Week 1 UCD Charrette Process Blog


This week we focused on the question “How might we redesign smart vehicle interfaces so that they better suit people’s needs?” We tackled this question by beginning with brainstorming and designing. To do this, we used sticky notes to get all of our ideas out on paper.

After everyone wrote down as many ideas as possible, the whole class put their sticky notes in categories on the white board.

We broke the ideas down into many categories like “people with special needs”, “emergency”, “parents”, and many more.

The list of specific people could go on forever, but we were then told to choose our favorite sticky note that was not one of our ideas. This allowed for us to not only put our ideas to use through others, but also gave us new ideas that we may have never thought of through other classmates.

I really enjoyed this technique because when working with the one set of people, your mind can often go in one direction. You may bounce ideas off of one another but generally follow a single path. When allowed to jump groups and look at the whole class’ sticky notes, your options become endless and you end up discovering ideas that you may never have thought of. From there you can take your own creativity into a whole new direction.


The next step was the start of the actual designing process. My group and I chose to focus on “foreigners”. My group thought that this group of people would need a lot of help with location, maps, and general geographical details about the new place they are in. My group targeted a family with kids, that was coming into California, wondering what amusement park to go to. We started to generate ideas of the steps this family might take.

Here you can see the steps this family would go through on their specified interface in order to find the perfect amusement park for their family.

My group thought a lot about ease of use and a nice layout. Our interface would hook up to their phone, where they could then reach their applications. This way, they would not have to worry about learning any new applications, and can navigate as quickly as possible. From there they would have an easy time sorting through amusement parks and choosing the one that best suits them. We thought they might want to sort by a place near them, a place kid-friendly, as well as a place that has high ratings. Through the interface we created, this family could sort their searches by these specificities and find the perfect amusement park for them.


The next step was the presentation. This step was fairly easy as we just had to showcase our ideas. However, this was difficult to do in only one minute. That being said, it is always great to hear everyone else’s ideas and what they decided was the most important things to focus on for each specific group of people.


We were also given the opportunity to reflect as a class on the project. We had different questions like, “What was easy?”, “What was difficult?”, and “What did you enjoy?”. A lot of people reflected on the short amount of time we were given to come up with an idea and present a somewhat finished product. A thing people generally enjoyed was getting to work with a variety of other students and being able to share different ideas and perspectives.

These are the different categories we were to reflect on.


I have the intentions of becoming a teacher after college. I can definitely see myself using sticky notes every day when I think of things that I don’t want to forget. Using sticky notes to get my ideas down is a great way to stay organized and keep track of things.

This is a great approach to take when you have time to create drafts and brainstorm. This might not be the best approach in a situation where you don’t necessarily have a lot of time to brainstorm or if you are trying to simply create something on the spot.

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