Allison Wong, a peer of mine is researching how user participation can be involved in the design process. We collaborated to gather feedback on the forms I created to see if the tools were explanatory in how you would interact with the objects. We also intended to discover if the functions of the devices were applicable to their lifestyles within the home.
We shared the models with people and asked how they would interact with them as controllers or sensors for other appliances, devices, and experiences.
The majority of people had very clear and intuitive understanding of how the controller would be used in context of their function. Many predicted that the controllers would be used in ways that were familiar to them. For example, mouse functions on the computer came up a lot to control functions like temperature, speed, or volume.
Allison created this tool to help us understand how people interact within the home. They configured furniture and rooms and gave them pieces that symbolized the connected controllers.
A different group of people were asked to think about the objects in a more experiential way. They given the objects and were asked questions such as...
How would you use the object to effect your mood?
Most associated lighting quality, music, and relaxation.
How would you use this object to get ready for the day?
Bathing, cooking, and consuming data through news, Facebook, and email were the strongest feedback.
How could this object help you wake up?
Some participants would like the experience of waking up to be peaceful and gradual. Specifically an alarm clock connected to lighting.
How would you use this object to help with a collaborative activity?
Participants mostly thought that it was a tool to help you cook, play a game, or watch entertainment.