April 2017 ||| Skills: UX/UI Design, User Research

Qube is a collaborative and interactive installment designed for Waterloo residents to promote a sense of community Uptown Waterloo.

Qube is comprised of four 3ft by 3ft cubes surrounding four well-lights. To start, a player will tap one of the boxes triggering a colour pattern to appear on the well-lights. As the player(s) progress in the game, the patterns will appear quicker. Once the player(s) successfully completes all five levels, a fog and light show will display from the bottom of boxes. Player(s) can then celebrate, take pictures and share their experience on social media.

My Role: User Researcher, Interaction Designer

The Team: Toluwa Awodiya, Debbue Okaka, Steven Plat, Uthi Thiyagarajah

Qube Animation created by Steven Plat


With two universities and a college, the City of Waterloo is heavily populated with students. Focusing on a younger demographic, my team and I thought of things that would attract us to an art installment. Some requirements included: visual aesthetics, “instagramability”, and playability. An survey was conducted to help determine the demographics and what people had to say about Uptown Waterloo:

"There’s nothing to do Uptown Waterloo" - University of Waterloo student, Age 21

“That mall has got to go” - Laurier student, Age 20

"A variety of shops and restaurants. Lively social space (benches trees and walkways) ... would be nice Uptown" - University of Waterloo student, Age 22

Motivating the Users

In the first stages of user testing we wanted to uncover the primary motivations for users to play with the game concept. A/B testing was conducted to determine if people were more attracted to the coloured box or the plain one.


Four cubes were placed around a TV to simulate what the interactive game would look like in the Waterloo Town Square. We wanted to uncover if users would use the cubes to solve the pattern/game.

Testing out the game

Six in-person user testing sessions were conducted, with 12 participants in total.

The Results

I experimented with different styles of navigation to see what worked best. Making the navigation clear to the user was essential.

Insight Design Decision
Cube size The 2ft by 2ft cubes placed around the TV were too small for the participants interacting with it. The cube size was increased to 3ft by 3ft.
User feedback loop The absence of clear positive and negative feedback resulted in users taking longer to achieve success. Audio and visual cues were added to the game.
Calls to action There was no clear call to action that identified the starting cube. The game will begin when any cube is touched.
Colours of the boxes A majority of the participants found the colours of the cubes to be playful and directed toward children. The bright colours were kept to encourage playfulness.
Discovering output Some users had difficulty discovering the output of their interactions with the cubes on the TV. Four well-lights will be installed on the ground to replace the TV screen.