Interaction Design Sprint
This sprint focused mainly on interaction design through the prototyping of an application of our own creation. The application’s overall purpose is to count or track some kind of animal and this information is then used by scientists for research purposes.
My application is mainly meant to be utilized by hikers or park rangers throughout Washington state. The user would open the application when starting their hike, and the application would track their entire trip, keeping track of stats such as steps taken, distance hiked, and time taken for a specific hike. If a bear were spotted, the user would stop where they are, click ‘Bear Tracker’ and they would be prompted to take a picture and add additional information about the bear. A map is also shown with their current location and the bear is tracked at that place within the application automatically. The informaiton from the application, such as the bear’s location, breed, activity, and the time of year when it was tracked, would all help facilitate scentific research on the hibernation and migration patterns of certain breeds. This application also allows other hikers to see where bears were spotted whether it be on a trail they are about to hike or one that they are currently on, which improves hiker safety and awareness.
To make a functioning, paper prototype application, I used the app Marvel to connect different screens and give my paper prototype life. Every basic application has to include a main menu screen that displays all navigation possibilities that the app has. The main menu displays the hiker’s daily stats along with their ‘Bear Tracker’ featured at the top. The main purpose of the application is to track bears on while on a hike, so the bear tracker was placed at the top of the main menu screen, followed by the daily hiking stats of the user. The most important thing is placed at the top followed by a feature that the user would find most beneficial. Buttons such as maps and stats all include icons and are larger to make the application more aesthetically and navigationally friendly.
I have no experience using this technique, but after this sprint I feel that I have a good idea about how to utilize paper prototypes and what kinds of projects they are best used for. I thought the whole process of getting to create an application using only our hand-drawn designs was not only eye-opening and enlightening but fun as well! I’ve created an application before, so this was a huge learning experience for me. While drawing the actual prototype, before uploading the images to Marvel, I questioned the quality of my drawings and wheher they would be sufficient or not. I also got to point in the process where I wondered what I should include next, or if I need to include more content. I was able to get pretty good insight on this from looking at apps I already have on my phone or online. In the future when making a paper prototype, I will definitely do some research on similar applications to get a better jump start on my layout and functions.
Low-fidelity prototyping could be utlized in future projects that require the development of an application or any other technological interface. It is a useful tool when thinking about interaction design and how users will be able to navigate an application. This technique would definitely be useful in future HCDE classes and possible jobs or internships that require the development of new applications. By hand drawing your vision for each screen, it allows you to catch mistakes or design flaws that you would not otherwise think about. Low-fidelity prototyping is a useful technique in the beginning phases of designing an interactive application. It could also be used further along in the design process when color is ready to be added, or you have finalized the overall design of each screen, but then it would not be considered low-fidelity. Beyond that, I don’t believe low-fidelity prototyping would be used in the later stages of the app’s development.