In this week’s studio section the main focus was on the process of interaction design, specifically, the design of a smartphone app that will take the concept of citizen science in consideration. I was given four different scenarios involving the use of citizen science to choose and then brainstrom different ideas pertaining to the type of users and of data collection for each scenario.
I decided to create an app that would allow students in universities to provide information about the noise levels at a certain time in study areas such as the library or study lounges in dorms. I decided to focus on this specific topic because finding quiet places to study is a problem I often face as a university student.
After collating all of the features I would want in my app, I compiled all of my screens using POP to create a prototype of my app. See the link to the online prototype of the app and a video demo of how to use the app below.
POP turns hand-drawn wireframes to interactive prototypes. Sketch the app on paper; take pictures and add hotspots to…popapp.in
Prior to this sprint activity that focused on user interaction, I had not taken certain factors into consideration that would be vital for app designs such as having motivational features that would allow for it to be successful amongst users.
However, a concept that I found difficult was deciding how much and what kind of textual information and data would be necessary in order for this app to be successful and helpful for the citizen scientists. On one hand, I thought it should have a minimal amount of data as users would not find the app user friendly if the app required multiple points of data entry. On the other, scientists would have liked to receive the maximum amount of data in order for their findings to be more accurate.
I enjoyed getting to know about and using POP as it is a very innovative app that lets ideas become real. As this was the first time that I had experimented with creating an app, I enjoyed it even more knowing the entire structure and requirements to this assignment in order to complete it successfully.
Having an emphasis on interaction design while creating prototypes is an important factor to consider because it is ultimately the users that decide whether or not the app is successful or not. Showing prototypes to potential users is important as getting feedback on features that users would want has the ability of making a good app even better. Apps pertaining to citizen science could be groundbreaking in third world countries where urban development still has a long way to go. Accessibility to clean water, food sources and health care centers are factors that aid development. Creating apps and prototypes for societies like such would make a tremendous difference to their standards of living.