Mindswarms Partners with Carnegie Mellon HCI Masters Class

In a pilot study at Carnegie Mellon University, students enrolled in Human Computing Interaction Masters program used mindswarms video mobile surveys to get feedback on their idea storyboards. The responses they received from consumers were illuminating, helping them determine which prototype to develop, and enhancing their learning in a real- world way.

“Basically they would think that maybe I was racist because I’m speaking out about it [police brutality]. It’s scary that there’s a lot of people out there that can’t even go to the store at night without worrying about dying, and there’s people who can get pulled over, and pull a gun out, and maybe because of their skin color or their background they won’t even die…”

Steven Dow previously of the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (now at UCSD), decided to engage mindswarms. In this pioneering pilot study, he asked mindswarms to help students develop a mobile video survey, designed to elicit responses from consumers on their early-stage prototypes. This method was coined “using crowds in the classroom” and was implemented during the Testing stage, in which student innovators had developed a concrete idea and were ready for feedback on their storyboards. It was thought that students might benefit from the authentic and rapid responses that mobile video surveys provide, giving them information that would help them shape design solutions.

Under guidance from mindswarms, the students received a series of one-minute video clips from consumers. They then processed the feedback and presented their reactions in class. It was a positive experience. Many students praised the mindswarms methodology, one student saying, “I can’t think of other better ways to get a lot of user input very quickly.” Students also found the diverse points of view useful, as well as the quick turnaround, and one group of students said it helped them “direct and improve” their design prototype.

Carnegie Mellon University distributed a press release citing the benefit of mindswarms partnership on the project.

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