The PLACE approach (Prototyping Location Activities and Collective Experience)
Low-fidelity prototyping for location-based social games Anne Bowser, Derek Hansen, Yurong He, Dana Rotman, Jenny Preece1 Prototyping 3 Activities The PLACE Approach: Prototyping Location, Activities, & Collective PLACE considers prototyping for Experience activities, user motivations, and game dynamics more important Designers who prototype mobile games and applications than prototyping for an interface. are challenged by both the physical constraints of a mobile device and the necessity of representing complex factors Sessions begin by users like location, social experience, the context of use, different completing a simple, prescribed scenarios or activates, and use over time. activity to demonstrate the Wizard of application. Next, users areField Pointer Website PLACE is an approach to low- Oz given “free time” to complete fidelity prototyping for location- activities they choose from a list.In the PLACE approach, field pointers are connected to physical based social games and apps This process providesobjects. Using a standard QR code reader on a mobile device, that offers a systematic researchers with data aboutusers are directed to web content that mimicks application framework for addressing these which activities are worthfunctionality. We use a Wordpress site, but any easy to use concerns. PLACE combines a including in future iterations andcontent management system would work. Additional classic approach to prototyping makes the experience more funfunctionality such as awarding badges for completed activities is with a consideration of location, for participants. It also helpshandled using a traditional Wizard of Oz methodology. The activities, time, and the users generate new activitiesPLACE approach extends previous work on in situ prototyping3. collective experience of play. and enhance existing ones.2 Location We are currently using the 4 Collective Experience PLACE approach to prototype Floracaching, a citizens science game that utilizes crowd sourcing to gather plant phenology data and data for the Encyclopedia of Life1,2. The PLACE approach should be scaled. Initial sessions are run for 1-2 hours with a short list of activities and set number of participants in a small geographic space. Initial findings inform later sessions that are conducted at a larger scale. For example, we are currently conducting a week-long session that spans a In order to authentically represent location-based college campus and encourages participants to join at experience, users must move in the physical world. The any point in time. PLACE approach condenses location to different scales. Social experience is key to many location-based games and Initial tests are performed in a smaller space such as three References 1) Bowser, A., Hansen, D., Rotman, D. & Preece, J. (2012). Low-fidelity prototyping for social, location-based game apps. activities. PLACE does not encourage testing users in floors of a building. Later iterations expand the space to a In Proc. of CSCW 12 Workshop on Mixed-Reality Games. New York, NY: ACM Press. 2) Graham, E., Vassallo, D., Gerrick, S., Han, K., Kang, J. & Hsieh, N. (2012). Challenges of mobile phone-based, GPS- isolation; rather, groups of 7-12 participants interact with larger scale, such as a college campus. dependent gaming for citizen science. In Proc. of CSCW 12 Workshop on Mixed-Reality Games. New York, NY: ACM Press. one another in group sessions. Participants with existing 3) de Sa, M., & Carrico, L. (2009). A mobile tool for in situ prototyping. In Proc. of MobileHCI 09. New York, NY: ACM Press. relationships are encouraged PLACE offers a solution to unique challenges of 4) Li, Y., Hong, J., & Landay, J. (2004). Topiary: A tool for prototyping location-enhanced applications. In Proc. of UIST 04. New York, NY: ACM Press. to play together. prototyping location such as modeling location context and representing complex interaction sequences4. University of Maryland, Human-Computer Interaction Lab www.cs.umd.edu/hcil NSF Award SES 0968546
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