Interaction Design — Shhhh! The Noise App

HCDE 210 Process Blog— Week 2

Home screen for Shhhh! The Noise App.

In an Interaction Design Sprint, I designed and created a prototype for Shhhh! The Noise App, a mobile app for citizen science contributors. In designing the app, I focused on noise levels on college campuses. Users can select a location and rate the noise levels at that location depending on its level of disturbance. The app also allows the user to look for nearby locations which other users have rated as more ‘quiet’ for the purpose of relaxing or studying. Below is the demo video for the app prototype.

Product demo for the mobile app prototype.

I aimed for simplicity when designing my app, aiming to make the process of reporting noise to be quick and simple for the user. However, I ran into the problem of the app being too simple as it had no additional features besides reporting noise. Based off of my peers’ experiences with the app, I decided to add the ‘locate a quiet area’ feature as a way for the app to give back to the user for using the app and contributing valuable data. In this way, I kept the app simple and easy to use but also provided a means to motivate the user to continue using the app.

End screen after completing a noise report on the app.

While POP has some functionality issues with its app, I really liked how it allowed you to produce a sort-of-functioning app in the form of a paper prototype. I enjoyed this project because noise levels on campus is something that affects me. A lot of the design process required me to think about what kind of functionality I (and my friends that tested it) would expect from this app.

Honestly, interaction design and prototyping is something that could be useful in any part of society regarding technology. Showing prototypes of various technological advances to potential users would allow them to be a part of developing the final product. They could provide insight on current features or give ideas for creating new ones. Such strategies would allow a company like Apple to save more time and resources when developing the new versions of the iPhone or iOS interface. Every year they release a new iPhone that few additional features in comparison the iPhone released the year before. These additional features are things they feel the user need/want, which they could include in the original design if more user input was taken into consideration.