Learn More about the Industry — Application 1
Interaction design — Alan Borning
Alan introduced us the app — One Bus Away, which we were all familiar with. However, I had never thought of the making process behind the scene. Alan talked us through the prototyping stage, the difficulties they encountered during the developing stage, and even the present and future condition of OBA. From his speech, I learned more about the industry. I learned that developing an app was not as easy as what I used to think. Not only did they have to construct the app itself, they also had to persuade the authorities into connecting their public transportation with GPS in order to track their route. A successful app requires integration with many departments, and takes a lot of efforts to achieve this.
The one aspect that stood out to me was how they modified their user interface in order to make the app clearer. The one main modifications that he mentioned in the panel was the “scheduled time”. Their first few designs were confusing because users had difficulties distinguishing whether the bus has real geo data or not. Therefore, they tried different signs and finally created the current interface. Their experience taught me that the first design may not guarantee to be the best one, products we see may been through many times of modification.
Usability test — Laura Barboza
Laura brought to us the usability test she had conducted for Nordstrom. The usability test was to test the website designed for Nordstrom anniversary sale. To my surprise, they conducted usability test for three times. She told us that sometimes only one usability test may not meet their expectations; therefore, they modified the website after getting the results from users, and then conducted the second usability test.
I especially liked the pictures that Laura showed to us. She showed the different stages of their design. It sounded hard to understand when she told us the usability tests helped them a lot at first without seeing the pictures. However, after she showed us the pictures, it was clear to us how the company improved. From the first version to the third version, the signs are getting less ambiguous and more easier for consumers to see the benefits of joining the Nordstrom membership. This part stood out to me the most.
After listening to their speech, I found users’ experience important in developing stage. I didn’t show my app prototype to others, and thus I didn’t have any feedback from my future potential users. I think I should present my app to some users and let them check if there’s anything hard or unclear to use. If I could get some feedbacks from users, it would definitely help me find out where I can make further improvement. I will try conducting a little usability test in my next sprint.