Progress Blog 2 : Interaction Design

Users enter in information regarding photos of wildflowers they take

The application I made using the POP app was meant to be a citizen science app that related to plant health in King County. The first idea that popped into my mind that I chose to go with was to focus on wild flowers on Mount Rainier. The app would allow users to submit photos they take of wildflowers that they see while hiking on Mount Rainier. They would submit a geotagged photo and give additional information of interest to scientists such as the date, weather, and time. Afterwards the user would be given a section to add any additional information they desired. After this step a message of appreciation would appear to the users from the scientists running the app. It would also inform the user that if they submit high quality photos they could be featured in a photo gallery of the National Park’s wildflowers, thereby providing an incentive to continue submitting photos. A video preview can be found here. The scientists would use this data to analyze the effects of climate change on the blooming of wildflowers in Mount Rainier National Park.

Gallery where the “best” photos submitted would be displayed

After completing this assignment I realize how many considerations a designer has to have when creating a well rounded application. It has to have clean functionality while maintaining the users interest. I also realized how designers are most likely often put into a situation where they need to design an interface for a subject they are not necessarily familiar with. Before the last week I was not familiar with the term citizen science nor did I have a vast interest in the plant health of King County. By being assigned this project on designing an app based on this topic I can relate to designers who often have to be able to create a good product while not being familiar with the topic themselves. One of the main problems I had while doing this assignments was brainstorming ideas that would keep the user interested enough to continue to use the application. I had to consult with my girlfriend and persistently ask for her to demo the app to get to a point I was comfortable with.

What the POP app looks like

I thought this was a very fun project. I had never before heard of an app like POP that would allow me to so easily create a prototype for an interface. Using POP was extremely enjoyable and now that I know of it’s existence my creative juices are already flowing with other possibilities I can try. I both hated and enjoyed how I was thrown out of my comfort zone by being assigned to create an app the focused on plant health in King County. I hated it because it was an area that was out of my comfort zone and creating an app on this topic would be more difficult. However, in the end I enjoyed learning how to step out of my comfort zone to work on a project and felt that I grew as a person once the project was completed.

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