Since June of 2013, student and faculty researchers have been designing, evaluating and iterating on the Genesee Country Village Museum (GCVM) mobile prototype funded by the New York Council on the Arts (NYSCA), VisitRochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. The goal of our evaluations were to validate our mobile services , our user experience design decisions and stress test our mobile app and system.
Our evaluations from June to July were primarily dealing with testing our technologies. This included debugging our softwares through a series of agile UX development cycles. In August, we conducted a preliminary evaluation led by one of our MS HCI graduates, Stephen who ran 21 users through “Pioneer Village Explorations“. The feedback from that evaluation gave our teams unique insights into conducting mobile UX evaluations at GCVM.
In September, we conducted more design iterations on our evaluation strategy and our technologies. Our advisory board from the Centre of Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University, UK, arrived to Rochester, NY to provide further evaluation and design input before launching the main evaluation in October. The feedback we received enabled our design team to smooth out the evaluation and the transitional notifications between mobile interface modalities.
Our evaluations in October studied six aspects of the visitor’s experience, with and without our technology. We gathered quantitative data from nearly two dozen visitors, e.g. demographics, geo-data, battery life consumption, etc. We also gathered qualitative data, e.g. visitor feedback on augmented digital storytelling, compass to photo navigation and multimedia content. The outcomes were very positive and informative. The outcomes validated the majority of our design decisions and, highlighted areas of improvement in future iterations. For example, the majority of visitors wanted to see our technology deployed throughout the village. Meanwhile, we learned that visitors prefer to have more choices in their augmented digital storytelling experience. The full results of our evaluations will be sent to HCI conferences this winter for publication.
Thank you to Genesee Country Village Museum for all their support in enabling RIT student researchers and faculty to evaluate the NYSCA prototype this year!