External critique

Posted on Feb 9, 2010 in UX

Today Taura and I met with a fresh set of eyes (belonging to Gagan Diesh) to review our final project. Past students had clouded my idea of a fair and helpful person until all I could imagine was a storm ripping through the centre of our project for no reason other than to see us shudder away in fear of the “real world”. While my first thoughts were “I don’t want to cry”, they quickly turned into “I don’t want to waste my time on something that isn’t going to help me progress as a creative professional”. Still a little cautious, we had a class to prepare for our meeting last week. Some time during the class, my better judgement returned to me as I realized that no professional would make it very far in the world if all he did was tear people apart.

Going into our meeting well prepared, with a good night’s rest, and a clear mind about what to expect returned a great half hour conversation of progress and critique. While originally we had planned to include test and voice prompts for interactions within our game, Gagan suggested we try more intuitive prompting methods like small animations for our characters to signify that they were waiting for the user to interact with them. Small animations like a bunny tapping it’s foot, rolling it’s eyes or falling asleep would help prompt the user to interact with the character. Grass blowing in the wind, speech bubbles appearing from a rumbling tummy, or arrows to tell the user which way to move the character were also suggested.

Being on the cutting edge of interactive design, experimenting with mobile devices and augmented reality, he also warned us to expect glitches. Expect that there will be problems and we won’t be so disappointed when they happen at the end of the day. For this reason, and due to the fact that we still don’t have a Nexus One phone to test the app on, he said that it would be more reasonable to develop the project for a computer screen, with the intention of moving it to the phone in the future. While we’ve been fairly attached to the idea of moving the camera around the book to explore the space, rather than moving the book up to the camera on a computer, Taura and I will need to discuss this option further before making a decision on what primary platform we’d like to build for.

On a final note, Gagan thought it was important to promote this project during it’s full process, not just on it’s completion. Blogging on our own sites and on forums, sharing our code, and just keeping ourselves out there, with a cookie trail, will help to build an online persona that can only benefit us in the job hunt upon graduation.

Lots of good advice, with fairly easy implementation is all we got out of our meeting today. I’m so glad that I went in with a clean slate and no expectations. Gagan was an easy going, friendly personality that I enjoyed conversing with. He was knowledgeable, and gave good feedback for what we had to present. I hope to cross his path in the future.

1 Comment

  1. Gagan D.
    February 9, 2010

    Glad I was able to help. Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to an amazing project from you both, to show off to the world!



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