Interaction Design — Urban Foragers

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The goal of my App is to harness the power of the general public to contribute to the collection of data of availability of fruits and vegetables for urban foragers.

My design process is divided into three parts: topic analysis, drawing draft and paper prototype. In this article, I will present each part in detail.

Topic Analysis

we analyzed the topic in studio. We first decided who(users) will use our App and then we wrote down potential activities that could be included in the App.

Users(citizen/ reporters)

The users of our App will be neighborhood or local community, environmental and agricultural major students who can use the App for class activity, subsistence farmers and passerby. Passerby, in my view, will be the major user group.

Activities

The App may have these functions: sharing locations of foraging(or ping locations in map), showing availability of resource and specification of fruits or vegetables, uploading pictures as well as any other observation data.

Draft

draft_1
draft_2

I draw down each page of my App interface and link one page to another. There are several pages that I can not decide how to design. For example, I am not sure what types of information my App will collect from users. Moreover, shall I let users type in those information or I provide categories for users to select. So I ask my friends to vote and to give me suggestions. Finally, I make my App collect information as such types of tree, location, harvesting season, access and user’s description. Also, I decide to provide categories for users to select because my friends said that will be more convenient.

Paper Prototype

Problem I have

One problem that I encounter is that when drawing the final prototype, I always wonder whether the interface will look better if I organize in another way, or if the information is detailed enough, or shall I add some more functions. I think the reason why I have these questions is that my design process lacks of user research. Even though I ask my friends to address some problems for me, the feedback I get is from people who are the same age and have similar background. As so, my little “user research” can not represent the user group as whole.

Things I like…

What I like about this project is that it allows me to design an App that can probably be made in real life. I also like how I go through each design process and draw down all my ideas. Some people may think making changes of their design after it is actually done is annoying; however, I enjoy this part the most. In my view, more changes that need to make means my App is closer to perfectness.

why is this type of work important?

Interaction design makes the world a better place. You might think it is too arrogant to say so, but I say it is the truth. Take my Info project as example, we build prototype of a chrome extension that grades brands or companies based on ethical issues. Currently, the customer has to look up all of these things on their own if they are concerned about buying clothing that’s made responsibly. With this extension, People can check it easily. Moreover, if more and more people are using our extension, then the public will pay more attentions on issues like fair trade, child labor, ecologically sustainable.

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