Interaction Design Process
What Did I Do?
I designed and prototyped a smartphone app that collects data to help researchers investigate the noise levels in the UW libraries. During the design process, I spent a lot of my time brainstorming features that would not only collect data for the researchers, but also give users a reason to use the app. This resulted in features that allow users to find libraries based on noise level, save certain libraries as their favorites, and switch between map and list view for library results. After sketching out all of the app screens, I used POP to build an interactive prototype.
See the app video here.
One of my motivational features for the users was a point system that would allow the users to earn coupons that they could use in real life. This made me wonder how I would go about implementing the feature if I were to actually build a functioning app. How could I afford to give away coupons from my app? How do other creators of apps with a similar feature go about doing this; do they invest their own money, or do they have another way?
What Did I Like About This Project?
I loved that this project allowed a very hands-on experience of designing and prototyping. Using POP, I could build a rough, but functional and interactive, prototype to see the app I designed put to work. It was interesting to experience the process of building something — smartphone apps — that I use in my day-to-day life.
Why Is This Type of Work Important?
This type of work is crucial for a wide range of fields in our society. For one, companies making products — such as automobiles and laptops — could benefit tremendously by receiving feedback on product prototypes from their targeted consumers. Doing so would allow the companies to learn which features they should keep and change to fit the consumers’ needs and ultimately increase sales. Additionally, interaction design could make a difference in education, in such that when building educational tools for students, taking in their specific needs and wants to maximize learning would result in tools that are much more productive and useful for their intended purpose. The feedback received through something from interaction design and prototyping can be very valuable, for it can help reach the creators’ ultimate goal, whether that is maximizing profit or learning.