Getting Cinematic in Castle Park

Testing, filming and working with your scariest users

This week the City Strata project took to the green, green grass of Castle Park in Bristol to test the Cinemapping app with some Year 10 students from Fairfield High School. Therein lies the first lesson; when testing be brave and test with your scariest users. The students were entirely unfamiliar with the app, with how to test and were, well teenagers. Charlotte Crofts rose to the challenge brilliantly, briefed them on the app and, with a little reassurance about normal response levels, sent them on their way.

In its hayday Castle Park and the immediate surrounding area hosted an incredible 9 cinemas. The students, who are all studying Media, were given an insight into this history but also into the rapid prototyping process used for app development as well as gaining experience into how to give critical feedback. And feed back they did; on the mapping functionality, the content, the interface and the subject matter.

REACT were also there to capture the event for the short film we produce for each of our Sandbox projects. We filmed some of the testingĀ  and later interviewed Charlotte and Keiron (dodging the many building sites, skate boarders and a particularly angry seagull) about their experience of the project. The film will be shown as part of our public showcase event for all of the Heritage Sandbox projects at Watershed on 28th September.

No doubt Charlotte will be blogging about the results of the feedback and how it will inform her plans for world domination soon. For me as a Producer on REACT with a background working mostly with academia, being involved with days like this is a great way to learn. About app development, about opening up your work to be challenged at an early stage, about how to question academics to get concise answers and about maintaining your composure when the birds attack.