April has been the month of GoldieBlox user testing. Our first test was on the 4th and I was a nervous wreck. Pacing back and forth, biting my nails, guzzling coffee, nauseated. I approached the door to the home of a Palo Alto family, trying to balance the prototype, paperwork, a video camera and about ten other items in my arms. Pit stains. Big time. I wanted to hide behind a bush.
As I rang the doorbell, I was worried I’d drop everything on the ground and puke all over the floor. But then, a 5 year-old girl answered the door in a full-on dinosaur costume. I’m talking big green tail, gloves, a giant headpiece with little triangle teeth. I burst out laughing and at that moment I knew, there is nothing to worry about. This is going to be fun.
In the past 2 weeks, we’ve tested the prototype on 22 families and 33 kids and boy, have we learned a few things:
– Don’t expect your toy to test well if the participants are in the middle of a giant hair-pulling fight right as you show up.
– Bring superglue. The prototype will be destroyed. The parents are just as likely to rip it apart as the kids.
– It’s a miracle if kids actually play with the toy the way you intended. What they come up with on their own is often better anyway.
– Girls appreciate a sense of order. Boys appreciate a sense of smashing things against the wall.
– Kids can be brutally honest, but girls can be people pleasers. They will lie to your face to make you like them. Beware.
The testing will continue into next month. We’re a little saturated in terms of the type of family we’re testing on (thank you, Stanford parents list). If you know of any Bay Area schools or families with children 5-10 with more diverse backgrounds, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.