User Test 1 – Mr. C – Alternating esotropic strabism

Todays user test was absolutely fascinating.  During our initial tests we established that Mr C has a less common form of strabismus than most  – alternating strabismus.  This is a situation we consider “beyond our initial design specification” but we continued and were rewarded with shocking surprises and inspiring insights!

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Two more binocular break-throughs

This is a quick note about some more user tests we ran, this time with two ladies in their forties and fifties.

We had our vision therapist with us, who ran both through a series of standard tests.  In both cases, neither could use both eyes simultaneously!

As soon as they were in the VR environment, suppression was broken.  We believe the cause was the “low conflict” nature of the environment they were looking at (mostly black backgrounds).  I apologise for not having the time for writing up the full test, but we have – more importantly – implemented the ability to place more of our calibrations/test into and out of conflict in the recently finished second iteration of our prototype.

In the next phase of testing, we will revisit this phenomenon in more detail!

First test of second iteration with Mr. R

What a wonderful test. Mr R has alternating strabismus, and a very strong suppression. The Binocular Suppression scene is now designed well enough that it not only demonstrates the suppression switching on very well (by introducing conflict), but allows us to find that breakthrough point where – despite the suppression – Mr R can see both (despite the conflict). The eye misalignment worked well. Mr R couldn’t see any depth in the depth test – which was precisely what I expected at this stage from him. Unfortunately, there was ambiguity in the alternating fusion scene and the eye straightening scene, because it wasn’t clear enough if both eyes were active or not.

I will make a series of improvements which allow us to interactively introduce/remove conflict in these later scenes, and provide visual cues so it is clear without a doubt, what they participant is actually experiencing from their descriptions of what they are perceiving.

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Why is designing EyeSkills difficult? – a quick note

When building software, one is creating a simplified model of reality, capturing those parts which are relevant to achieving the system goals. This model is not generally not built to be passive, it should then interact with reality to alter the nature of reality. It’s an interesting feedback loop called “active modelling”. If we don’t iteratively test as we design and build, we will inevitably design systems that fail to capture reality and fail to then interact with it as desired. This is particularly true of systems which interact with people. Continue reading “Why is designing EyeSkills difficult? – a quick note”

Dissecting a user test – how we improve!

Each user test is an exciting event.  Each user test throws up at least half a dozen “aha” or “why didn’t I think of that” moments, driving on and further inspiring development.  In our most recent user test (yesterday evening with Mr R) there were some obvious but useful minor improvements we could make to help practitioners, and a couple of major issues were also raised about determining what the participant is really perceiving.

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Mittelstandskonferenz at the MOA 2018

Here I am in Berlin, with the Prototype team and a poster. Interesting discussions have been had, but most interesting for me, has been the interest in the project from conference participants who have noticed the strabismic eyes and come over to try it out.

As usual, each person displays subtle but significant differences in the way they perceive the world.

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