Interaction Design (Sprint 1)

For this studio session, we were given the prompt to interactively design and create a prototype of an application that would encourage users to submit data about the water quality in the Puget Sound region.

Brainstorming my ideas onto sticky notes!

Before I started to sketch what my application would look like, I first thought of a user that would help me create a useful app. I decided to focus on a fisherman, who regularly visit bodies of water. Keeping this in mind, I brainstormed the types of data fishermen could collect such as fish health, bug population, water color/clarity, temperature, and anything else they might want to share.

Using my list of thoughts and features to transform them into sketches.

With my ideas on a random assortment of sticky notes, I started to sketch. Not only did I want users to share data/geotagged photos with scientists, but I also wanted them to be able to see a summary of the water quality, as determined by other users through the motivation of a rewards program.

When I was done sketching my screens, I put my prototype together with POP and created a 30 second video demonstration of the key features of my app.

30 second demonstration of a working prototype of my app.

With the finished product completed, I did encounter one question I would like to explore in the future: how effectively would a user be able to interact with my app? I didn’t end up having time for a user to test my application. This lead me to realize that the way I designed my app might work for me, but maybe not for the intended users.

Additionally, a problem I discovered was that it was difficult to create only a 30 second video demonstrating the key points. In the future, I definitely have to reconsider what the most important features are, without talking too fast, that will encourage users to use my app.

What I loved about this project was sketching out and designing the screens for my app. It was initially harder than I thought it would be, as I had to keep in mind the means of navigation, not putting too many features on one page, and how I should implement each feature. However, this was why I enjoyed it. I really had to step into a user’s shoes to understand how they might use it versus how I intend it to be used. The user was the force behind why I decided to design and implement features the way I did.

Some places in our society where building a prototype could potentially make a difference is when you’re designing something that a user will interact with often, such as a chair. You’ll want to create and design a high fidelity prototype, near the end of completing your project, to ensure that the product is as comfy, sturdy, and tall as you want it to be. This type of work is very important because without building a prototype that your potential users can test, your projected sales may end up being very low because you didn’t discover that there was a feature of your product that users highly dislike or that they wish it had. In order to be competitive with current products on the market, you have to know just exactly what users want out of your design so that when they interact with it, it satisfies their wants and needs.