Prototyping in HCDE 210

Full diagram with Dogercise
Close up of Dogercise

In this week of HCDE 210, we were exposed to the world of prototyping. Specifically with the use of LittleBits, which to my experience is much easier than other processes such as using Arduino, but has much more limitations in the capabilities. Although they have less capabilities, it is much easier to not worry about coding through Arduino and just build the prototype and continue on with the process of accomplishing a task. It seems that going from prototyping with LittleBits is limiting but with further practice, more advanced tools and techniques can be implemented. In this studio, the goal was set to solve a problem for a user base that we chose. My partner and I chose to solve the problem of owners with overweight pets and what is something that we can make to help them loose weight and/or exercise. This task produced a prototype that covers the food bowl so the pet cannot overeat and then throws a ball to play with then plays motivational music.

Overall in this preliminary prototyping experience, it went very well and helped us understand the purpose and helpfulness of prototyping. To further add to my reflection of this experience, I would say that some questions or concerns that I had was the further exposure to what different kinds of prototyping can take place. If it is just pictures or a small demonstration, it would help to understand that there is not just one type of prototyping and each goal can be reached differently. In this studio experience, in regards to my prototype, the Dogercise, I would have tried to make it more usable rather than achieving it’s goal primarily.

Digital readout with adjustment nob and mp3 controls

To pose a question, I would ask: what is one of the most important factors in prototyping? Something that is important, in my opinion is that the usability of the device needs to be prioritized. If a user cannot use the device, even if it can achieve it’s goal, it never will because the user cannot use it in the first place. With this example, I would say that the usability is most important followed by many other factors.

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