On Wednesday the 11th of January we performed the first user test of our interactive installation. Unfortunately we did not quite hit the deadline for having a finished (or at least bare bones) installation that worked in a representative way. Instead we used a processing mock-up of our interaction station to control the flow of the liquid through our tubing on KUDA. The test subjects, who were at times very descriptive in their feedback and others extremely vague, were all peers from another minor programme. Using post-its to write down critique on four different aspects of the installation, (“form,social aspect, meaning and interaction”) a number of interesting points were raised:
FORM: Some people found the space inside the installation easy to walk in, they like the fact that it had outside and inside viewing angles. The white white rings were found to be subtle yet clinical, some links to hospital apparats were proposed.Others were intrigued by the organic properties and compared it to an alien plant or tree. We had some comments on the fact that you could stare at it for long periods of time and be entertained. Some people didnt like randomness of nets, and were expecting more of a pattern. A recurring remark was on the lack of real entrance, a problem we foresaw.
SOCIAL ASPECT: Some users commented on the clear tubes and how they enabled you to actually see other users users, they recognised that people are brought to a meeting point where two “fluid messages” meet as you are following it. They thought it was fun to make (personal) patterns. Others did not see how social interactivity would be triggered at all.
MEANING: many different guesses, but most were too vague and general. Lots of “wow”s and “fascinating”s, also many references to organisms and nature. However the actual meaning that we intended was not entirely conveyed.
INTERACTION: This part was tricky because the interface wasn’t fully functional, we got numerous comments on this. Other remarks were quite varied. People found the shape of the touchpads appealing and inviting. One person suggested use of a webcam for added fun. Some people imagined the fun you could have cooperating to fill up the net with color entirely, Others simply complained about the sound of the motors. A single person did not understand where the interaction should take place, however this was probably due tue the lack of blinking lights in the touchpads.
And finally a small video of how the day went !