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A New User Testing Methodology for Digitally Mediated Human-Animal Interaction

By Michelle Westerlaken

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Category Theses
This thesis evaluates a novel methodology for the user testing of digitally mediated human-animal interactions. The proposed method includes the structural analysis of video observations following a Grounded Theory approach. Complemented with more subjective human observations, this methodology aims to initiate a more informed iterative design and research process in which the animal’s experience with a playful artefact is analysed and reflected upon. The research involves the user testing of a prototype for an independently developed tablet game designed for cats and humans. With a focus on the user experience of the cat, the data analysis of this study results in new insights in the behaviour of the cat while interacting with the game. These outcomes are subsequently concluded in the form of design iterations that can help to improve the prototype. This study demonstrates how a new methodology can provide an initial focus on the perceptions and experience of the animal and lead to valuable insights that can advance the design of a digital artefact intended for animal use. Further research in this new area of interaction design can benefit from this study by expanding the theoretical framework and methodologies to different contexts and settings with the integration of playful technological artefacts and other animals that are known to engage in natural play.

Angel Tobey

Purdue University

Date 2014
Pages 50
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Degree MSc Interaction Design
Language English
University Malmo University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Cats
  3. Computers
  4. Design
  5. Human-animal interactions
  6. Observational Methods
  7. Research
  8. technology
  9. Theories