Ancestor seeking is an augmented reality (AR) game app that themes around the evolution
process and how current species have descended from their ancestors. With the app,
users are able to learn what characteristics and features specifically connect
species from different time periods.
Upon downloading, the user will land on a selection
screen where they can select an animal of their
choice for further exploration.
After the user has selected an animal, the interface will switch to camera mode
in order to allow users to begin scanning. The user can begin pointing towards
the physical models on display at the museum with either a mobile or tablet device.
While the user is in this mode, a hint button will appear on the screen in the left
corner. The user can activate the hint to receive clues and facts about the ancestors.
When the device comes in contact with an installation, the camera will
switch to AR mode and display the inner skeleton of the species. Based
on the user's judgment, the user can determine if both animals are
related to one another.
Our first round of testing was done with our graduate class. Based on user feedback, we made
iterations to our prototype for the next round of testing.
We had the opportunity
to take a trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to
conduct user testing. We were able to interact with visitors and present
our idea. The images on the right were our setup. We used photographs of
the models to trigger the AR experience.
User Data & Analysis
At the beginning of each of our testing sessions, we asked each user if they had
previously downloaded an app at a museum before. Majority of the users we
spoke to had not. This was a critical question that we made sure to ask
considering our product would exist as an application.
As a game product, it was important to identify the level of the difficulty among different
age groups. During our user testing, all user participants successfully completed the game.
Along with our sessions, we identified some areas of uncertainty in the game experience. For
example, we learned that some of the users struggled with finding the hints. Our user
testing served as an opportunity to discover areas for further development.