This week, we learned about user centered design and did a charrette to redesign smart vehicle interfaces so they better suit users’ needs. Our user was a ride-share user, and our scenario was getting people picked up and dropped off in the most efficient way possible. We created an app that both the driver and the rider can use. The driver would see who’s in the area and needs a ride via a map. Then, the map would calculate the best route to pick up the person and get everyone where they need to be. The rider would pay at the end of the ride via the app.
I felt that the user interface screens weren’t as comprehensive as they could have been. The flow was rough and not easily understandable. I think a little more collaboration between designers would have been valuable, because then we would have been more on the same page and able to fine tune the details.
What I Liked
I enjoyed the combination of collaboration and individual idea generating. Through this, everyone was able to expand on their own ideas to create something useful that everyone was interested in. I also liked that the users and scenarios we ended up designing for weren’t at all the ones we originally brainstormed on our own. I liked collaborating with other students, and even switching people around so we frequently had new people (and ideas) to work with.
User-centered design is incredibly important for most aspects of the design world. Sometimes, in order to get the best products, one has to take a step back and look at the problem from a new point of view. Considering the user is important for things such as interfaces (websites, applications), machines (like cars), and things we use every day (phones, computers). User-centered design might not be appropriate with behind the scenes design, like software development, because the most important thing there is making sure the product works. Overall, though, user-centered design seems to be viable for most projects.