Category: Fun Fit Tech

In the last update, we were analyzing the data collected from the physical education (PE) teachers’ focus group sessions using affinity diagramming. Recently, we have extracted themes for the design of motion-based exertion games based on this affinity diagram, similar to what we discussed for the children’s focus group analysis. We have been comparing the themes from children and PE teachers so that we can understand both their perspectives on how to make exertion games more fun and effective for children. Our next steps are to use this analysis to brainstorm design ideas and design guidelines for exertion games in general.  After that, we plan to explore the use of participatory design to iteratively design a prototype exertion game that is more effective for children in the long-term, based on our design ideas and guidelines .

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. Working on the FunFitTech project has helped increase my knowledge in research in computer science. I’ve learned a lot about the general steps in writing a research paper. I’ve learned new things like affinity diagramming, the importance of design and placement of figures, and the importance of choice of words in order to correctly illustrate to the readers what we as writers are trying to explain.  Overall this has been a great learning experience.

 

 

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In our previous update, we were in the process of conducting affinity diagramming sessions to walk the data collected from our focus group sessions with children. Based on our affinity diagram, we extracted themes and brainstormed design ideas for the motion-based exercise game. We next consulted with several domain experts, that is, gym and physical education teachers, to better understand what components of exercise to include in the game. We met with them over the course of several weeks and covered topics such as how they structure, assess, and motivate their classes’ physical activities. The responses from this session will help us ensure that the design ideas we come up with for the game satisfy needs for physical exertion in approved ways and motivate children to stay active. Currently, we are using affinity diagramming to understand the themes that emerged from these design consultations. These themes will be compared to those generated from the children’s focus groups to validate/expand upon our previously brainstormed design ideas.

Working on the FunFitTech project has been an informative experience as it has introduced me to the field of movement-based games, which is one of my research interests. Also, it has reinforced my knowledge on UX design concepts such as focus groups, affinity diagramming, and brainstorming design ideas. Furthermore, I improved my leadership abilities after experienced being a project leader who makes decisions on the next steps for the project.

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In our previous update, we presented our demo prototype of a motion-based exercise game to children ages 5 to 10 for feedback during three focus group sessions. The prototype presented was used as a design probe to help children understand our game concept, thus inspiring them to generate design ideas ranging from what they like and dislike in the current prototype to what features can be improved upon or added to the game. This method of design follows from research by Allison Druin [1], where she discussed the benefits of involving children in the design when developing technologies for children. Currently, we are using affinity diagramming to walk the data collected in our focus groups to understand how to improve our prototype to better motivate children in our target age group to maintain a more active lifestyle while having fun with the game.

I started on this project this semester, and am enjoying every bit of it because it embodies my research interests in whole-body interaction and movement based games. Furthermore, I can apply concepts I learned in my User Experience and Design course, Human Computer Interaction course, and Game Development course which makes the project experience more fulfilling. I am looking forward to improving the prototype and creating a game that children can enjoy.

[1]. Druin, Allison. “The role of children in the design of new technology.” Behaviour and information technology 21.1 (2002): 1-25.

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Since the last time we talked about this project a lot has happened! We have taken our basic working framework and conducted three focus groups of children ranging from 5 to 10 years old to get their input on future design concepts for the prototype. Even though our demo prototype only supported three simple gestures, the children’s responses were very positive. The prototype did its job as a design prompt. As far as game design goes, there were some surprising ideas! Stay tuned for future news on this project with updates on our designs. Getting children’s feedback at design time is important to being able to design a game that will get our target age group to be active and stay active.

I’m an undergrad at Louisiana State University in Shreveport majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Software Development. Working on the HCI side of computer science has been quite enlightening. The FunFitTech project has showed me that computer science is not just about bits and bytes but there is a human component that is also important.

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Last time we talked about this project, Sydney was studying the current state of Kinect games and we had a basic working framework which recognized gestures like Waving, Flying and Jumping Jacks. Through the lab’s research in the past, we have found that using our own low-fidelity prototypes as design probes are successful techniques for eliciting design concepts. This is particularly important when kids are involved as its difficult for them to imagine technology that they’re not familiar with, while remaining in context. As we’re preparing for user studies, we have incorporated game elements like score and levels into our prototype. Additionally, we have greatly changed the user interface so that its more appealing to kids. You can get a glimpse of the new interface here.

I’m a Masters student at UF majoring in Computer Science. Microsoft Kinect is an interesting piece of hardware that allows coders to build amazing applications without having knowledge of computer vision or image processing. This project constantly reminds me of what technology is capable of achieving, and I feel happy about working towards making kids’ lives healthier.

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Our goal for this project is to research how we can motivate children to maintain a more active lifestyle. Since children already spend lots of time playing video games, we want to see if we can leverage that engagement and synthesize it with exercise activities. We are using the Microsoft Kinect sensor to register body movements. Currently, we have a basic application framework that recognizes a few gestures, such as jumping jacks, waving, reaching an arm across the body, and flying. You can watch the demo on YouTube.

This past week I’ve been researching the current state of Kinect games, such as exercise games and games geared toward children. So far I’ve found that current exercise games tend to be tailored to adults – they simulate a gym setting and have the user follow exercise routines that one would find in a cardio or strength and conditioning class. While this is good for adults, it may not hold the attention for young children. Dancing games are more engaging, but tend to be tailored for teens and adults. Story telling games, such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, do a good job at incorporating body movements in order to complete game activities, however they too can get boring, and gestures can still be recognized if the user is sitting on the couch.

I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, majoring in Digital Arts and Sciences. I’ve been interested in inspiring my friends and family to lead more healthy and active lifestyles since high school, so this project is very fitting.

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