associated blog to the course mobile and physical interaction at tu berlin

Month: December, 2013

Week 6 – Initial User Tests

This time we had two weeks to use our paper prototype to do some user testing. Through these interviews we learned a lot about what we could enhance in our application. We upgraded our paper protoype according to user critics. The result can be seen in the pictures at the end of the post.

Summary of Observations:

– Everyone liked the luring bubble in the initial screen
– Users thought, that needing different body parts to destroy certain bubbles is in general a good idea, but color should be used to make the idea clear to a new gamer (see below in ‘Major Findings’)
– Users did not like the idea of choosing a difficulty – choosing different modi would be more appealing
– Users prefered a shadow as highscore picture over a real picture
– Users liked that bubbles would disappear, if they haven’t been destroyed after a while (to deny points)

All in all, the users seemed to like our gameplay, but were concerned that it is easy and quick to understand, so we should focus on making everything more self explaining.

Major Findings/Necessary Changes:

=== ‘Initial’ Screen ===
– Luring bubble should ‘follow’ the user’s shadow and take his/her form gradually (until user is close enough to interact with the next screen).

=== Bubble Popping ===
– The user gets his hands and feet colored. Each bubble also has a color. You can only destroy bubbles, whose color is the same as the body part’s color that tries to pop it.
– Users suggested to create some kind of combo points if you popped three blue bubbles in a row for example.

=== Usability ===
– To make the user understand the gameplay quick, we work with matching colors (bubbles vs. bodyparts) and we start with only one color, adding more over time.
– Maybe big hands (like Mickey Mouse) would be funny and help to understand which body parts can be used
– Disappearing bubbles should fade out, so it is easier to understand why they disappear and further it signalizes the user, which bubbles he should focus on in order to not loose points

=== ‘Difficulty/Modi’ Screen ===
– We decided to get rid of a difficulty choice screen, and instead let the user choose a modi which he/she wants to play in. We got three modi: ‘Against the Time’ (destroy as many bubbles as possible in a certain time frame), ‘Survival’ (you must destroy every bubble in a certain time frame, otherwise you loose) and ‘Multiplayer’ (Two players play against each other – via time or survival mode).
– In each mode, the user starts with a small amount of colors. Colors change over time and get more, in order to make the game gradually more difficult over time.

=== ‘Highscore’ screen ===
– We decided to mark a zone on the screen and once the player enters it, a countdown starts ticking, indicating that a picture will be taken soon.
– Only the top three will be displayed.

Photos of the Paper Prototype:

In the following you can see our revised Paper Prototype. The first three screens display the luring bubble as it gets bigger, when a user approaches the screen.

pp_01_start pp_02_start pp_03_start

At a certain distance the bubble turns into a shadow of the player and the screen changes to enable the player to choose a mode. The three bubbles each represent a mode:

  • two people -> multiplayer,
  • bomb -> survival mode,
  • clock -> agains the time.

If the player hovers a hand over one of the bubbles it displays a name to make clear what kind of mode it is (if the icons are not self-explanatory enough) and a timer will indicate that this game will start. This way the player can still decide to play another mode or at least really knows what kind of mode he is starting.

pp_04_modes pp_05_modes

In our example the player chose ‘Time Attack’. There will be bubbles according to the colors of your hands and feet. (In the first screen the clock is missing!) If a bubble gets popped there will be an indicator for the gained points and a score counter (missing as well in the photos :X). Later there will be even more colors to make it more difficult.

pp_06_game pp_07_game pp_08_game pp_09_game_final

In the end there will be a high score screen and if the user entered the Top 3 he can take a picture of his shadow.

pp_10_highscore pp_11_highscore pp_12_highscore


Task Breakdown:

Karl – Paper Prototyping, User Tests, Writing Blog

Ray – Paper Prototyping, User Tests

Richard – Paper Prototyping, User Tests, Writing Blog

Yvonne – Paper Prototyping

Week 5 – Paper Prototype

This week was all about giving our idea a physical shape. We built a paper prototype which enables us to show other people our application flow.

Building Process:

Here are some impressions of our process. We used an old juice carton as a basis and created a frame that’s supposed to look like a typical display (advertisement window) at a bus stop. The frame is created in such a way, that we can change the displayed content by sliding in and out a screen from above. With pasteboard and Musterbeutelklammern (whatever the English word is :X) we built a movable stickman. Afterwards we created the different screens and used post-its to be more flexible – e.g. the position of the bubbles is not fixed as they are floating around.




We start by using a moving bubble to win the user’s attention and to lure him closer to the screen. Once the user is close enough, he can select the difficulty he wants to play in. The game starts and the user gains points by destroying bubbles. Over time bubbles spawn faster and once too many bubbles are on the screen, the user loses. A final highscore screen gives the user the opportunity to take a picture of himself associated with his score.



IMG_8666 IMG_8667




We were expected to map at least three common user tasks / interaction sequenes of our application in our prototype. These are our tasks:

  1. The user can initially interact with our application as he is approaching the screen.
  2. The user can select a difficulty.
  3. The user is playing the game.
  4. The user can take a picture for his highscore.

All of these tasks are basically possible to proceed with, though  in a primitive way.

Next week we’re going to use our prototype to get some user feedback, so stay tuned.


Task Breakdown:

Karl – Paper Prototyping, Writing Blog

Ray – Paper Prototyping

Richard – Paper Prototyping, Writing Blog

Yvonne – Paper Prototyping