Interaction Design, 10/6/16 Studio

Here, our group is brainstorming different chemicals that might be located in the Puget Sound and that citizen scientists would be interested in. Many different chemicals that exist in the Puget Sound, like copper, DDT, mercury, and zinc, came up in the discussion. I decided to go with copper because of the effect it has on Salmon. The copper levels interfere with the Salmon’s sense of smell, which inhibits them from detecting predators, finding mates, and locating spawning waters.

Using POP to design an App for Citizen Science

In the HCDE 210 studio session, our group began to think of mobile apps we could design for different users who wanted to practice citizen science on the Puget Sound. I chose to design “We Saved the Fish,” an app that would allow users to input the copper levels of the Puget Sound at different locations for scientists to analyze. This app would also allow users the ability to see the different data points that have been input across the sound. To do this, our group used an app called “POP-Prototyping on Paper” to link our drawings together and make them easily navigable. This app was specifically designed for families with children who desire to practice citizen science. The app demo video can be viewed here.

These 6 support features are essential for the app that I designed. The numeric/sensor data is essential for scientists who are working with the app in order to gain an understanding of the copper levels in the water. A geo-tagged photo gives an accurate location of where the sample was taken from. Textual information allows citizen scientists the ability to input any other observations about the water in the app. A wildcard feature (the data collection tab where users can see where data has been taken from) allows the app to be unique and interesting for the users. Navigation is essential for getting through and using the app. Motivation (receiving prizes for inputting data) keeps the users coming back to use the app.

Reflection on this Process

This process that we followed does strike a few questions. What is the next step after designing an app and having it ready to present on POP? Would one pitch the idea to an app producer? Can the design be sold? I did have trouble uploading some of the pictures to the POP website to edit and link. Later, I found that uploading all photos at once works better than uploading them individually. I will make sure to do it this way next time I work with POP. I also encountered the problem of having to change some of my note cards after they were finished because of a slight modification in the design. In future projects, I will make sure I know exactly where my project is headed before I start on my final draft.

What was Enjoyable About this Process?

I liked the way we designed an app and put it in an app-format in less than a week. I imagined that the process would take much longer and that it would be much more difficult. However, I was wrong! It took a lot of work to design the app, but using POP was very simple and quick. I also liked that we were able to design an app for the unique needs of the area and gear it towards a specific user who would be interested in it.

Cameron Trader

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