Testing, testing, testing

Sarah Rosenkrans
1st year grad student, Museum Exhibition Planning + Design
University of the Arts

This weekend was very busy for us. We finished designing our prototypes on Friday, Saturday we tested at a block party with Mighty Writer, Sunday we tested at the Franklin Institute, and this coming Tuesday we will be testing at the Scottish Rite Towers. It has been very busy, but so far we have gotten a lot of great feedback on how we can improve our prototypes. I was only able to make the event at the Franklin Institute, so that is what I will be covering in this post.

We had five prototypes set up on Sunday: one where visitors created their own patch, one where they were asked to write a letter, one where they assigned a color to their family, one where they wrote down a title of a song that reminded them about their family, and one where they played a board game.

My group’s was a giant game board. Every time a player landed on a space they were asked to recall a specific memory about their family and the post it onto one of the boards. The way we built ours, we couldn’t really change anything there, but we did find a couple of things to try out later. It became obvious pretty early on that it was mostly young kids who were attracted to the prototype, mostly we think because of the neon colors. This was really good except for a couple of the questions (such as “who was your first crush?”) didn’t really apply to a lot of them, so we will have to change that in the future. We also made our game board a tall rectangle and many of the kids could not physically reach the finish line. In the future we hope to make it either a circle, half-circle, or line, so that everyone can reach all of the spaces.

I observed a couple of things about the other groups as well. On the one about songs, they originally had music playing, which attracted people, but then they couldn’t think of a song to write down because of the background music. They then took the music away, but had a harder time attracting people to the prototype. The write a letter and assign a color prototypes were also having a hard time attracting people until someone went to stand behind the tables they were placed on. I guess visitor just wanted to be reassured that that they could interact with our things.

Over all, the event at the Franklin Institute was a success! We received lots of good feedback and know how to make our designs better in the future!

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