Part of our research and development process is to get data for the potential audience and users to iterate our designs. Of course there are several ways to achieve this but Playtesting or User Testing is one of the most common ones. For our project we did a playtest in which we collected data from a diverse pool of participants who where trying to guess what emotion was HERB portraying based on a set of simulator animations.
For this playtest we created a questionnarie using the Robert Plutchik Basic Emotions Theory that describes 8 basic human emotions that scale to other human subemotions. Those emotions are:
We asked the participants to watch an animation and based on their guesses pick one of those eight basic emotions.
We then asked them to evaluate in a scale from 1 to 5 with how much intensity they were perceiving that emotion.
After playstesting with a total of 53 participants, we got a lot of useful data and insights.
Particularly we got some specific animations that perform better that the others. This kind of data is very useful because we can conclude that certain movements and trajectories are absolutely representing a single type of emotion. In other words, when most of the participants agreed that an animation was conveying certain emotion, for instance joy, we were able to conclude that in fact that animation was representing that emotion and therefore we are able to use that animation as a very high fidelity reference for the design of other subemotions.
Playtest and User Test sessions are an essential part of a design process, especially when that design is intended for certain audience. In Bowtie we are using playtesting to iterate the design and to get confirmation that we are getting the desired results. We highly suggest playtesting and user testing for any design process.