Interactive E-Waste Visualization
UI/uX Design, user testing
National Museum of Natural History is opening an interactive exhibition in Fall 2018, titled Unseen Connections, which provides perspectives on the roles cell phones play in our daily lives. We were honored to work directly with the museum team to prototype several ideas for this exhibition. Among them is an interactive installation that aims to educate museum visitors about the current electronic waste situation and its impact on our environment. This page documents our design process, from our first prototype and user testing sessions to our latest solution.
First Prototype: Chatbot
Our first idea is to create a chatbot, Henry, that can serve as the feedback collector and ask visitors what they feel about and learn from the exhibit.
Each visitor will be provided with an unique QR code and can come back to talk to Henry anytime. He can customize his/her visit based on questions s/he got right and wrong .
INTERFACE DESIGN VERSION 1 (LEFT)
We want to incorporate a friendly avatar, named Henry, to guide the visitors through the question. The interface at this point looks like a chatbot.
INTERFACE DESIGN VERSION 2 (BOTTOM)
After having further conversations, however, we decided to simplify the interface to make the experience easier to follow for children. Instead of a chatbot, we made a quiz with only two options for each question. The reward system was changed from point-based to image-based. That is, whenever an user answers a question correctly, the background would change.
Note: The embedded Invision frame below might take a while to load. Click here to quickly test the live prototype.
USER TESTING SESSION AT THE MUSEUM
We ran a testing session D.C., on November 27th. We prepared two versions of the question to run an A/B test: in one version (Version A), the narrator has a quirky personality and in another (Version B) the question is more straightforward and less conversational.
Version A was favored more by the users. However, there was a good amount of feedback that encouraged a hybrid version of the two. Version A had more text on the screen and more dialogue, but also took longer to get through. Some users felt they learned more from Version B, while others saw no difference at all. After interacting with the chatbot, each user felt that they had learned something new. Over 68% of the users found the chatbots to be informative.
- The reward system is not related to each question
- The background change is difficult to notice
- There’re some interesting facts, but feels like quiz, not a chatbot.
- Some questions are not related to users (they don’t feel connected)
- Users react more to the bigger screen
Prototype 2: Interactive Vizualization
more details to come soon
We build the next prototype from our previous lessons learned from the testing session. We are building an installation made of 3 panels of glass that are about 6-7 ft tall each. We will project a set of 5 questions related to e-waste onto the middle glass panel. In order to incorporate the user input in Unity, we will install touch sensors on the middle glass panel. These sensors will be connected to Arduino, which will be connected to Unity. Each time the user submits an answer, a customized animation, made in Unity, will follow. These animations respond directly to the content of the questions and also the answer that the users pick.
From an aesthetic point of view, glass as a material works in our favor because as the animation continues and elements such as gold flakes and cell phones fall down and build up at the bottom of the panels, it will slowly cover the vision of the user. At the end, when they can no longer see through the glass, the covered panels serve as a visual metaphor for the alarming amount of e-waste that we are producing.