MSRDE 2004


User Testing

With group members having backgrounds in design, computer-human interaction, and marketing, acquiring user feedback is high on our priority list.

We have thus far only had time to perform one focus group test, but have several more scheduled, both for additional demographics and for each stage of the project/product design.

Focus Groups

Target: Co-Ed College students
Stats: 2 women, 4 men, ages 20-26


  • The away message feature, or ways to set what you are doing at that time, and to know what your friends are doing without having to call them was very well received. All participants could make a personalized case for how they would use this feature.
  • The function of finding people based on interests, at a basic level, was well-received by some participants, while others thought it might lead to stalking, and after that suggestion there was a moment of groupthink where everyone agreed against it.

Form Factors:

  • The suggestion of the device as an apparrel accessory was not received well. No one was willing to wear it as a necklace/button/keychain. The option to customize didn't spark much interest within the group, one person did point out that if the device was unique to everyone then they might be more apt to have it as a display device.
  • There was a warmer reception for a 'headless' device, or integration with a PDA or phone


  • There was some concern over the privacy issue with the device. The first was using the device to target people in your immediate radius with similar interests. There was some negative reaction to using this in a social situation as a dating device.
  • The second concern with privacy was about other people being able to use your device to look and see where your friends were, without your knowledge or permissions, leading to a suggestion for password locking, etc.

Overall Results:

  • We received very positive response concerning the nature of the device, its functions and how it could enrich peoples communication with different people in their personal circle. The challenges of this device, for this target, is the addition of another device to take up their time. The overall consensus was that this would be useful as a feature on a cell phone or other existing device that they have.

Applying our results

  • Immediately, we decided that we need to test a younger age market, because the college audience might not be ideal for the accessory we have planned. So additional focus groups with high school students are in the works.
  • The focus group tended to trend towards a device that had more function then we intend for this device, since it is supposed to be an accessory. We think there might be a disconnect in what they want. They want all these features to make it complicated, like an LCD screen, voice recognition, but at the same time do not want another device cluttering up their lives. We think we have something here, in that, this device will be simple, glanceable, and undemanding. It can be accessed when the person wants. We think this is a good way to approach the physical design of the device, and that if the function is intergrated in a well-designed form then the result will be positive.

1-on-1 Interviews

As part of our targetting process, we did our best to interview teens and tweens for their usage patterns, and their reactions and thoughts on our concept.

We were able to glean personal anecdotes and experiences, as well as comments on uses, aesthetic sense, etc.