Assignment 13: Zen – User Testing

I asked two people who were not familiar with my final project to test it and to offer feedback on what worked and what did not.

When it comes to my first tester, I received the following feedback:

  • The first thing he tried to do (not in the video above) was to run his hand through the flowers, expecting them to react (e.g. bending). Nothing happened, which left him disappointed.
  • He wanted more interaction with the hand flowers – he tried to plant them in the ground, but nothing happened.
  • He also suggested removing the stems of the hand flowers, to make them look more natural.
  • He wanted more body flower colors, to engage the users (“Let’s guess which color will grow next!”) while they are in the calm state.
  • He said that he was waiting for something to happen; and that the waiting was good with a chair, but frustrating when standing.
  • He also remarked that the Kinect silhouette looks ugly and should be smoothed.
  • Additionally, at first, he stood too close to the screen – which meant that he missed out on the wandering-through-the-field interaction.


Me second tester had additional feedback:

  • Her first attempted interaction was to run her hand through the background flowers.
  • She also tried to plant the hand flowers into the ground.
  • She attempted to pick up one of the body flowers with her hand, and move it elsewhere.
  • Like the first tester, she did not notice the stomping interaction. She also stood too close to the TV.
  • Unlike the first tester, she said that the color scheme is nice, and that no new colors need to be added to the body flowers.
  • She suggested keeping score – e.g. how many body flowers did one manage to grow, how long one was calm, how many flowers were planted.


To address the concerns and suggestions, I plan to do the following for Wednesday:

  1. Mark an interaction area on the ground to signal to users how far away from the TV they should stand.
  2. Implement the planting interaction – this is relatively straightforward, and was one of the top expected interactions.
  3. Allow body flowers to be picked up and planted – similar to the first point, it is simple to implement and would add a playful element to the project, without detracting from the narrative of growth-from-calmness.
  4. If I have time, implement the interaction between the hands and the background flowers – this is the number one expected interaction, but it is more difficult to implement. Also, it encourages people to move around more, which might be distracting from the purpose of the project.

I decided not to alter the color scheme and shape of the flowers since one of my testers liked it; I also decided against keeping score for people’s calmness, because it contradicts the calm-down spirit of the project. Smoothing out the silhouette was deemed too difficult and not too necessary for the quality of the visualization (especially since people’s feet will be hidden by the ground flowers).