User testing results:
User testing was beneficial and extremely insightful; I was able to understand how people reacted to my instrument and the ideas surrounding how they expected it to work; I received critical feedback that I never considered in the development and design stages of heartBeats. I wrote instructions and asked people to read and interact with the interface. I walked each user through the functionalities and how my musical instrument worked because it wasn’t completely functional. I mapped Ableton to play a few drums from the stretch sensor and the FSR sensor worked perfectly but the heart wasn’t connected for testing.
Several people asked “How does this make you feel?” and “Why did you choose a heart?” I never communicated this in detail before because I assumed the symbolism of “heart” was enough – but I was wrong and the feedback provided much clarity for what I need to do next. For the presentation and final blog post, I’ll explain the importance of the heart and music for me, and why I chose to use an anatomical heart over a conventional heart symbol.
A list of the comments from user feedback:
“It’s scary, and too small”
“Try using a shield or structure surrounding the heart to show protection and vulnerability if that’s what you want to express. But you need to communicate what this means to you – this heart, I really like it but explain why you like it”
“This is a dogs toy!”
“I like the idea – nice to touch and its a great musical interface but its a bad model and design. The valves are too close together for stretch sensors, try conductive thread”
“What is the connection? this seems jarring and that could be a good thing. Try harsh or disturbing sounds for pulling the valves”
“I want to keep squeezing this thing, find a way for something to change when you squeeze this”
“Integrate real heart beat sounds, why the heart? What is the motivation and what does it represent?”
“I love it but add clues in the valves. How will I know the valves are interactive? Show me what I can do by looking at it. I need triggers”
“How are you using the valves that don’t work? What will they do?”
I also asked each person how they felt when they played with heartBeats. Most people enjoyed the idea but it was clear they wanted to understand my personal connection with the interface, users want to understand why I decided to play with a real heart. I get it, I’ll explain soon.