Bowser hansenetal lowfiprototyping


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Bowser hansenetal lowfiprototyping

  1. 1. Low Fidelity Prototyping for Social, Location-based Game Apps Abstract The widespread use of geographically-aware mobile devices is prompting a surge in social, location-based games and apps ranging from Geocaching to urban street games. Prototyping such games presents many unique challenges including the need to represent time, space, and social experiences. We review these challenges and discuss low-fidelity prototyping techniques that can assist in designing these games. Keywords Low-fidelity prototyping, mobile games, social games, location-based games, citizen science, biodiversity ACM Classification Keywords H5.2. User interfaces: Prototyping, K8.0. Personal computing: General games General Terms Design Introduction Prototyping strategies help designers of computer software, websites, and devices iteratively improve and test their initial designs. Prototypes range in fidelity and are built to allow users to interact with the physical manifestation of an idea. The purpose of low fidelity prototypes, such as storyboards, paper prototyping, index cards and Wizard of Oz techniques, is to quickly Copyright is held by the author/owner(s). CSCW 2012, February 11–15, 2012, Seattle, Washington, USA. Anne Bowser University of Maryland 7950 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742 USA Derek Hansen Brigham Young University 150 East Bulldog Blvd. Provo, UT 84602 USA Dana Rotman University of Maryland 7950 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742 USA Jenny Preece University of Maryland 7950 Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD 20742 USA
  2. 2. 2 and inexpensively test ideas before time and effort are spent on fully functional designs [12]. These prototyping methods are paired with surveys, interviews, and think-aloud protocols that allow designers to gain new insights and get useful feedback on their current ideas. Like pervasive games, location-based games can break spatial, temporal, and social boundaries by allowing users to play in different locations, play at different times, and adopt different social roles[9]. Traditional prototyping techniques are not attuned to the unique situations that arise when people use mobile devices for location-based (i.e., GPS) social activities and games. For example, they can fail to consider the entire playing experience [3] by neglecting physical and technological factors like the weight of a mobile phone, screen size, the method of interaction, and ambient and contextual factors[13]. Previous research has focused on developing new prototyping techniques, such as pairing a desktop PC with a mobile app that acts like a reader[14], using paper-based sketches to develop directly on a mobile phone [11], and integrating sensors and mobile platforms with rapid prototyping frameworks [1]. Equally important is research that considers mobile location-based prototyping techniques from a game design point of view – a focus that, with exceptions such as [6], has received less attention than technologically driven research. Our research examines how low fidelity prototyping techniques can condense location, time, and social experience while providing faithful and practical representations of the mobile social gaming experience. Condensing location, time, and social experience Condensing Location Some designers believe prototyping should occur in the natural use environment. For example, a location-based mobile app related to grocery shopping must be tested in the store [8]. Developers of pervasive games have noted that without testing a game in a real-world context it is impossible to determine whether the events that a game depends on actually happen, or to determine how these events play out [9]. Therefore, one way to represent the contextual location of a mobile game is to “bodystorm”: have users brainstorm in the natural context of use [10]. Designers of the game Battleship by Foot sent their users into the wild with tools such as maps, rule books, and smart phones, instructing them to record their ideas and experiences with photographs, notes, and sketches [2]. Other designers had users evaluate a mobile game prototype by annotating cardboard cards that fit into a prototyped mobile phone with different colored pencils [13]. These approaches are not without limitations. It can be difficult to directly observe or videotape users in their natural environments [8]. Also, field research may not be essential, as it is often used as a shared point of reference instead of a source for generating and testing actual use scenarios [17]. Testing a prototype with users who understand the context of use may be a good substitute for testing in the actual environment. It may also be possible to simulate different locations with an advanced software prototype or Wizard-of-Oz substitution[9].
  3. 3. 3 Condensing Time Because it requires time to move from one geographic location to another, location-based games that rely on locomotion have a temporal component [9,16]. Testing a prototype in situ can partially represent the unfolding of a game over time. However, many social location- based games (e.g., Geocaching) play out over more extended periods of time due to their integration with real-world experiences. A few low fidelity techniques have been used to represent the passing of time. Testing different scenarios in the order that they may to occur with a Wizard of Oz prototype is one approach [18]. Turn taking is another possible way of condensing time for social contexts, although evaluating a game that includes the turn taking experience does not transfer to a game that, in reality, offers continuous play. One documented issue with continuous play in social games is the synchronization problem, or the challenge of limiting the number of moves that the fastest player can make to avoid allowing the outcome of a game to be determined by speed [15]. Required delays is another technique, though delays may frustrate users. Condensing Social Interaction Prototyping social interaction requires testing with multiple players [9] or a representation of other players. At the very least, a designer, , or automated program must adopt the role of a player when evaluating technologies with a strong social component. A handful of methods are used to represent different types of social interaction. An interaction can be staged, with different actors collectively performing different scenarios [4]. The process of acting out scenarios contains elements of role playing, storytelling, and tool making, and allows users to participate in the design process [16]. In prototyping, social interaction can be evaluated by providing a group of users with a prototype, telling them to use it socially, and noting the applications and implications [7]. Next Steps & Future Research We outlined some of the issues that limit the current prototyping methods for location-based social apps, though many were not specific to games. We plan to use the development of a social location-based game called Floracaching as a test-bed for novel low-fidelity prototyping techniques. Floracaching is a geocaching- like activity that can act as a platform for location- based games. It is designed to collect phenology data for Project Budburst. In order to understand which prototyping methods are appropriate and useful for social location-based games, we will roll out several methods and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, within the same context. Some of the methods that we are considering include (a) a “board-game” based activity where a large map (or iPad with Google Maps running on it) will serve as the board accompanied by player pieces, pins for locations, and associated location cards; (b) a combination of paper-prototyping index cards, “off-the- shelf” smartphone apps including QR code readers, and printouts of fake “trees” and associated QR codes taped around the inside of a building; and (c) mini field trials played out across a University campuses. Our efforts are part of a larger NSF sponsored project called BioTracker (<>), which aims to develop new methods and algorithms for
  4. 4. 4 melding human and computational resources in order to facilitate citizen science, as well as understand how to better motivate scientists, citizen scientists, and casual gamers to collaborate. Data collected during our games will ultimately feed into the Encyclopedia of Life (<>), a website collating data about every species on the planet, and contribute to the larger debate of how the field of HCI can address environmental concerns [5]. We hope that the workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss with others their experience at prototyping for social location-based games and broaden the conversation on this topic. References [1] Ballagas, R., Memon, F., Reiners, R. & Borchers, J. iStuff mobile: Rapid prototyping new mobile phone interfaces for ubiquitous computing. In Proc. CHI 2007, ACM Press (2007), 1107-1116. [2] Bidwell, N. & Holdsworth, J. Battleship by foot: Learning by designing a mixed reality game. In Proc. IE 2006, ACM Press (2006), 67-74. [3] Buchenau, M. & Fulton Suri, J. Experience prototyping. In Proc. DIS 2000, ACM Press (2000), 424-433. [4] Burns, C., Dishman, E., Verplank, W. & Lassiter, B. Actors, hairdos & videotape – Informance design. In CHI ’94 conference companion, ACM Press (2004), 119- 120. [5] Goodman, E. Three environmental discourses in human-computer interaction. In Proc. CHI 2009, ACM Press (2009), 2535-254. [6] Kiefer, P., Matyas, S., Schlieder, C. Systematically exploring the design space of location based games. In Pervasive 2006 Workshop Proceedings, Springer-Verlag (2006), 183-190. [7] Kurvinen, E., Koskinen, I. & Battarbee, K. Prototyping social interaction. Design Issues, 24, 3 (2008), 46-57. [8] Newcomb, E., Pashley, T. and Stasko, J. Mobile computing in the retail arena. In Proc. CHI 2003, ACM Press (2003), 337-344. [9] Ollila, E., Suomela, R. & Holopainen, J. Using prototypes in early pervasive game development. ACM Computers and Entertainment, 6, 2 (2008), 1-17. [10] Oulasvirta, A., Kurvinen, E., and Kankainen, T. Understanding contexts by being there: Case studies in bodystorming. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 7, (2003), 125-134. [11] Pfleging, B., Bahamondez, E., Schmidt, A., Hermes, M. & Nolte, J. MobiDev: A mobile development kit for combined paper-based and in-situ programming on the mobile phone. In Proc. CHI 2010, ACM Press (2010), 3733-3738. [12] Rogers, Y., Preece, J., & Sharp, H. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Wiley Press, New York, NY, USA, 2011. [13] de Sá, M. & Carriço, L. Lessons from early stages of design of mobile apps. In Proc. MobileHCI 2008, ACM Press (2008), 127-136. [14] de Sá, M. & Carriço, L. Lo-fi prototyping for mobile devices. In Proc. CHI 2006, ACM Press (2006), 694- 699. [15] Schlieder, C., Kiefer, P. & Matyas, S. Geogames: Designing location based games from classic board games. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21, 5 (2006), 40-46. [16] Svanæs, D. & Seland, G. Putting the users center stage: Role playing and low-fi prototyping enable end users to design mobile systems. In Proc. CHI 2004, ACM Press (2004), 479-486. [17 ] Tang, L., Yu, Z., Zhou, X., Wang, H. & Becker, C. Supporting rapid design and evaluation of pervasive applications: challenges and solutions. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 15, 3 (2011), 253-269.