UCD Charrette

Summary:

This week in studio our groups went through the process of our first user centered design charrette. The objective of the charrette was to quickly create ideas about vehicle interfaces and ultimately create an interface specialized for a specific people group and vehicle. This began by analyzing pre-existing interfaces to start to get an idea of the field we were working in. This was followed by a process of ideation where we brainstormed the multiple possible user groups and vehicles that would possibly have an interface. After then being assigned a specific group and vehicle, my group then designed an interface fit for a fisher on a boat. We first came up with the idea of creating things that would aid the fisher in catching more fish, such as a fish locater, a weather indicator, compass, and boat/ supply conditions. These parts of our interface would allow a fisher to be notified on how to create the best conditions for catching fish or general maintenance. Another aspect of the interface was entertainment which was necessary as fishing can often involve a lot of waiting. This included social media sites such as Fishbook or Radio and streaming sites such as Netfish and Chips. Lastly we created a large physical button for emergencies that would post to Fishbook and boats in the area to help.

Brainstorming user groups and vehicles
Creating possible scenarios for our interface
Drawing out the interface s it would look

Reflection:

Overall this first charrette was a success in almost al fronts. I was able to effectively work in a group setting in order to create an interface usable for fishers. Making new ideas was very easy for the task at hand whether it be about user groups or about aspects of the interface as it seemed there was always something more that could be done. My group stayed on task and was able to actively engage in the charrette while enjoying the whole process. The time limit, however, did creep up on us and make it so that many of our ideas were rushed over or unorganized. Overall the environment fostered a lot of creativity and allowed my group to think quicker. Though the time constraints did not allow us to fully flesh out our interface, I feel that our end product fulfilled the task purposefully.

Future Application

This experience was a good way to get into design mindset and being able to think on my feet while trying to slowly converging to a more finite direction. It was enlightening to see how much we were able to get done in such a short time. I feel that our product was very practical while also having enough innovative and interesting material to make it unique. Although, this would take a lot more testing and product research, I feel a fully fleshed out version of our interface could be useful for fishers. This was also a good activity to help get me thinking about specific users and the different ways that they would interact with the products that we could make. It showed me that while one form of communication could be most beneficial for one group of people, the same may not do as well for another group. This aspect of user centered design will help a lot in the future.

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