Test date : October 18, 2011
Location : MFA DT Lab, Parsons The New School for Design
Observe how the interface can influence on user’s behaviors.
As an extension of the previous prototype, this experience was built under the same basic principles: users standing in font of a camera connected to a computer that transforms the arm gestures into sound.
for this version, a more detailed and straightforward visual feedback was provided: every time a sound is triggered, a red dot appears indicating which side is activated. This proved to be more effective comparative to the previous experience.
For this version, two modes were supported in order to allow comparison between passive and active behavior from the interface:
Mode A : freestyle improvisation
Mode B : Users hear a base rhythm
Each one of the users tried both modes and at the end of the experience they were prompted to describe the differences between each mode. Basically they were asked to describe in what situation they felt more comfortable.
As before, there were no explicit constraints besides remaining in the camera’s area of vision.
Does the rhythm influence on the behavior ?
Do they they to follow the rhythm ?
What case is more open to exploration ?
How do users evaluate and compare both experiences ?
Due to the small sample of users that could be tested, it is impossible to determine a statistical preference over any of both modes. However, it was clear that the aesthetics of the rhythm played an important role over the users’ comfort. For some of them it was really difficult to follow the provided rhythm, and for others it provided a sonic cue that they could follow and was more gratifying than mode A.
It is interesting that although it was not explicitly instructed to the users that they had to follow the music. They expressed that they felt it was the obvious thing to do. It seems that a rhythm immediately demands to be followed. This needs to be considered and could be used to exploit the idea of leadership in a future.
The observed physical behavior was not as extremely different between both modes as expected. This suggests that the presence of the base rhythm failed to influence on users’ behaviors. However, it did influence on their perception , as they classified both experiences as really different.