Intro to Physical Computing

Week 10: Final Project Playtest & Update

This week I spent time solidifying a project plan and developing a paper playtest to user test the initial idea with my classmates. 

Figure 1 shows a general project plan for the coming weeks.

Figure 1 : General Schedule

Figure 1: General Schedule

Figure 2 shows a detailed step by step project plan for the coming weeks along with a general materials list.  The completed column is updated for week 10 and represents what I have completed thus far. 

To begin, I experimented with various visuals to represent each letter of the alphabet.  Using p5.js and some tutorials (tutorial 1, tutorial 2) I recorded my voice saying different letters of the alphabet.  I created various sketches to visualize the recordings before deciding on which one to use.  Figure 3 highlights one of the graphing methods I developed to visualize each letter of the alphabet.

In the end I decided to use the method represented in Figure 4 because it created images that were unique enough from each other while following the same general format.  As you can see in Figure 4A, I included a button in the program to save the canvas at any given time.  As a recorded each letter, and I would click this button to download the recorded letter visualization.

Figure 5 shows a video that of the program running and how each letter was recorded.  The p5.js sketch to create these circular visualizations can be found here.

Figure 5: Making the Visual Alphabet

Once I decided on this method I recorded and saved a visual alphabet library to use for the remainder of the project (Figure 6). 

Figure 6 : Complete Visual Alphabet

Figure 6: Complete Visual Alphabet

After completing the visual alphabet, I turned my focus to a paper prototype that I can use to playtest. First, I brainstormed different options for the board setup (Figure 7).  Some options involved two RFID scanners while others involved only one. 

Figure 7 : Board Brainstorm

Figure 7: Board Brainstorm

In the end I decided to playtest my two favorite board setups to get feedback on the importance of one or two RFID scanners (Figure 8).

Figure 8 : Playtest Plan

Figure 8: Playtest Plan

From here I came up with a plan for the playtest and began designing it.  The two playlets setups are shown in Figure 9.  The playtest will involve three example letters from the visual alphabet I created.  The user will be instructed to learn these three letters and write the word CAB with the coins.  When the users interact with this board, I will advance this p5 sketch based on their actions.  If the user places a coin on the learn section, I will tell the computer to play the letter recording.  If the user places a coin on the write section, I will tell the computer to display the letter on the screen.  I will change up the board for every other user so that I get feedback on the two options for the board setup. After completing the playtest, I will ask the volunteers to complete this form.

Once I was done preparing the paper prototype I took some time to get a little further on the actual prototype.  I found a recording of the alphabet and saved each individual letter separately into a sound library.  I will use this library in my future code for the ‘learn’ side of the board.  Lastly, I spent time testing the RFID reader to make sure I knew how to use it and that it was the correct module to use for this application.  Using this page for hookup and code instructions I connected the RFID.  Then I used this code example and this library as a guideline to read the RFID UID code.  Once this was hooked up, I connected a simple p5.js script to test the serial communication between the Arduino RFID side and the sketch side.  The results are shown in Figure 10. When I touch one RFID card to the scanner the letter A is displayed on the canvas, when I touch the other the letter B is displayed on the canvas.

Figure 10: RFID Communication Test

These are the steps I completed this week.  Next I plan to catalog the results I receive from the playtest and adjust my plan as necessary.  Then I will begin to fabricate the coins and further design the computer interface. 

Eva PhilipsComment