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The Best and the Worst of Activate April 9, 2009

Posted by dario in Exercise 4: Documenting Activate!.

The Best and the Worst of Activate

In my opinion the best experience was the happy box because its touchpoints were well executed. Location, signs, advertisement, actors were connected resulting in an intriguing experience. The box itself was very well located, centrally positioned in the main hall, right across the entrance doors, its size and form instilled lots of curiosity. The bouncers helped to stimulate my interest in it by what they were saying. The processes were fairly clear and direct: I got some information that in order to give it a try I should wait in line and that two people should go together. After waiting for my turn I was instructed to go inside the box. It was pitch black for a second and then I could see pair of eyes through little apertures, there were many of them, monitoring and staring at my actions. The actors were impartial to my actions. The Panopticon feeling of being over watched might have been more intense and intimidating if I were trying it alone, the fact of trying it in pairs caused less impact on me. The gut feeling of being overly observed endured only feel seconds because I felt it a little noisy inside and I could not discern any sound but the sense of disturbance due to the darkness was strong. I felt more uncomfortable because of the feeling of being a subject of voyeurism. The “treat”, a cupcake, made me feel like a mice in a lab awarded by its accomplishments. I would suggest that they should had tried to invert the position or roles for the participants, for example, let them be part of the group observing other people and seeing the other side of the experience. The questionnaire afterward should be shorter and more intuitive. I really enjoyed the metaphor used.

The Worst was  the “Pollock, Van Gogh, Picasso, YOU”, their advertisement was promising but they didn’t deliver it. They missed the point completely wasting the touch points, great location, great signs, and posters with poor results. The experience didn’t engaged to much to the feeling of being an artist or that the actions of painting were made by the user. The metaphor was lost because they were unable to expand the experience; they should have done a better use of the user scenario and avoided some weakness of the project. The canvas was permanently on the ground, there was no surprise in terms of use and the interaction was too obvious.



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