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- ItemUser testing for serious game design: improving the player experience(2022) Shaw, Ross; Sperano, Isabelle; Andruchow, Robert; Cobzas, DanaThis case study reflects on our use of user testing during a research project in which we designed a serious video game, “Life on the Edge.” The target audience of the game is first-year post-secondary biology students. As we designed the game, user testing was a critical component that allowed us to identify issues. Any issues that interfere with the flow or enjoyment of a video game can be distracting to players. In what follows, we will describe the research design and discuss the processes for testing a serious video game that will allow you to identify game issues successfully. How you recruit participants, test players, and prioritize player feedback is a component of effective user testing and improving your game. With user testing, we were able to identify problems in the game, prioritize them, and address them. By using variable user testing methods, you can adapt to the changing needs of your game project and develop a successful serious video game.
- ItemExploring new usages of journey maps: introducing the pedagogical and the project planning journey maps(2019) Sperano, Isabelle; Roberge, Jacynthe; Bénech, Pierre; Trgalova, Jana; Andruchow, RobertJourney maps are graphical and textual representations that intend to outline an experience over time with a product, a system or a service (Kalbach 2016). In this article, we first describe how this visualization tool is used in interaction design. Secondly, through two case studies, we describe two innovative ways of using this tool. In the first case study, we present the pedagogical journey map, a journey mapping approach meant to be used by teachers as a collaborative design tool to support the creation of pedagogical activities. In the second case study, we introduce the project planning journey map, used as both a prospective and retrospective project planning tool to help student designers plan and reflect on their design process. This paper is meant to support the use of the journey map as a prospective design method by academics and practitioners (from fields such as interaction design, user experience design, prospective ergonomics, education, and engineering) addressing issues related to the design of innovative products and services.
- ItemA place we call home: curriculum for land-based education(2022) Ruiz, AdolfoThis paper describes initial research into the creation of curriculum that combines visual communication design with local Indigenous knowledge in the Tłıchǫ ̨ Dene region of subarctic Canada. This curriculum is intended for regional youth, and to be accredited by the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. Situated outside dominant models of design education, the following sections illustrate the significant role that embodied knowledge and relationality can play in land-based pedagogy. As part of this discussion, the field of design is situated as an intermediary between an Indigenous community and a Western academic institution. Through a reflexive, narrative form of writing, the following sections provide an account of consultations between the principal investigator and Tłıchǫ ̨ community members during the early stages of research in 2019. Consultation during this time led to the creation of two curriculum drafts that are presented in the following pages.
- ItemWhen design is inspired by theatre: acting techniques as prospective design methods(2021) Roberge, Jacynthe; Sperano, Isabelle; Rivenbark, Leigh; Rubio, Daniel CajaIn acting training, psychophysical exercises are used to strengthen the relationship between mind and body, thus fostering a deeper understanding of the character . Intrigued and inspired by the potential value of these techniques in design contexts, we explored their application for interaction designers as research methods in a pedagogical setting. To do so, we first created a single-session workshop that introduced design students to basic actor movement techniques in the winter of 2019. The goal of the workshop was to help students empathize with their users and discover solutions when designing digital products. Later, in the fall of 2020, we used reflections from the first activity to develop two longer workshops; both consisted of three sessions and were carried out consecutively in two different universities. In this article, we present a case study of those three workshops. After discussing considerations for the evolution of the workshops, we describe how each was conducted. Finally, we share our findings and insights that arose throughout the process.
- ItemTeaching acting techniques to designers: observe, embody, create(2021) Sperano, Isabelle; Rivenbark, Leigh; Roberge, Jacynthe; Rubio, Daniel CajaTo design quality digital products, designers need to understand the user and their experiences on a deep level (Ritter et al. 2014). To do so, design practitioners have developed research methods that mainly focus on an “intellectual” approach to gain insight through quantitative research and analysis. While useful, these approaches often undervalue the role of the body in the process of understanding the user. In response to this, a more embodied approach to user research has emerged. Methods such as roleplaying and bodystorming are increasingly used to gain new kinds of insight during the design process (Burns et al. 1994, Schleicher et al. 2010, Wakkary et al. 2007). However, designers often encounter limitations with these methods (Think Design 2021). Some have trouble engaging in role-playing exercises due to a lack of acting training. Others struggle to apply insights to their work. Our team developed a workshop for design students exploring how acting techniques can be used as design methods to address these challenges. It was conducted in interaction design classes (Winter 2019 and Fall 2020) in 2 universities. Our goal at the Interaction Design Education Summit 2021 was to present this workshop to design instructors and practitioners so they can share it with their students or design teams. In this article, we describe an overview of the workshop and discuss potential benefits, challenges, and limitations of this approach to design.