Third Protoype for Hypothesis II
To test if people would be okay with to showing others what songs they’re listening to, I decided to create a physical prototype that would allow people to share their music with strangers and let the strangers see and tune in to any of the songs participants listen to.
AR Code Idea
My first idea was using an AR code that looks like a QR code but is a type of barcode containing the information needed to reproduce a 3D experience that can be displayed in an augmented reality environment.
How did I do it?
So, in a nutshell, it was like this: I created an AR code, attached a link to it that takes it to the website I created which has the AR.jr web app, and then uploaded the UI for the song info that would be displaced. In theory, it would have shown the UI when a user points their camera towards the AR code someone was holding or tagged on their clothes, but it didn’t work that way.
So first, I had this error about the camera, and I eventually fixed it.
However, when I pointed my camera to the AR code, it just didn’t look quite right. The UI was stretched and was almost unrecognizable and unreadable. I tried to change its placement to look less flat, yet it just never looked like I imagined it to look like.
It looked like this, which made me change plans and think of another prototype idea.
Spotify Code and Cards Idea
The AR code idea failed because the UI was not visible and would not give users a chance to listen to the song they saw instantly. I wanted the user to interact with the UI while also testing how people would react when sharing their songs (will they decide to share at all?) and how they will feel when someone starts to listen to the music they are listening to.
How did I do it?
To make the sharing song info as authentic as possible, I individually reached out to my classmates over Slack and asked them for the name of their favorite song they had been listening to. They all provided me with their favorite songs via Youtube or Spotify links.
I then used the Spotify iOS app to generate codes for each song to allow users to scan and start listening to the music quickly.
The next step was to create cards the listeners could hold when sharing their music with the user. I printed these screenshots I got from Spotify and glued them to white cards I found in the studio, which looked like this in the end:
How did I test it?
I waited for a day in class when we would have a guest critic visiting to hand out these cards to my classmates with their favorite songs printed on them and ask that “stranger” guest critic scan the codes they are interested in learning more about.
On that day, when we had a guest critic, I gave the cards to my classmates and gave the guest critic an iPad to scan the codes she wished to listen to.
The goal of this prototype was to see if people would be willing to share their music with strangers. When I asked, “If you feel comfortable sharing your music with her right now, please turn your cards over and hold them up; if not, do not turn your card,” 14 out 15 turned their cards on and shared their music with a stranger.
Then the guest critic would roam around the room and try out the songs she might like.
When scanned, Spotify instantly started the song.
Outcome and Feedback
14 out of 15 participants turned their cards on and shared their music with a stranger. This indicated that people could be okay with sharing their music with someone they don’t know very well.
One of the participants mentioned that it would be less intimidating to share if the user used headphones instead of a speaker on the iPad. I think that’s a good point and may show that some people may not appreciate too much attention from more than one person.
Another suggestion was to use some indicator that a person is willing to share their music without displaying the song right away. I think this was a great suggestion, so I came up with this green dot idea.
Behind each card, there is now a green dot, indicating that the person is willing to share their music with you. If the user wants to find out what they are listening to, they can select a card, and the listener would then turn it over to reveal the music. It solves the problem of overwhelming the user with so many options and information when every card shows a song to try. With this, users can choose the amount of information they like to receive.
Overall, I think it was a fun experiment where both participants (users and sharers) enjoyed interacting with it. As the semester ends, I will consider whether AR technology is the right choice for this product and whether we can achieve similar results without wearing AR glasses. They are currently less accessible and can sometimes cause dizziness. If my thesis advisor and I conclude that AR is the right choice, I plan on purchasing the enterprise version of Google Glass, which is surprisingly still available, and start to experiment with it. But for now, see you next semester!