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Participant experience studies of interactive artworks : an investigation of laboratory-based methods used to study Echology

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Title: Participant experience studies of interactive artworks : an investigation of laboratory-based methods used to study Echology
Author: Deutscher, Meghan Catherine
Degree Master of Applied Science - MASc
Program Electrical and Computer Engineering
Copyright Date: 2008
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2008-04-18
Subject Keywords Interactive arts; Human computer interaction; Echology study methods
Abstract: We investigate the use of laboratory-based methodology for studying participant experience of interactive artworks. The investigation is motivated by two goals: to inform the HCI practitioner of the role of participant experience studies in artwork from the perspective of the artist and to inform the artist of how laboratory-based methodology can contribute to the refinement of their techniques and aesthetics. In this thesis three main purposes for participant experience studies in the artist's process are derived from the roles of artist, art object, and participants in an interactive artwork. Common characteristics of participant experience studies are reviewed, with three cases unique in their use of more formal methodologies examined in detail. This thesis builds on a foundation set forth by these three cases in an investigation of orientation media: media such as text, images, or video designed by the artist to convey supplemental information to participants and thus selectively influence their understanding of different elements in an interactive artwork. Orientation media in the form of instructions cards is used in a study of the interactive sound and video installation piece, Echology. The orientation media is successful in revealing elements of the artwork that, given explicit instructions or not, still cause confusion among participants. A general review of the study methodology is also provided. This includes observations of changes in participant behaviour due to their roles as subjects in a study and implications these changes have on using formal methodologies for studying participant experience.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/729

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