Ideation, Part One

After finishing the user research milestone, we began work on the next stage: ideation. It is our goal to dedicate two weeks to designing a compelling solution to the problems we exposed over the last few weeks. To do that, we have so far done a lot of brainstorming and sketching, as well as starting work on wireframes.

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Brainstorming

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Last weekend, we all agreed to take what we learned from the milestone as inspiration to start sketching ideas for what we want the Bixcreen device to be. We came to class with a variety of ideas, from phone apps all the way to motion-sensing displays. We spent the rest of the four-hour-long class debating what worked best out of everyone’s ideas, and the best way to move forward. By the end of the night, we had developed an early draft of the user flow, and agreed to meet again over the weekend with even more sketches.

We met again in the Design Lab at UW, where we presented our individual takes on the screens from our flow. Once again, there was much debate over what was and was not working. We started bringing in realistic concerns, talking about the size of the device, where it would be placed, ways of interaction that are technologically feasible and not too expensive, until we could agree on three potential ways of going forward. From there, we started work on our wireframes.

Wireframing

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With the early sketching stage behind us, we agreed on three possible ways for the Bixcreen device to work: as a movie poster replacement that is either entirely a touch screen, has a touch screen to one side, or uses Microsoft’s Kinect to recognize gestures. It would also need to accept credit card swipes, possibly be able to scan QR codes or register NFC taps, and, practically, it must be able to print tickets. Since we have a critical friends meeting on Monday, we decided to wireframe these three ideas so we could have them assess them in class.

So Saturday and Sunday were spent developing these three ideas into presentable form. We worked within Google Drive presentations so that all five of us could collaborate on each one. We’re still putting the finishing touches on them for AwareSquare tomorrow, but once they’re ready, we’ll be sure to put up archived versions of them on this blog too.

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Milestone One

The first of this project’s three major milestones is complete. This document is a writeup of all the user research we conducted during the first weeks of this quarter. It should demonstrate that we have found a need in the space we investigated and used feedback from potential users to establish design requirements for a possible solution for that need. This is the basis we will draw from as we continue ideating solutions, creating prototypes, and conducting usability tests.

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User Research, Part Three

During our weekly meeting on Monday, 4/14, we discussed creating scenarios as a better option to help guide our design phase rather than just solely focusing on creating personas. This is because the scenarios of use and motivations may differ, but the goals for each user don’t vary (everyone wants to get tickets). We also planned to have personas acting out our scenarios and generate them based on the patterns we see in our survey data from. This week we finished Milestone 1, which is the summary of what we have done for the user research phase. After this phase, the group will be moving on to the next design phase, which is the ideation part.

Scenarios and Personas

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Based on our research, we have created a few scenarios of use for which to focus our future design work. These scenarios encompass the traditional use cases as well as patterns of behaviors we observed in our research. The three personas involved in each scenario are also based on our research findings. The motivations, contexts of use, and goals may differ in each scenario, but each serves as a pillar on which to build the design.

Milestone 1

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Milestone 1 includes the summary of survey, scenarios, personas, competitive analysis, and ethnography, as well as detailed analysis of our user research in general. After we gathered 27 responses from our survey, we had a deep analysis to find out the problems and what users would want to implement on for better experience while using movie-purchasing kiosks. We also had a deep competitive analysis to compare and contrast the existing technical specifications of online purchasing methods versus kiosks at the movie theater. Our team gathered together to finish Milestone 1, and at the end of that meeting we also started planning the next phase of our project, the initial design.

Peer Reviews

During our weekly class meeting, our group was paired up with the AwareSquare team to evaluate each other’s progress. We gave and received feedback based on the research and planning we’ve done so far. Their feedback:

Suggestions for user research:

  • We should do a cognitive walkthrough with a person in a real use case at the theater. Let the person think aloud and record what the person thinks and feels.
  • Look at the experience with Redbox as an alternative way to study how people decide which movie to see.
  • Look at how people choose location, preference of theater.

Suggestions for ideation:

  • Personalized tickets.
  • Put the showtime above the poster.
  • Partial animation in the poster, e.g. eyes in the poster that follow you
  • Non-visual or audio feedback, e.g. cold chill
  • Find ways to add value to buying tickets at the kiosk to change people’s habits.

Suggestions for prototyping:

  • Try to test the prototype at the theater if we can.

Next Steps

As soon as we finish our milestone 1, we began the second phase of the project which is ideation/designing. We plan to start sketching basic interaction and interface ideas and bring them to our weekly class meeting. Sketches would include any kinds of ideas such as storylines, wireframes, work process, interactions, or even list of features. Also, during our weekly class meeting, we are going to discuss about branding concepts for Bixcreen as well. Hopefully sometime in the next week, we’ll have decided on the final direction we want to go in as we get further into the design stage.

User Research, Part Two

Everybody please give a warm welcome to our newest member, Anatole Chen. Anatole is another HCDE Master’s student, and we’re all excited to welcome him to team Bixcreen.

Over the past week we continued our work on user research, preparing for the user research milestone next week. First, due to some complications in contacting movie theater managers, our group ended up deciding not to conduct interviews with the managers, but to move forward with just an online survey and more contextual inquiry to gather in-depth data. After analyzing all the responses from the survey, we plan to create 2-3 personas. We will use those personas, along with analysis of the survey results and our observation, to make the user research document.

Survey

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Our online survey consists of 20 multiple choice questions, and an optional open answer question. It is generally asking about moviegoers’ experiences purchasing movie tickets and their opinions about how they would change the purchasing process in order to enhance the user experience. After we finished writing the survey questions Monday night, we began distributing it. Our group posted the survey on Reddit, RunPee’s Facebook and Twitter, our personal Facebook and Twitter pages, and sent out emails to get answers from variety range of people. Unfortunately, the post on Reddit was deleted for reasons unknown, but so far, we have gotten a few dozen responses and are in the process of analyzing those responses to create user profiles (personas).

If you’re interested in taking the survey, it’s right here.

Observation

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This kiosk has printed its last ticket

We conducted further observation this week to help us understand ticket-buying behaviors. Sean returned to the same theater he had observed previously, and was excited to see that once again no one was using the ticketing kiosk – until he went to check it out and found that the machine was now permanently out-of-order. Nonetheless, he did feel like he was the only one at the theater that day disappointed by this, though. Everyone’s continued observation has been useful, and though we weren’t able to get an interview, we feel pretty confident moving forward.

Analysis

As we wrote this post, we are also working on the research document for milestone one. Monday night is our first night for peer review, and we want to show the group we are working with what we have written so we can add their feedback to our own insight before the document is turned in to the professors. So expect more on that extremely soon.

User Research, Part One

As you might have seen in our proposal document, these first few weeks are dedicated to finding out exactly who our users and stakeholders are, what they want and need, and who our competition is in this marketplace. With that in mind, here’s what we’ve done in the past week.

Interviews

On Monday we drafted interview questions for cinema owners/managers/employees that we hoped would help us understand the ticket sales process better. We reached out to several theaters, but corporate policy precluded them from conducting formal interviews. We did manage to get in touch with one manager casually and ask several key questions. That gave us some insight into that theater’s experiences with ticketing machines being slow and jamming, as well as how important location is. We also started working on a survey which we will distribute shortly. This, along with discussions with moviegoers at the cinema, will help us understand ticketing from the buyers’ point of view.

Competitive Analysis

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We looked at ticketing kiosks at several theaters, ticket-buying mobile apps like Fandango, and movie theater websites. We found that offsite options, like the app or the website, carry convenience fees and in some cases still require buyers visit the box office or kiosk to actually pick up their ticket. Ticketing kiosks have a lot of functionality built in. The most common features are the ability to purchase tickets for today, purchase tickets for the future, pick up tickets, check gift card balances, and reload gift cards. This functionality does come at a price, as machines at two of the theaters we went to were out of order. The newer versions of machines have small (roughly 18 inch screens via visual approximation) touch-screen interfaces with very minimal imagery. Older versions with physical buttons seem to be in the process of being retired.

Observation

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We went out to several theaters at various times during the week to see what buying tickets was really like. There was some variation between the theaters, with some having a roughly even mix between machine and box office buyers, and others tipping toward either extreme. At one theater, the machines were out of order and everyone had to buy from the box office, resulting in long lines. There are several emerging behavior patterns that we are beginning to recognize. Some validate our initial problem statements while others will require creative  problem solving in our future design work. Next week, we hope to have a full research report (Milestone 1) that contains the summaries of our findings. During observations, we also took note of current movie poster locations, sizes, and number at theaters. Movie posters appear to be placed in locations with high traffic which potentially means our machines could occupy highly valuable locales. Very few customers seem to spend more than a few seconds glancing at posters which necessitates the need for a more engaging medium.

Project Proposal

Welcome to the progress blog! Today was the first official day of the capstone class, but the four of us have been hard out work for weeks now on the Bixcreen project. Last quarter we formed our team, decided what we want to do, and laid out how exactly we thought we could do it. This is the proposal document that we created, and plan to use as a roadmap for the next 10 weeks.

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