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Scott Zweig
Assignment 8

Questions from your perspective as a role-play participant:

  • What were your impressions of your role-play experience?

I found the role playing exercise to be very useful in helping to organize a group of people in a community. It can be used to facilitate interaction between people that would otherwise never communicate with one another. The shared environment can be very beneficial . The neighborhood consists of a variety of people, all with different backgrounds and different lives. Playing the game you get to see and listen to the people in your community.

  • Were there any aspects of the role play that made you apprehensive?

No, I actually thought the whole thing would be fun and it was.

  • Did you feel that the role play contained any elements of what real users from a real neighborhood working on a real problem might have experienced?

Yes, definitely. When we were all marking where we wanted the bus to go, that was an element that would probably be used in solving the problem of deciding the new route.

  • What do you think might have been lacking from the experience that would have existed in a real situation rather than a role play?

Reality. Obviously, the fact we were not actually living in the scenario, and that we weren’t investing real time or money in it would take away from the “realness” of it all.

  • Were there any ways that the technology aided you in reaching a decision? Were there any ways that it impeded the process?

I wouldn’t say that we reached a decision, but I would say that the technology of the PITA board helped us because each member of the community was allowed to give their input. It was helpful to see the existing bus route and to see where people wanted it to go. It was also important to see how far each player was willing to walk in varying weather conditions. The colored circles with different diameters represented the walking ranges given by the various players and was made possible by the technology. This is not a fault of the board, but I would like to see it be developed in 3-D, because I think that would be more helpful in understanding the physicality of the design process.

Questions from a designer's perspective

  • Do you feel that there is any merit to this form of assessment compared to more traditional isolated task-oriented methods?

Yes I definitely believe that there is merit to this type of assessment because it involves real life interaction between people as opposed to just looking at numbers and graphs on paper. You can do things with this interactive technology that you can’t do anywhere else, and it encourages a shared communal environment with the sharing of ideas.

  • What insights do you think that might be gleaned from using this technique that other techniques might miss?

In this technique, the players got to see, talk to and listen to each other in close physical proximity. That helps because then you don’t just think of your neighbors as strangers, but as regular people with needs and desires just like you.

  • What limits do you see to the technique?

I am not sure that getting everyone's opinion is necessarily a good thing. Sometimes it leads to a more complicated solution, sometimes too many ideas can be overwhelming.

  • What aspects of the design do you think could be added, removed, or improved to better support the desired participatory outcomes of the process? These can be related to the technology, the social setup, the information provided, the process followed, or other aspects that you think are important.

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