Prototyping, Part Three

Holiday weekend, shmoliday shmeekend! That’s the Bixcreen motto, as we were busy at work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Actually, we were busy the rest of the week too… After all, there are only a couple of weeks left in this quarter.


In class on Monday we took advantage of being on campus by finding a spot where we could possibly set up a demo unit during the poster session on June 4, which is basically our prototype deadline. With a space picked out and plans in motion, we began rapidly prototyping the touch model, knowing we needed to usability test by the end of the week.

So far, we had a lot of design iterations on our prototypes and we are working on the 5th round of prototype before moving into the final visual design. With our prototype version 4, we performed usability testings with participants and got some great feedback on what we need to improve our overall design. Prototyping will be done by the end of this week, and we are planning to focus on the final designs.

Once we had agreed on the look for all the screens, we developed them into an interactive prototype. Since we knew we would be using an iPad for the usability test, we decided to use Apple’s Keynote. We put together a deck that allows users to go through our screens in the way we directed them to, complete with flashy animations to make it seem more real. One thing we were missing was support for swipes, as Keynote only supports taps from the user. This came up in our usability testing.

Usability Test

We conducted our first official usability test on Friday, shortly after finishing the interactive prototype.

We conducted six sessions with a total of eight participants (two groups of two) using an iPad mini loaded with our prototype. Demographically, we had four males and four females with an approximate age range from young-20s to mid-50s.


Our findings are separated into three categories: findings about the process, findings about the design, and findings about user opinions.


  • Participants were confused by the ‘View 3D Showtimes” button and did not notice it quickly.
  • Some participants do not understand the distinction between IMAX and 3D.
  • When customizing, users did not understand what the ticket tabs meant or when a poster had been selected.


  • A majority of participants failed to notice the % of seats sold indicated on the showtime.
  • One participant who did notice misunderstood “60% SOLD” to mean the showing was sold out, likely due to the capital lettering.
  • One participant commented on the size of the ‘+’ and ‘-’ buttons as being too small for the screen size, but suggested a larger screen could preclude that issue.
  • Participants tried to swipe where we expected, but we had not yet implemented that gesture.
  • The animated posters were praised and participants actually would like to see more of them.


  • Average Ease-of-use Likert scale score: 1.7 (1 – Very Easy, 7 – Very Difficult)
  • Average Satisfaction likert scale score: 1.5 (1 – Very Satisfied, 7 – Not Satisfied at all)
  • Participants commented positively on the highly visual and interactive nature of our design versus current kiosks.
  • All participants felt the length of the interaction was appropriate and may be even shorter than current methods.
  • All participants greatly enjoyed the ability to customize tickets with a movie poster.

Overall, participants claimed they would use our device to purchase tickets if it were available. Even the two participants who indicated they only buy tickets from the box office and had never used a kiosk before felt they would use our product. Hearing this feedback is a wonderful indication that Bixcreen is on the correct path.

Next Steps

Microsoft’s empty conference rooms hosted our group meetings on Saturday and Sunday, when we committed to a plan for the final couple of weeks as well as assembled Milestone 3. That document will be posted here shortly.

We debated how to move forward, given that we still had two prototypes and were not sure if a fully-featured gesture prototype would be possible to make in the time we had left. But we agreed to best demonstrate our vision for the product, we would have to try to have something for the poster session. So once again we debated what screens needed to be there, what would be on them, and what gestures are needed to use them.


We will implement gesture detection based on the skeleton data from Kinect. There might be technical difficulties in writing algorithms to recognize gestures like thumb-up so we might need to revise the design while not sacrificing the experience.


In order to bring a complete experience to the demo, we are also working on a fake credit card scanner. The scanner will be 3D-printed and built with Ardruino. An LED and a light sensor will be put on each side of the slit so when a card is slided through, it will block the light to the sensor and we can detect it and consider it as a card sliding action.


Along with the gesture prototype, we agreed to develop the touch prototype a little further, so that we could have a polished version running on an iPad at the poster session. Speaking of that, we still also need to finish our printed poster for that too, as well as numerous other important administrative tasks. June 4th is just around the corner, and we’ve got to make sure everything will be ready. Stay tuned.

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