This week, we had two important events both of which gave some important feedback to reflect on. First we had the soft opening on Monday which was an opportunity for faculty to see our experience and give us some important insights. Second, on Friday, we had our first in-person playtest.
Here are the discussions and feedback that we got from softs:
- There was a lot of interest in how the game was going to be used in the future and what the client’s plans were
- Our garage needs some lightning and shadows (this was added by the end of the week)
- There were a few typos in the text within the game that was pointed out (fixed by the end of the week)
- It is important to mention that the game is inspired by a true story at the start of the experience. This way, when we show the video at the end of the experience, it connects. (we are looking to fix this in the coming week)
- Rhythm game interface feels a little clunky (we are brainstorming on how to improve this)
Next, we had our in-person playtesting this week with the brilliant kids (aged 11) at STEM coding lab. We are grateful to Casey Mindlin and Jason Hivner for helping us set this up.
Here’s some of our comments and observations from the playtest session :
- Glasses are very prominent in car interior UI. Very easy to understand to tap on them.
- Very few kids can easily understand numbers game UI, most have to be told what to do
- Apart from giving exposure about STEAM, its unclear how “inspired” the kids feel
- No kids showed much interest in the dialogue, TV broadcast or ending video
- Kids do really like the Congratulations page and the STEAM badge concept
- Kids like to explore and understand how to use UI rather than be told via text about what to do
- In general, kids of this age group resort to tapping on different points on the screen when they are unsure what to do (even during the number game)
In general, kids really liked to play the different minigames and seemed engaged with the experience as a whole. They did need help with understand the numbers minigame but we think that with some iteration on the UI and improving it to make it more intuitive can really help with creating a solid experience. Something that we are planning to do with the numbers minigame is implementing a dragging icon that shows which block is being dragged when it is dragged.
All in all, this was a great week for us to get some great feedback and gave us ideas for some much needed improvements to the experience.