Evaluative Workshop with Boomers

This workshop was the culmination of a lot of efforts over this semester. We had narrowed on our Recall and Relate parallel and chose to take people through their memories related to places they know well. We had eleven participants, six of whom we didn’t know or have connections to prior to the workshop. Since there were more participants than we expected we were a little more spread out than we thought we’d be which was a challenge. They were a really lovely group of people who all got along and were willing to engage with us and were excited to be there and learn about and try new technologies.

We began with a collaging activity in which we asked participants to tell us memories and stories of a place they know fairly well. This served to prime them for our other activities and get them talking to each other.

Next. we took our participants through a conversation activity using this table which was set up in the studio using dividers and a projector mounted from the ceiling. We paired people up who didn’t know each other previously to talk about their memories surrounding the places they had been thinking about. I acted as the computer listening to the conversation and pulling up relevant media from Google.

There was mixed use of the table. Some really used the media, others didn’t (mostly the men). The participants who didn’t seem to be actively engaged with the media followed up saying that they found it useful and that they saw many other applications for this kind of system. This reemphasized the need to follow up with interview and discuss, not just take observed behavior at face value.

This activity was the most immersive, building from the conversation table. We used Google Earth VR to bring people back to these places that they knew. Our participants were able to share even more detail about these memories.

Since we had so many more participants than we expected, we brought out Hololens. Our participants had the chance to try out the Hololens and interact with objects. Participants thought the Hololens was cool but also a bit bulky. They were not really comfortable wearing it.