September Recap- The Marshmallow Challenge!
Can you believe it’s the last day of September? It feels like it’s zoomed by and now we can look forward to our next uxWaterloo meeting on October 21st!
In our September event, we had a ton of fun taking…the MARSHMALLOW CHALLENGE!
We split up into groups and each team was given dry spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow. After hearing the rules, each group took on the challenge to build the tallest structure with the materials at hand. Then, once the time was up, the structure had to be sturdy enough to be able to hold a marshmallow on top!
Our groups were able to build some great free-standing structures, but unfortunately a few couldn’t withstand the weight of the marshmallow by the time of the judging!
Then, we watched a great TED talk video at www.marshmallowchallenge.com and got an overview of the purpose of this design challenge and laughed along once we realized that kids are better at this challenge than adults!
After the activity and the video, we discussed what we learned. We realized that kids were probably better at this challenge, as they are NOT as afraid to test something, fail, and try again. They continually prototype until they find an effective design. Kids also would not make as many assumptions about their resources as adults, so they would inspect the spaghetti and feel the weight of the marshmallow. We didn’t think of that and were so surprised when our structures toppled once we added the marshmallow!
Overall, this was a great activity that we all thought would be valuable to do with project teams to help them understand the value of continual prototyping and usability testing. When we are launching websites, all need to remember…the user is not just a marshmallow we can plop on at the end! 😉