Following this project, we were able to receive helpful feedback from visitors who interacted with our display during museum showcase. We noticed that people tended to briefly view the set up, glancing at the manual or pressing the plushie’s button a few times. Typically, it was expected for visitors not to spend over two minutes at the display. So it would have been better to have taken the short time frame into consideration. Then, we would have simplified the set up, and focused more on a more condensed, yet meaningful interaction rather than a more drawn-out, storyline based interaction. In particular, we made multiple audio recordings which built off of one another and followed the story of one child who developed a close attachment to their PlushiePal. Over the progression of each of the recordings, one would start to notice more concerning traits develop. However, because visitors did not hear every recording, they were unable to completely gain insight into the full progression of the child’s story and the more negative undertones of PlushiePal’s influence.
In addition, we noticed the visitors sometimes mistook the larger light box on the PlushiePal’s collar as the button to press for audio rather than the actual red button situated near the rear end. In order to make our intended user-interaction with the prototype more clear to the user, we could have placed the button in a more prominent location. Also, we could have given the product interaction a more futuristic feeling by integrating the user interface more seamlessly into the design. Rather than have a red button which might appear to be detached from the rest of the plushie, we could have had the audio files play following a press of the paw or the triggering of a distance sensor near the body. In order to reach these improvements, we would have required more time and resources to improve upon the design and technical components of our project.
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