GA 2.1. Scenario 2: Anthony organizes a party

Activity Scenario

Anthony owns a bar named “Howling Owl” located in a recently gentrificated area where a lot of hipsters hang out. He tries to attract a quality audience into his venue and is always on search for something different for his visitors experience. Having heard of an app that allows people to vote for songs on a party he decides to make it a focus of an elections-themed party. (He’s a cautious person who doesn’t want to try out new things without first aprobating them in a special environment where a lot of different stimuli for the visitors will be present so that they wouldn’t get bored if one stimulus fails; at the same time, he’s eager to see how this new thing will work.) People are encouraged to bring their own masks of famous politics, flags and symbols. During the party, part of the plan is to let visitors choose from a open playlist with a number of politics-related songs and soundtracks featured by default.

Anthony prepares the playlist at home on the web page of the service on his PC. This takes an hour for him as he needs to choose and prelisten many songs. He selects ~50 songs that will play in a predefined order if nobody will care to use the app, and selects about 20 albums and two genres from which users will be allowed to choose songs. Anthony tests the playlist on his iPhone and concludes that everything’s fine. It’s late, and he departs to his bar where there’re some other preparations to be done.

In the bar he opens the app on his Apple TV, selects the created playlist and asks the venue manager to attach printed leaflets with the announcement about the possibility to vote to some walls, doors and tables – for those people who haven’t seen for some reason the information on the Facebook, website and flyers. The party begins! People start to flow in, and the first song begins to play. The TV starts to show an announcement about the voting, and after a couple of songs more visitors download the app and play with it. Other people notice the photos of those who already voted on the screen and want to try out the app too. More users are having fun. Different groups of people that came to the party vote together and add their pictures in masks and scarfs to the songs they voted for.

At a moment Anthony sees that there’s a disgusting Justin Bieber song in the playlist that he wasn’t aware of earlier. It will no doubt destroy the carefully built atmosphere, and he goes to the Apple TV and removes this song in advance. The party goes on, and he’s glad that the app made his event enjoyable and rememberable. In the morning, Anthony receives a little bonus — a local “Hipster’s Gazette” blog has published a nice review of the event!

Questions:

  • Did the scenario provoke thoughts on its validity? How realistic it is?
  • What methods of distributing the information about the possibility of voting on the party itself are the most appropriate?
  • How the limitations for the predefined songs in a playlist should be set? Should it be limited to a specific genre, set of albums, set of songs or no limitations should be set at all? What do you think?
  • What is the most comfortable device/platform to set the predefined playlist from?
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7 thoughts on “GA 2.1. Scenario 2: Anthony organizes a party

  1. I can easily imagine Anthony as a person that would be up for an elections-themed party. But as he is a bar owner, he might have other things to do before the party – like buying drinks, food, advertising. Se I would imagine he would put together the playlist more collaboratively with other employees or as it takes quite a lot of time even delegate somebody else.

    I think Anthony at the beginning of party would walk around and invite personally people to download the app. While doing that he would notice, it’s hard to read the instructions and link on the printed add in the bar lights, also people are looking for the wifi first and the application download is kind of time consuming. That should lead Anthony to setting up a password free wifi network in his bar, and use some services, that detect mobile devices based on their proximity to the venue and send out SMS/Foursquare notification maybe to invite people join the app (link).

    Anthony should be able to see if anyone has voted for Justin Bieber song, prior deleting it from the predefined list.

    For the list setting, mostly people would follow their personal preferences. But in order to please diverse people interests, it would be good, if some predefined guidelines or professional DJ advice would be available while setting up a list. f.i. maybe there is a rule that the tempo has to speed up and than slow down after the 7th song in a row, or tonalities should match.

    PC in a quiet place, e.g. home or office sounds realistic for creating a playlist.

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  2. I know it’s not that important and in the user session you could always clarify the questions if you see that the participant didn’t understand the questions. But still, I would pick a bit on the wording of the questions again. Instead of using an obscure construct like ‘provoke thoughts on its validity’ a simple wording of something like “was the scenario realistic?“ would give you the same information you are after, but with much lower chances of the reader/participant not understanding what is being asked. Yes, you have a simple version following the more complicated construct, but what’s the point of using two questions in one question? The goal should be to make one that’s understandable in the first place.

    The question ‘about methods of distributing the information about the possibility of voting’ seems a bit complicated to understand. Maybe it’s just me or my mild hangover but it took me quite some time to understand that with this you mean to ask about the printed leaflets used to let people know that they can upvote songs, etc.

    Overall, the focus of most of the questions seem to be on the specifics of the technical and functional aspects of your product. In the context of this assignment, I think it would be more appropriate if the main focus would be on the use case itself – the scenario with it’s main actor, his/her goals, actions, events, etc.

    Anyway.

    In terms of realism, the scenario will probably pass my criteria. In a normal case I would be highly sceptical about the engagement level of the users, but in this case, the described niche masquerade politics themed party setting, it could work. With a lot of effort from the organiser (as described) and a conveniently, centrally placed big screen TV.

    Apple TV.

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  3. This is now a well written scenario! It addresses exactly my concerns about having too open choice of music. Choosing from predefined albums is a good idea. Possibility to remove songs from playlist before they are played out is also an important feature.

    Anybody can download the app. How do you make sure that only people present in the party could vote?

    I think the limitations for the predefined playlist depend a lot on the context. In this kind of theme party it should be quite open. On the other hand, when this kind of app is used in some club during the first hour when the DJ doesn’t play yet, the playlist options should be very limited (only specific genre and tempo range, selection from a set of predefined tracks).

    The most comfortable platform for defining playlists would be laptop / web browser (of course desktop app would be even more comfortable, but this is not realistic expectation).

    Do you rely on some streaming service or is all music locally stored? If you rely on streaming service, how do you deal with legal issues? Music in services like Spotify is licensed for personal use, not for public playback.

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  4. While the scenario might appear realistic, I don’t believe that it would be possible to have an open election-themed event in a bar. Politics is not a matter that goes really well with bar discussion among strangers, so there might be few altercations involved. Especially if people bring flags. The same would go for football or basketball, for example.

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  5. My husband (and I!) would love these. We are such mushroom nuts and carmelized onion…cheese…it sounds divine. What a perfect appetizer to start New Year’s Eve with. Definitely on my list of New Yea’rs Eve musts now. Take care and Happy New Year!

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