UCD Charrette

What did you do?

First we chose a user to design a navigation system for. The user we chose was the daily commuter who has a routine. Whether it is heading to work every day from 9 to 5 or commuting to their college campus, our main goal was to create an efficient system that would help their commute easier for them.

A scenario we created was a daily commuter traveling to work. Halfway to the workplace, he decides that he wants to create a cup of coffee to boost his energy but he doesn’t know where the nearest coffee shop is nor does he know how to get there.

Presentation of our scenario

We designed a touch screen navigation system with customizable presets on the first screen assuming that the user will set presets based on their daily routines. For example if the user chose the “work” preset, the quickest optimized route to the workplace would be created while turning on their favorite music playlist. At any given time, the artificial intelligence can be activated by voice control or a button. If the user wanted a cup of coffee, he would simply tell the AI to order him a hot caramel macchiato from Starbucks and the AI would not only order it for him but pay for it as well. The navigation system will then add another stop to his route to the nearest Starbucks. Once he picks up his coffee, he can head off to work happily.

Designing the interface

What did you learn?

A question that was definitely raised was:

“Will the user want or like this at all?”

Though we did keep this question in mind throughout the whole design process. We as well as most of the other groups had a problem with the short amount of time combined with the little amount of knowledge we had on the user. The time constraint taught me to make decisive decisions while working at an adequate speed. While the small amount of knowledge on the user taught me to be able to work with what I had and/or was given.

What did you like?

What I liked about this project was that it taught me the efficient charette process and ways to apply it to an actual real world problem. Each step of the process was important to creating the best navigation system for the daily commuter. I liked creating a scenario because it allowed me to see how the system we were designing could actually be utilized instead of building a system with no clear purpose.

Where else would you use this technique?

In the future, I could see myself using the charette technique at any internship or job that would require creating a product that is focused around the user’s experience. I would use it to determine if the user would enjoy and have a good experience with the product because the user experience is a crucial part of a successful product. For example, the navigation system should have a simple, easy to use interface that is quick and efficient. I think the charette process would not be appropriate for a product that is not specifically tailored towards a certain user. But at the same time, it is possible to use the charette process even if the product isn’t surrounded around the user because I could focus on who I think would use the product.

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