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Notes from Sonification Interview videos

  • FL tested with #605, 606, 607 (Early Sep)

  • FL tested with #603, 602, 608, 609 (Late Sep, early Oct)

  • These interviews are working from v1.4.0-jump.9 build of FL (currently 1.4.0-dev.54)

    • A number of changes have been made based on feedback from the Early Sep. group which has not been tested w users.

    • The fundamental issues with the experience with text alerts remain

      • These issues can be addressed with switch to explicit grab/release interaction

#603

  • PhET io sonification wrapper 1.0.0-dev.77

  • Listened to most of DOM descriptions, and self initiated movement

Too many alerts and too long

Problem:

  1. Users not waiting to listen to whole alert - just listening to the first part: "magnet at center of play area"
  2. Lots of alerts are being fired (see #603 during exploration around coil @ ~2:00). Distracting from the sonification.
  3. "Far from 4 loop coil. Very close to 2 loop coil." is too long.

Option 1:

  • Text alerts only state proximity relative to coils
  • Remove play area location from text alerts as they are redundant
  • Put closest coil first in text alert.
  • Shorten from "Far from 4 loop coil. Very close to 2 loop coil."  to "2 loop coil very close, 4 loop coil far."
  • Fire alerts only when thresholds are crossed, not on every stroke / key-up event.

Option 2:

Aside:

  • The original design was to only fire alerts when certain thresholds were passed. In the dev version alerts are being fired regardless whether a threshold was transitioned
  • Pauses between text alert messages makes people think that's all there is.

Keep or remove Coil to the Left / Right alert?

Problem:

  • The alert for "coil to left / right" can come across as jarring when already near the coil.
  • Example, some confusion for #603 after that alert "4 loop coil to the right" (2:50 - 2:54).
  • However, same user used the text cue at 36:15 and knew to move left to the coil. Uses text cue again at 43:10 to find 2nd coil

Fix:

  • Remove this alert. Users seem to manage without it, and get confused with it.

Aside:

  • The original intention of this alert is to help users “set up” their magnet so they know when the coil is to the left or right.

Coil collision and text alert appear mismatched

Problem:

  • When coil is bumped, a "bong" sound is heard, but text alert says: "magnet at center of play area".
  • This creates an incorrect association and explanation.
  • Example: For #603  at 2:25, magnet inside coil and hit the top of coil. "bong" sound heard, but text alert says: "magnet at center of play area".
    • Text alert creating confusion because it's not describing what the "bong" sound means

Option 1:

  • Remove text alert all together and just have the "bong" sound.

Option 2:

  • When collision occurs, text alert should just say: "bumped a coil".

Aside:

  • Play area edge bump and text alert is an example where this works well: edge bump sound is accompanied by an alert saying the magnet is at the edge

Shorten the Play Area Edge Text Alert

Problem:

  • The play area edge bump text alert is a bit too long.

Option 1:

  • Change: "Magnet at middle-right edge of play area"
  • To: "At edge" or "At edge of play area",

Option 2:

  • Remove edge bump text alert (edge bump sound may be sufficient).

Aside:

  • Alert seemed good. User immediately reversed directions (#603)

Add coil location to scene summary and circuit description

Problem:

  • Scene summary currently lacks any information to establish the location of the coil in the play area.
  • Motivation: much of the text descriptions and alerts describe magnet and coil, and yet the coil is not mentioned at all in the scene summary.

Fix:

WhatCurrentlyProposed
Scene summary"Faraday's Law‬ is an interactive sim. It changes as you play with it.

The play area has a light bulb circuit, and a moveable bar magnet. There are controls that change what is connected to the circuit, flip the bar magnet, and reset the sim.

Move the magnet to play using arrow keys, W A S D, or 1 2 3 keys.

If needed, check out keyboard shortcuts under Sim Resources."

"Faraday's Law‬ is an interactive sim. It changes as you play with it.

At the centre of the play area is a coil* connected to a light bulb circuit. There is a also moveable bar magnet.

Move the magnet to play using arrow keys, W A S D, or 1 2 3 keys.

Additional controls that change what is connected to the circuit, flip the bar magnet, and reset the sim. If needed, check out keyboard shortcuts under Sim Resources."

*Change "is a coil" to "are two different coils" if both coils are showing.

Circuit PDOM description (1 coil)"In circuit are a light bulb, a 4 loop coil, and a voltmeter. The coil is sideways, with openings on the left and right.""Connected to the circuit are a 4 loop coil, light bulb, and a voltmeter. The coil is at the centre of the play area. The coil is sideways, with openings on the left and right."
Circuit PDOM description (2 coils)"In a circuit are a:
  • Light bulb
  • 4 loop coil
  • 2 loop coil
  • Voltmeter

The coils are sideways, with openings on the left and right."

"Connected to the circuit are a:
  • light bulb
  • 4 loop coil
  • 2 loop coil
  • volt meter

The coils are at the centre of the play area. The coils are sideways, both with openings on the left and right."

Descriptiveness Concerns

  • "In 4 loop coil." ... #603 had some confusion about what that meant. (7:40)

Add "Select magnet" to the instructions for moving it


WhatCurrentlyProposed
Scene summary"Move the magnet to play using arrow keys, W A S D, or 1 2 3 keys.""How to play with the magnet: select magnet; move using arrow keys, W A S D, or 1 2 3 keys."
Magnet PDOM description"Use the W A S D keys to move the magnet in four directions. Use 1 2 3 keys to slide magnet left and right.""How to play with the magnet: Select the magnet; use the W A S D keys to move in four directions; use 1 2 3 keys to slide left and right.


Notes

  • #603
    • 22:55 - figures out association of sound with being in the 4 loop coil
    • 23:11 - figures out closer you get the more intense the sound
    • 25:00 - trying to figure out what the bong sound is and why it happens.
    • 29:00 - changed rate of speech, the pause throws user off. Increasing rate helps
    • Didn't feel descriptions were enough
    • Knew there was a coil and magnet, and poles.
    • 30:00 - discovers volt meter
      • unchecks it but the volt mete is still visible. something wrong?
    • 33:50 - asked what happens when magnet moved through coil at different speeds
      • doesn't know if it does anything because it just tell him that it's in the centre of the play area.
    • 35:00
      • Wasn't sure there was more than 1 way to move the coil
      • Didn't know you can press and hold
      • Looking for a change in the description as a result of moving faster, but the text alerts remain the same (issue with text alerts disconnected w sonification)
    • 36:44
      • Prompted to switch coil modes
    • 39:00-16
      • Flipping poles, but after flipping had no way of remembering the polarity. Said: "I guess that's something you just have to remember"
      • But the description is in the PDOM. Is that enough?
    • 42:00
      • Confusion over an empty Level 2 header
    • 43:00
      • Was reminded there was already a 2nd coil. User forgot and was prompted.
    • 43:30
      • Searching for 2 loop coil.
      • Text alert said "to the right" an49d used that as a cue.
    • 44:30
      • properly describes the magnet position relative to the 2 coils and knows there's a the difference between the coils because of the different bump sounds.
    • 49:00
      • Describing the sounds. Knows the more intense organ sound is important, but admits to explore it more
      • (warning) Text alerts are getting in the way.
    • 52:12
      • Asked what happens when you move magnet quickly and said they couldn't tell the difference in sound.


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