What is VoxBox?
VoxBox is a physical questionnaire system that invites people at events to share their views and opinions using a range of physical input controls, such as sliders, dials, buttons, and spinners. With its playful design and interaction, VoxBox offers an engaging experience for entering feedback that stands in sharp contrast to paper or web-based surveys. On the reverse side of the VoxBox real-time visualisations of the collected data are shown to encourage reflection and discussion among VoxBox users and bystanders. Finally, a mechanism at the side of the VoxBox drops a rubber ball in stages while completing the survey, which functions as a progress indicator and an incentive for completing the survey.
There are five separate Question Modules. The first four ask closed questions related to demographic information, current mood, the participant’s relation to the crowd, and event feedback. The fifth module invites participants to answer an open-ended question through a telephone handset. Participants go through the modules one by one and each module is lit up in turn to show when it is active. VoxBox is modular so question modules and questions can easily be changed to meet the needs of different events.
Why did we make VoxBox?
Organizations regularly want to gauge public opinion on a range of topics, from their experience at events, to feedback on products or customer service, to views on political or local issues. However, it can be difficult to gather opinions from members of the public. Traditionally this is often done through paper-based surveys at the event, or web-based ones afterwards. However, when having fun at events, people often don’t want to be interrupted by someone with a clipboard to fill out a questionnaire. VoxBox offers a playful alternative which draws people to it and allows people to engage as a group, making it a fun, engaging, and social experience.
Where has VoxBox been?
VoxBox has been used at four large events in the UK in the summer of 2014: two Tour de France fan parks in Green Park and Canary Wharf in London, a Digital Democracy conference in Cardiff, and the Electromagnetic Field hacker and maker Festival in Milton Keynes. At these events we have seen how successful VoxBox is in attracting participants from different age groups, genders, ethnicity, and affinity with technology. As well as providing participants with a fun way to provide feedback, VoxBox also succeeded in gathering serious responses on the questions asked.
VoxBox will next be at the Spark Festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, on 30 and 31 August 2015. Since this festival shines a light on the field of Engineering, visitors will be able to discover through VoxBox questions what type of engineer they are!
Publications & Publicity
Golsteijn, C., Gallacher, S., Koeman, L., Wall, L., Andberg, S., Rogers, Y., Capra, L. (2015). VoxBox: a Tangible Machine that Gathers Opinions from the Public at Events. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI ’15), ACM Press, p. 201-208.
Watch this video to learn more about what VoxBox is, why we built it, and to see it in use.