For this User-Centered Design Charette, the primary area of focus are drivers and passengers of mobile vehicles. More specifically, the design challenge is to create a form of technology (e.g. infotainment systems) that solves a particular problem faced by the target audience.
Our group’s assigned target audience/user were daily commuters with emphasis on long commutes. This specific audience also prioritize luxury and comfort. The first thing we did was to figure out what is most important for the user experience. To do this we create a scenario to help emulate a real world situation. For our scenario, we have an average driver going from home to work and work to home everyday during rush hour. After we have an idea of what the user experiences we move on to the design process. We designed a smart navigational system to make the drive from point A to point B quicker and more efficient. Since the driver will most likely already know how to get to their destination, having a normal GPS is pretty much useless and redundant. Instead, we implement a system that actively calculate the current best route to take based on traffic data, road conditions, weather, etc. This helps ensure the driver get to their destination quicker and on time. By lowering the commute time, it will also contribute to the comfort of the driver indirectly because it means they spend less time in a car. We illustrate the process in a storyboard to help communicate what happens at various steps.
One process in the User-Centered Design process I enjoyed was the ideation process where we had a limited time to come up with as many ideas as possible. Then we had to summarize and reduce all the possible ideas to just one. I love this process because it allows everyone to contribute and make the entire process more collaborative. It was also really interesting to see the various unique ideas that came about which would be impossible without drawing from multiple different perspectives. Another technique I love was scenario creation and story-boarding because it helps us keep the design focused on the users which is most important.
I could see myself apply these user-centered design techniques in the future is all sorts of projects. For example, if a potential future project required me to build an app and a website to solve an issue for a particular group of people, I could utilize these design principles to my advantage. I would start off with user research to find out the real root of the problem. Creating a couple of user personas can also be really useful for reference. Then I would brainstorm various ideas that could be potential solutions and then create a realistic scenario that can give me more insight into how the user thinks. All of these will help me when prototyping, creating the app and website. Another very important and underrated step in the user-centered design process is reflection. This vital technique can help me review the effective of my design and allows for feedback to improve my design.