Research and Redesign forKusudama Ball Origami Designing Research and Researching Design . Miso Kim and Anne Iasella
1. Introduction The class, Research Methods for Human Centered Design, asks students to gain comfort employing a variety of research methods. The last project of the semester, Designing Research and Researching Design, gave students a chance to utilize some of the different research methods we explored throughout the semester. Working in pairs, we chose an artifact and devised a research plan that would help us gather information on functional or experiential aspects of the design.2. Product Overview Kusudama is a type of origami used as decoration during festive occasions. Unlike traditional origami, kusudama combines several units of origami to make a single artifact. Kusudama is ball shaped and is hung by strings during festivals. We chose to focus our research efforts on the book, Kusudama: Ball Origami by Makoto Yamaguchi. In particular, we investigated the clarity of instructions of one origami ball called “the crown”. Our criteria included: • How well the book’s sequence of diagrams facilitated construction of the ball • Whether the textual captions that accompanied each diagram lent clarity to the ball’s construction • If the supplementary material we provided to users helped or hindered the construction process3. Users and Tasks Research was conducted with three users of varying expertise. Each user was asked to construct the crown origami ball using the instructions from the Kusudama book and a variety of supplementary materials. Courtney Yorip Sun •23 year-old design student •24 year old non-design student •26 year old design student •Novice user: •Intermediate user: •Advanced user: never constructed an origami He had constructed some basic very familiar with origami artifact. origami artifacts as a child in and its construction. Korea.
4. Research Methods 1) Think-aloud protocol and post-observation interview Each user was asked to construct the origami ball using a think-aloud-protocol. Following the construction of each individual piece of the origami ball, users were asked to engage in a post-construction interview. During the interview we gathered information about the experience and any areas of confusion or success. The construction and interview were videotaped for later review. 2) Providing alternatives We isolated problematic areas in the book’s instructions before conducting our product research. One area of concern was the lack of clarity in the diagrams the book provided. Often times it was not clear how to get from one step to another. As a result, we decided to provide a number of supplementary materials that would assist our users if they encountered problematic areas. These included: 1) A sheet of photos demonstrating someone actually constructing the same origami ball. 2) A pre-assembled origami ball 3) Demonstration of steps when needed 3) Participatory design Human-centered design integrates users into the design process. In this exercise, we wanted to give users an opportunity to add their insights to our redesign efforts. We designed a worksheet that allowed users to suggest changes to the origami instructions. Once the users had finished constructing the flower part of the origami ball, they were given the worksheet and asked to modify the instructions by drawing, writing or pasting the provided photos on to the worksheet. Their goal was to clarify the instructions by making changes to the visual or verbal content.
5. Findings 1) Think-aloud Protocol and post observation interview 1) Results Courtney Yorip Sun Had trouble following free flow Had trouble following free flow Had trouble following free flow sequencing of diagrams sequencing of diagrams sequencing of diagrams Did not understand the diagrams’ Familiar with the diagrams’ lines Very familiar with the diagrams’ lines and arrows, but soon got and arrows lines and arrows familiar with them Needed supplementary materials to Confused by the diagrams, and Needed supplementary materials to complete task worked with intuition from complete task experience Was confused by the diagrams consistent size because the size of Minimally needed supplementary origami piece under construction materials to complete task varies 2) Findings Sequencing • Free flow sequencing of steps confused users • Directions caused users to skip from one section of the book to another Diagrams • Diagrams maintain a consistent size throughout book although the size of the actual artifact does not • Unclear on how to get from one diagram to another Textual Instructions • Lack of clarity in verbiage caused confusion • Lack of labeling (front and back) caused confusion 3) Redesign points • Create instructions that are consistent and linear in their sequencing • Adjust the size of the diagrams to reflect changes in scale • Clarify textual verbiage and label front and back • Modify diagrams that caused confusion and add additional diagrams depending upon need
2) Providing alternatives 1) Results (Users were asked to rank the following points in order of helpfulness) Courtney Yorip Sun Original instruction 4 4 1 Sheet of photos 3 2 4 Pre-assembled origami ball 2 3 2 Demonstration of steps 1 1 2 2) Findings • Each participant stated that the demonstration of steps was crucial to the their creation of the origami ball • Courtney and Yorip liked that the sheet of photos show hands constructing the origami ball. They felt they better understood the folding process. Sun did not like the hands because she felt fingers often concealed information she needed to understand the steps. • Each participant stated that the pre-assembled origami ball was a crucial point of reference and added directly to their success. 3) Redesign points • Demonstration was crucial to all the participants’ success. Create interactive instructions that fill in the gaps in between steps and mimic the demonstration process. • Provide a pre-assembled artifact that serves as reference
3) Participatory design 1) Results Courtney Yorip Sun Thought the worksheet provided Video clip would be a helpful Began making modifications to the a good way to add insights to the resource to provide. instruction sheet before presented redesign. with the worksheet. Worksheet Made textual revisions and used seemed a natural transition for Sun. Made textual and diagrammatic photos. revisions. Chose not to use the photos because of the lack of clarity and placement of the hands. Made diagrammatic revisions. 2) Findings • Worksheet provided a good way for participants to offer insights. • Many suggestions provided were used in the final redesign. • Offer participants different types of media, such as video clips. 3) Redesign points • All three participants singled out step number 5 on the flower part of the original instructions. It was clear that the diagram needed to be clarified as well as the accompanying caption. • Two of the three participants stated there needed to be clearer labeling of front and back. This suggestion was incorporated into the final redesign.
6. Design Solution � � � � � 1) Pre-cut Paper • Reduce potential for error in size and procedure • Color of paper corresponds to the artifact provided � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 2) Instruction Sheet • Create instructions that are consistent and linear in sequencing • Adjust the size of the diagrams to reflect changes in scale • Clarify textual verbiage and label front and back ������ ���� � ����� ���� ���� �������� � ����� ���� � ����� ���� ���� ������� �� ������ ���� ������ � ����� ���� ����� ��� ���� ������� �� ��� ������� � ���� ���� � ����� ���� ���� ���� ��� ������ ����� ���������� ���� ���� ��� � ����� ���� ���� ��������� ���� � ���� ���� � ����� ���� ���������� ���� ����� ���� ���� ��� ����� ������� ���� ���� ��� ���� ������� �� ��� ������ ���� ������ 2) Origami Ball Artifact • Provide a pre-assembled artifact that serves as reference 4) Interactive Instructions • Fill in gaps in between steps by providing an instructions that mimic actual construction • Provide a comparable alternative to immediate demonstration
7. Reflections 1) Think aloud protocol + • Provided a good gauge as to the problematic areas in the instructions • Allowed us to single out areas that needed improvement - • Some participants apologized for not being good. They felt uncomfortable being videotaped and felt like they were being tested 2) Providing Alternatives + • Provided alternatives that were necessary to successfully construct the ball • Allowed us to pretest some of our theories. We discovered that we were correct in assuming our users would have trouble transitioning from one diagram to the next. The success of the demonstration of the steps and the sequencing technique we had employed in the photos played a part in the interactive instructions we designed. - • Quality and size of photographs affected participants ability to use them 3) Participatory Design Methods + • Participants were able to suggest solutions used in the final design - • Quality and size of photographs affected participants ability to use them • Due to the long duration of testing, participants got tired and were not actively engaged at points