User Prototyping II – The Maker
Last week I conducted my second user experience since the kit has been designed. I invited along a friend of mine who is a very confident maker, in contrast to my first user experience session with “non makers”.
I set Jamie the task of making the charger in his own choice of container.
I provided him with
- The schematic
- Every component needed
- Explanation of what each component does upon his questions
Jamie decided to not use the circuit board design but to wire his circuit up freely. He admitted afterwards that this was a much harder method but that it was necessary for his design as it gave him the flexibility to put it within his smaller container.
He also noted that this requires more knowledge of circuits.
The problem with this experience prototype was that Jamie used both a soldering iron and a drill, two tools not necessarily available in the “dystopia”. However, I think that it is unproductive for me to continue this metaphor to a fastidious standard, and embrace that my kit is really about getting people making.
Jamie chose to build the kit within a waste drinks can. He pointed out that this was because the can was meaningful to him: he’d spent time in Kenya and admired how they re-use cans for so many different tasks.
I really like the idea that people would choose casing that represents themselves in some way as this increases personal engagement with the process of making the kit.
Jamie attached the motor to the top of the can. This proved to make a very sturdy motor mount.
This is the final object. It works very well and looks quite the part!
At the end of the process, Jamie and I discussed the ideas I’d like people to consider whilst making the kit.
He told me that he really liked the idea that, by putting physical effort into winding the charger, you build a physical awareness of what goes into making electricity. You’re having to exert yourself to do something that you would usually just do by plugging your phone into a wall.