Colorwheel Toys

User Testing: “If we give you popcorn, then we can keep the bags”

Posted on: January 30, 2012

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Set up

Analog and prototype testing on Friday afternoon with two seven year olds, A and T for 2 hours. First we played with their toys:

  • Geomags
  • American girl doll (with matching horse) – T’s favorite toy
  • Legos

Then we brought out our toys:

  • Snap circuits
  • Electric car
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Puppy and turtle LED purses

Hypothesis Testing

  1. Do they like putting together a bag? (Outcome: Yes, but they thought circuit was dangerous)
  2. Will they want to play with the bag after putting it together? (Outcome: Yes, they tried to bargain with us)
  3. What is the appropriate amount of control over circuit assembly and design? (Requires further testing: Wires marked with numbers were simple for them to put together.)
  4. Will girls like playing with an electric car? (Outcome: Yes, stopped early because of loose wires, will have to test for longer periods with more robust set ups)
  5. Will they like decorating an electric car? (Outcome: Yes, decorated themselves as well)

Key learnings and observations:

  • Mom seemed happy to have time to do other things – value add for parents.
  • They loved decorating the toy car. Follow up question for next testing session, will they be further engaged if we have them actually build the car?
  • As soon as we pulled out the dog and turtle LED purse kits, they immediately decided who would keep which. They wanted to keep the bags, tried to bargain with us over popcorn.
  • Didn’t like exposed LEDs.
  • Even though they were given set pieces for the dog, they were unsure how to put it together and asked for direction.
  • Visual directions would have helped for the puppy purse.
  • Didn’t know how to stick the things – make it more recognizably Velcro.
  • Again, the kid asked Alice to finish her bracelet for her. Instant gratification.
  • If it doesn’t work well, they are going to give up. Taylor was pushing the car when it stopped working, but got bored after. Our product must be robust.
  • They tried playing with the car after they decorated it, but a wire was loose, so they gave up quickly.
  • When they saw the wires, their first reaction was that they were dangerous. We had to show them it was perfectly safe before they went ahead and assembled the circuit. We will need to make circuits not resemble things their parents have told them not to touch.
  • Group dynamics: the two girls consult each other frequently before giving us definitive answers.
  • They hid the purses when we were about to leave because their bargaining hadn’t worked. Mom had to find them for us.
  • Imagination is a key component of play.

Future work:

  • Make bags more robust, in terms of joining together pieces.
  • Make LEDS covered
  • Make button easier to push
  • Include visual directions
  • Make circuits more “safe looking” for testing on Sunday

Ideas that were sparked:

They can’t bring toys to school – what if we make these into backpacks – backpacks that they build?

Additional Observations:

SNAP CIRCUITS

  • She had a hard time snapping them on.
  • They ignored the written instructions.

PINK LEGOS

  • Imagination is a key component of play – constant dialog of the story while playing with legos.

KLUTZ SOLAR CAR KIT
  • Turning on the car, it wouldn’t move, so she tried to poke it forward then gave up.
  • These kids won’t troubleshoot, short attention span.
FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS 

  • “we do this at RECESS!”
  • Pastel yellow, blue, orange, they didn’t like. Once we added Pink it was girly and, yes, they would play it
  • Our Favorite color is PINK!
  • 2nd favorite color is RAINBOW! Our rainbow is Pink purple gold silver blue!
FELT PURSES (TURTLE, PUPPY)
Kids: “Ohhhh DO WE GET TO KEEP THIS??”

Alice: No

Kids: “Aww *teary* face”

Kids were looking at the wires batteries and LEDs

Kids: “wahh that’s gonna kill us”

After Alice let them attach the alligator clips themselves they said:

We are magic, we touched something really scary and it didn’t kill us!

this is a fun play date

how do you know where to push?

push down, lights up!!!!!

And then they tried to bargain:

We’ll let u take a picture of us if we can keep the bag

We’ll give you some popcorn if we can keep the bag

Success!! Made them sad when we took away our prototype!

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