A4: Behavioral Prototype

Wizard of Oz

Wizard This assignment will give you experience in using behavioral prototyping to explore a user interaction scenario. As discussed in class, this technique can be very effective in testing design assumptions for HCI applications when the actual technology is either not available or too expensive to develop during the design phase of a project.

Your challenge is to build and test a behavioral prototype for one of three following possible scenarios, working in your team:

  1. Speech to text dictation: an application for voice recognition of spoken text, targeted at creating work documents.

    Your prototype should be designed to explore the following design research and usability issues:

    • Create the context for open ended exploration of what users would expect to use as verbal commands for a simple editing task
    • Explore users tolerance for translation mistakes.

    You may not use an existing voice to text application, but must figure out how to deliver this experience in a believable way that allows you to make easy, real time modifications.

  2. Home alarm system: a voice-operated alarm system that provides protection from flooding, spills, and other undesirable water in the home.

    Your prototype should be designed to explore the following design research and usability questions:

    • How is the user notified of a problematic spill or presence of water?
    • What are the options for users to respond to or address an alarm?
    • What level of accuracy in voice command recognition is required (i..e. how much misinterpretation will be tolerated)?
  3. Gesture recognition platform: a gestural user interface for an Apple TV system that allows basic video function controls (play, pause, stop, fast forward, rewind, etc.). The gestural UI can be via a 2D (tablet touch) or a 3D (camera sensor, like Kinect) system.

    Your prototype should be designed to explore the following design research and usability questions:

    • How can the user effectively control video playback using hand gestures?
    • What are the most intuitive gestures for this application?
    • What level of accuracy is required in this gesture recognition technology?

Regardless of which scenario you choose, you must identify a scenario or use case with a specific set of interactions that for which you want to explore different variations (i.e. creating and editing user requirements document, responding to an alarm that senses water in your attic, or pausing and rewinding a video to view a particular scene again.)

You will need to plan out your prototype, build it, and record an evaluation session with a user (preferably not someone in your class).

In your prototype and video you must show evidence that you were able to:

  • Simulate an interactive experience between a person and a device/interface/technology
  • Allow for real time modification of the experience during a user test
  • Make efficient use of low-cost, low-tech materials to produce a quick learning opportunity about a user experience question.

Submit the following:

  • Project Report: Write a short report documenting your design and testing. This should be neat and clear, not overly designed, but suitable for a process portfolio artifact. (You should be able to reuse a lot of this information in your process blog.) The report should cover the following elements:
    1. Prototype: description of the behavioral prototypes system you created. Include at least a few images that demonstrate how your prototype was designed and how you orchestrated your evaluation session. Include any sketches, scans, photos, and other evidence of the prototype, and your testing of it.
    2. Analysis: summary of the results of your testing — what about the prototype worked well, what needed improvement, and what you concluded about the effectiveness of your design from the testing.

    Submit a PDF file of the report.

  • Video Demo: A 2 minute (maximum) video that shows your behavioral prototype being tested. This does not have to be a complete record of the testing you did, but should demonstrate your prototype in action. It doesn’t have to be a professional video production, just a reasonable document of the research. (You can use this opportunity to hone your newly acquired video production skills.) You can upload a video or give a URL to an online version.