buzzing and blink its internal light. The most difficult part is that they should not miss any bumps all around the ball. However, they don’t know the outcome. After ten minutes, Individual A feels depressed in the dark, although he enjoyed the game at the beginning. He chooses to give up and returns the ball. Individual B meets the same situation, but he continues doing the game. After fifteen minutes, the ball buzzes and it lights up inside. B is quite happy for wining the game and the reward. A feels very depressed now because he failed and ran out of patience.

Mixed Feelings March 4, 2010

Posted by Talia Claire Dimerman in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Problem:

To create a prototype of an interactive art piece that takes in user input and creates an output that corresponds to the user’s choice of affect.


To mix different coloured and textured feeling-pieces in a bowl, as one would mix a salad.

Each colour is symbolic of a different feeling, and each texture can instinctively be associated with that feeling too.

User Experience:

The user holds a salad tong in each hand. She serves a healthy serving of colourful and textured feeling pieces onto her plate. Each piece’s colour and texture reflective of the feeling it symbolizes.

The user pulls a sharp red feeling-angry piece from her plate, examines it, and inwardly reflects about a time during which she experienced this feeling. She then pulls a fuzzy yellow feeling-happy piece from the plate and it reminds her of a time when she felt happy.

As she examines several other feeling pieces from her plate, she sees that many are stuck together. The user realizes that rarely do people feel any one feeling in isolation. For example, a child whose parents are divorced, usually feels a mixture of relief, anger, fear and frustration all at once – the feelings sometimes difficult to pull apart, or to separate from one another. Even after experiencing the death of someone you love, one may feel a mixture of both deep pain and relief that their loved one has been freed from pain and suffering.

So, it is normal that feelings are often mixed, and even stuck together at times.

After the user has examined several pieces, and reflected upon her personal experiences, she walks away reassured that one is not always able to separate one feeling from another.

User Scenario-The melancholic present March 4, 2010

Posted by Danyang Zhang in : Exer3: User Scenario , add a comment

The Problem:

To create a prototype that exposes the ugly truth behind the perfect appearance such as corruption of a government which will evoke among the users a sense of sympathy and guilt.

The Gift:

The object will be a perfectly wrapped box with beautiful wrapping paper and neatly tied ribbons.

User Scenario:

The user sees the wrapped box with ribbons. He/She knows right away that it is a gift. The first instinct is to focusing on the perfect wrapping, admiring the superficial appearance. Then, the user unties the ribbons and unwrap it. He/She sees the inside of the gift. He/She discovers that the actual foundation of the frame is made of used cardboard and put together roughly with tape. Inside the box, the user finds several old and wrinkled postcards. These postcards reveal the pathetic situation that people live in. The user sees homeless child seeking food on the groud, poor elderly working hard in an unsanitary environment, etc. The user realizes that the pretty appearance of the box signifies the outside look of a country, a government, or a society which reveals only the best part of itself to foreigners. For example, a certain country could give people the feeling that t is very powerful, wealthy, developed, and advance in science and technology. However, only its citizens know how the government is corrupted and how the majority of people live in poverty serving the higher class and being discriminated also by the same higher class.

This prototype reveals the ugly truth behind the surface that has been faked for others to see.

Exercise 3: Write a User Scenario, due March 5 February 19, 2010

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in : Exer3: User Scenario, Exercises, Official stuff from Greg , add a comment

You must post your User Scenario on or before Friday March 5 (our first class after Study Week).

This exercise is tied to Project 2: Evocative Prototype. In Exer2: User Scenario, you need to write a brief User Scenario for your Evocative Prototype, describing the experience from the point of view of the user. It should be 250-500 words long.

Interaction designer Dan Saffer says a user scenario is a kind of prototype build out of words — a nice way to think of it

For info on scenarios, prototyping and more, download Chapter 5 of Dan Saffer’s Designing for Interaction, 2005, New Riders/AIGA: saffer_designing4interactionch5.

Example User Scenario
from a student of Hiroshi Ishii at the MIT Media Lab:


The Problem
To create a system that takes in user input and creates an output that corresponds to the user’s choice of affect [affect is a fancy word for emotions].

The Bottles
The system consists of three bottles that represent three emotions- Angry, Happy, and Sad. They are placed near each other and represent three possible emotional states of a person. These are emotions that can be bottled up inside. We chose these three for the simplicity of combination of emotional states (8 possibilities). Rather than be completely representative of the possible emotional state of the person, we wanted to concentrate on the interface between emotions, the interaction and meaning between clear emotional states. Whenever a bottle is opened, a vocal affective output that corresponds to the emotion in the bottle is generated as if the emotion within the bottle is let out.

User Scenario
Two people walk into the room mute. They look at each other and down at the bottles in between them. One person picks up the angry bottle, shakes it real hard, and releases the cap which flies across the room on a string, followed by a mad sequence of intensely angry words, nonsensical but intentional. As they fade, the person gives the bottle another shake that results in a quick, short outburst.

The second person picks up the depressed/submissive bottle and pulls up the spring loaded cap, letting out a smoky string of diffuse words, quietly stating and fading into silence. She cocks the cap to the side and pours the bottle out, letting out a stream of flowing sadness, punctuated by sobs of intensity, and falling to the floor in self pity.

The first person takes the sad bottle and shakes it into the stream of the angry bottle, resulting in yelping sadness and sad words purged by angry overlays. The second person takes the happy bottle, closes the angry bottle, and lies the sad and happy bottles side by side, releasing the lids. Out comes a bubbling stream of mixed emotions and apologies, slowing after the initial flow. The first person again takes the angry bottle and places it next to the other two, opening its lid as well. The result is neutral speech, spiced by words of emotion but with low intensity. A relaxed conversation and occasionally a friendly argument.

The second person places the bottles upright and closes them one by one – angry, happy, sad – and the two people walk out of the room in silence.

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