User Prototyping I – “non makers”
This week I did my first user experience with my working prototype. I invited along two fellow students, Kevin and Jalal to take part.
Before we started, I set everything out very neatly, I wanted it to feel like a purchased kit.
We got started, Jalal made the circuit board and Kevin began by building a box.
It was interesting to see Jalal copy every element of the circuit board I had provided to see what to do. I wonder if he was still considering what the parts did or just copying. How would I create this through a booklet?
Kevin began by googling “how to I make a box with cardboard” which I thought was very interesting. He laughed and said it wasn’t very self sufficient.
“So if there’s ever an apocalypse, I can build a cardboard box” – Kevin
I’m really glad I chose to get them to build a part of the kit in cardboard. Cardboard is so easy to use and manipulate – you don’t need any technical tools (like drills) but it’s also a very familiar material to most people so it is not intimidating.
The creativity afforded by the cardboard really gave a big sense of ownership of their object at the end.
It was awesome at the end to see the boys smiling when the phone screen lit up. It is really a fantastic moment!
Discussion whilst Making
The boys found a lot of links between my project and their political views. They told me about Agrarian Society and how the division of labour stopped workers from feeling pride in what they produced. This made me think of The Toaster Project again and this sense that we never see anything through to completion.
Jalal also told me about how skills that I was teaching could also be useful in a situation not so far from our own. For example having to become a refugee. From his experience growing up in Palestine, he often saw people who had nothing and this situation is never that far away.