Week 2: Paper Playtest & Project 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 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.
Once I decided on this method I recorded and saved a visual alphabet library to use for the remainder of the project (Figure 6).
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.
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).
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.
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.