The goal of citizen science is to harness the power of the general public to contribute to the collection of data that can support rigorous scientific research.
Utilizing the idea of citizen idea and the topic of water quality in the Puget Sound area, I was able to create a prototype for a mobile application called pHresh Pools. pHresh pools is a water quality application that uses crowd sourced testings and reviews to inform the general public about local pools in the Puget Sound. The idea behind this application came when I was invited to a pool party. With hundreds of people coming and going from the pool, the water quality was not going to be great. Determining what features and information were needed took a while.
Finding a motivator for users to continue using the application was difficult. I came up with the idea for rankings based on the number of reviews a user has written. But, I realized that like many crowd sourced review application, the reason why users continue to review is to inform others by voicing their opinion.
The freedom to create every aspect of this project was great. The best part of having freedom was the ability to try different features to find the best fit for the concept. Without guidance, there were many trials and errors to determine what worked best. Additionally, finalizing the transitions between screens gave me a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, I was able to showcase my work to fellow students and friends.
Showing and letting intended users test prototypes is important in the development phase of a project. Especially in the medical field, allowing amputees to test potential prosthetic limbs and provide feedback about the product. Prosthetic limbs can be developed for individual cases or adjustable to fit users’ needs. In both situations, testing is necessary for designers and engineers to develop a fully functional and comfortable product for the user. Without this testing, a prosthetic limb may not be properly made and hurt the user. The purpose of prosthetic limbs is to replace a missing body part in amputees and we can develop the best product by testing prototypes.