Introducing the Basics

  • Jun 28, 2012

Kyle and Shannon have been running some user tests that are intended to focus primarily on the tutorials but are running into difficulties with the current remix process. In a lot of ways this makes sense. They have a very constained time period (30 minutes) and users who have never programmed at all. They don't really have time to let the kids adjust to building things at all before they need to launch into remixing an action from an existing world into their own starter world. Which is all a lot to take in for anyone in 30 minutes. While this seems like a clearly pretty artificial set of constraints, we haven't fully thought through the model of how users get introduced to all of the basic components of Looking Glass.

In parallel with this, many of us have been thinking through how to build a system of badges for Looking Glass. Two of the early pieces that we have to get users through are 1) creating a very basic world and sharing it and 2) the basics of how to remix as that is where a lot of the potential for learning new things comes in through remixing and either exploring/modifying remixed code or completing a tutorial to create it. Another element to consider is that the first experience many users have with Looking Glass will likely come through the community. Our download is here. The projects others have shared are here. Presumably new users will poke around at site and then decide whether or not they want to try at all, so a taste of how to create stories and remix actions may help to convince users to give it all a shot.

Are there ways that we can support users developing a model of what it means to do these things community-side? For remixing, because we currently highlight worlds that are remixed into and remixed from (clearer terminology is going to matter), I suspect that users will have a notion that you can take animations from one world and use them in another. But perhaps we need the introductory video on the community that tries to solidify that idea: If you see some action in a story on the community that you want to use in your own story, that's what remixing is for. If we can do that and then give people a basic model (tell us what action to start with and end with), then perhaps this whole process gets easier. But perhaps a video that is designed to set up a mental model for what remixing is at a high level and a little sense of what the steps are may be useful in the context of the science center user studies too.



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