I did more user testing today with Ruta. Again, incredibly helpful and insightful.
Takeaways and Next Steps
How to demonstrate interaction to user
Ruta had some really good feedback about this section in particular.
The words in this block can be manipulated by the user, and I’m struggling a bit to figure out how to make that clear in the design. Ruta suggested that when a user hovers over the entire element, one of the individual word elements starts growing and changing to show what the user interaction is.
Maybe something like this
Another really good point Ruta had about this section, is that once she has interacted with the text in this manner, her expectation is to be able to interact with the following text as least as much. This has given me a really good lead on how to order the interactions. I would like to have a sense of building, where the first interactions are things you look at, and then slowly as you go through the poem there are more interactions, more color, and more chaos!
Overall Spacing and Design
Too much white space in between each line
A language that can speak in many voices
I have two versions of this section of the poem, which I am A/B user testing.
Ruta very strongly preferred version A. About version B she said “I hate it, it reminds me of old Microsoft word visuals.”
About A she also suggested possibly adding actual audio sounds to the interaction, like different people’s voices, and perhaps in different languages. Ruta also said that the interaction made her think of an echo, which might be a nice effect to add.I like this idea and will continue to user test around it, but I am also feeling like there is something to keeping the focus on digital text for this project.
Everything you touch you change. Everything you change, changes you.
Ruta pointed out that users should be able to change something for this line, and so I split this section (based on Earthseed from the Octavia Butler novel Parable of the Sowers into two parts that try to highlight the meaning of the words themselves.
A Language That Reveals All The Ways Us and The World Are Connected
I also have two versions of this section up for A/B testing
Ruta preferred B. I am going to continue A/B user testing these two, and then combine what people like the most into 1.
The Poem and The Poem
Ruta also gave me the wonderful suggestion of splitting the page into two pages connected by a simple hyperlink, or tabs at the top. One page would be the plain text version of the poem and the other would be the full interactive version.
Ruta said that the first couple lines of the poem set up the meaning very clearly and powerfully (I might have exaggerated powerfully). She also said that a bit more explanation would be useful. I am thinking of using the video of me doing the “Hollis” poem about my friend in prison as the epigraph for the final thesis project.