IDM Test Results

Here is a small video wall using the feed from the Interface Design Machine that I installed in the foyer of Unitec Building One in November 2011.

The initial response was very good with some 150 participants – validating the Sottsass/Olivetti red colour scheme – but the longevity of the interaction was limited. Indeed only 10% of people completed the 2 minute film/recording, and most people left after 30 secs or so. Obviously on many levels then this initiative was a failure, however the learning outcomes from the project have been very useful as a template for designing a new, improved Mk II model.

There are two main issues with the Mk I IDM machine:

1/ The lack of direct user feedback means that users are removed from the interaction and are unsure of the ‘correct’ way to engage with the IDM, regardless of the relatively clear instructions at the start. There is a lack of motivation to complete the IDM sequence after the initial motivation to engage with the IDM which is due to the unusual fun(!) appearance. This operational disconnect confuses and disorientates the user – requiring the user to engage on an intellectual level, reducing the reliability of the outcome.

2/ Data acquisition is also a large issue. The video recordings, while giving excellent subjective data (great feel how some people interact with an imaginary interface) lack the ability to be easily ported into numbers (datasets) for use in computer analysis (Self Organising Mapping, Averages and Means, etc.) Given the intended use of this research, this is a major failing of the IDM Mk I.

The design of Mk II will be the subject of a different post.

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