July Update: Creating Resources for a Study

Posted in: Designability, EngD, Research Project, Studies, Technology, Updates

It has taken me a while to get around to blogging recently. Amongst other things, I have been preoccupied with designing the next big research activity for my EngD project. Here is a quick update on where I am with my work.

Planning the Study

My supervisors and I have now planned the big study for the summer that I mentioned in my May 2019 Update. We met more frequently over these past few weeks to keep the momentum from our productive meetings going. In just under three weeks we settled on an overall structure for the study and decided what questions we want to answer during the experiment.

The study will involve people over the age of 50 and we want to explore purely visual prompts in augmented reality (AR). There will be a collection of objects on a table that participants will look at through a tablet computer and participants will see information about an action that they should perform. Participants will be asked to do what they think is being described to them, before telling us what they thought the action was and how confident they are that they are correct.

Before the study can actually go ahead, though, I have had to develop some physical and digital resources.

Developing the Resources

In the past, I have added augmentations to household objects.  However, in order to avoid participants assuming what should be done to objects, we decided to use abstract objects without a clear 'purpose'. In fact, I asked a colleague at Designability to help me make my own objects using a 3D printer.

Along with creating the objects for the experiment, I have also been developing the AR augmentations that will be shown to participants. We will not be using any text in this experiment, so we have come up with a selection of ways to visually augment objects.

Unfortunately, I am not able to show you anything at the moment, because it would give too much away. What I can say though is that it has involved a lot of development in Unity, the games engine I mentioned previously. This has been quite time consuming; I have been working solidly on developing these resources for the past week and a half and, whilst it is going well, I am not set to finish until the end of this week.

Although I cannot show you anything now, I hope to share the final product with you at the end of the study.

Next Steps

After I finish creating all of the resources, I will run some pilot studies with colleagues at Designability to make sure the structure of the session is suitable. Then, it will be time to start recruiting... so, watch this space!

Special Thanks

I would like to give my huge thanks to my colleagues at Designability, Rob Hanson and Jess Ridgers, for helping me develop the physical resources I need for this experiment, which I really could not have produced myself.


Posted in: Designability, EngD, Research Project, Studies, Technology, Updates

Follow me on Twitter for smaller updates between blog posts!


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response