It’s an exciting time in the project as our vision of The Faces of Amnesty is starting to become physical and interactive. However, we must remember that we are designing with the aims and insights in mind. Becoming carried away with prototyping, sometimes translating as the subjective designer, is way to easy. Therefore, we’re maintaining our user-centred approach by fully embracing this weeks user testing session.

We have constructed the 59cm x 59cm face mosaic cube, prepared the projection mapping content using the Modul8 software and have theHitachi XGA Projector equipment ready for user testing. We aim to test the process as a whole, taking into consideration usability, accessibility and technical functionality factors.

The process of capturing a selfie to the projection on the cube needs to be tested and in doing so, we shall consider scenario flow, user interaction, engagement and the overall efficiency of our process.

User Testing Process

General Setup:

  • Securing the projector inside the wooden tower;
  • Connecting the laptop and projector to power extension cable;
  • Connecting laptop and projector via HDMI cable;
  • Positioning the cube in relation to the projection image;
  • Scaling the projection (focus, keystone and size) in relation to the cube;
  • Preparing software and mapping content.

Content Preparation: Prior to the user testing, the VJing Modul8 document had been prepared containing selfies and the face mosaic overlay. In order to test authentically, we aimed to test the motion of engaging with a user, getting the user to take to a selfie using an iPhone size on square photo mode (as the cube is square). This meant that we had to collect user selfies using an iPhone 5. The ‘selfies’ were taken in square mode so that they would fit nicely onto the cube and were consistent in size.

We tested a variety of different selfies, maintaining that each one was taken against a white background with good lighting. We also tested a black and white selfie with two people in the picture, in an attempt to visualise different media. Actually, the black and white selfie worked really well on the cube due to the image contrast adding to higher definition.

The Scenario of User-Interaction: With the project prepared, we moved on to asking students to participate in our user testing. We explained that, at this moment in time, only one cube was available for testing and that the rest would give more context about the project (i.e. Amnesty logo, positive statement and hashtag).

Joe, our first test participant, agreed to test the prototype. We went through the motion of explaining the project and asked Joe if we could take a selfie of him. We informed Joe that the selfie would be deleted at the end of the project.

Once the selfie was taken, we practised uploading it to Dropbox and downloading the image to Modul8. The process as a whole took a couple of minutes. Since we had prepared the format of the projection image mapping, it was simply a case of dragging Joe’s selfie into the software window and watching the cubes change.

Initially, we struggled with the size of the image but managed to fix the problem quickly. Even though we weren’t too familiar with Modul8, we were able to navigate through the images quickly and sufficiently. In the next testing session, we’ll learn how to slot the images into an automatic slideshow allowing our focus to be on the users interacting with the prototype, as opposed managing the software.

Joe was able to see his selfie on the cube, overlaid with hundreds of tiny faces. We were interested to see how he felt upon looking at his image on the cube. At first, he was not able to recognise the face mosaic overlay, mistaking them for ‘little squares’. We responded to this by raising the opacity of the overlay and adding the Luma affect, which seemed to increase the impact of the face mosaic.

Watch Joe’s reaction to the projection below:


Reflection & Insights

User testing with Joe lead to gaining some helpful advice. He defined that context was lacking from the prototype, as he didn’t understand the concept from his selfie-face-mosaic alone. This was due to the fact that we had not yet constructed the other elements to the cube which add context to the prototype, like the ‘statements’ rectangle for example. I asked Joe whether or not he would grasp the concept if there were more content on display, he agreed saying he would understand the representation if ‘some more information was presented around it’.

In response to Joe unrecognising the tiny faces, we need to test the face’s in the mosaic by making them bigger. We’ll move onto examining different overlays to see what size works best.

Joe’s feedback and keywords:

  • ‘Striking’
  • ‘Powerful’
  • ‘Gets my attention because it’s my face’
  • ‘It needs some context, some more information presented around it other than just this’


Overall, the user testing was positive as the qualitative feedback obtained was mixed and in depth (which is always helpful). We have plenty to work on, but plenty to be proud of. We have become quickly familiarised with the software and feel confident downloading the selfies from Dropbox and uploading them to the cube. Setup time was quick and efficient and, most importantly, the participants seemed to be intrigued by the prototype.

We’re confident that our prototype will progress to become something that people will want to interact. As long as our statements are strong and concise, we believe that this prototype could potentially raise awareness on Amnesty’s accomplishments. Thus, meeting Amnesty’s aims as well as our own.