In my studio section on Friday, we were tasked with designing a smart vehicle interfaces system similar to Apple Carplay or Android Auto through a rapid Ideation activity.
It began with a post-it brainstorm of potential users of a Smart Car device. My mind went to the practical so I suggested things like “Soccer Mom” and “Uber Driver/Passenger.” We then added vehicle types to those users such as minivans or sedans. Lastly our whole section went to the whiteboard to categorize our users.
My first group was assigned a “Easily Distracted Driver on a Motorcycle.” We then brainstormed the needs of our user and a possible scenario where they would use the device. We thought of a situation where a Motorcyclist wants to take an afternoon drive so they use the interface for a map and then they get distracted while driving, crash, and the system contacts emergency personnel.
I then moved on to a different group who was working on a Librarian with a Library van. We formulated an interactions flow chart that laid out how they might use the system for navigation and a book catalogue. Finally, we sketched out what some of the interfaces might look like.
This process was a great first look into the design process. It was fast paced which forced me to get right to the essential aspects of the process and although I would have loved to spend time to fully flesh everything out, I was very pleased with what we designed within the time frame. I had never used any of the techniques, including Post-It brainstorming and flow charts, previous to this activity and it impressed me with how effective they were. As a collective, we were very creative with our users and designs and I was impressed with what my classmates had come up with. This activity really proved to me that I can be creative and a designer and it boosted my confidence in my creative abilities.
Application of Learning
This was the first dabble into the design process and the tools we used here will be utilized time and time again throughout the quarter. I expect that most every studio session will have similar tools being utilized. Any design process can use the methods I learned in studio to create anything. This framework will only get more refined and I’ll get better at it as the quarter progresses.
Additionally, the brainstorming and ideation process we used can be applied to any project whether it relates to design or not. I see myself using Post-Its and whiteboards in meetings and for projects because it gets the most ideas out there and allows the team to refine it down to the best one. For instance, in my Hall Council meetings we could use this as an event brainstorming technique. It’s especially nice because everyone is involved and contributing and ideas are not eliminated until the very end allowing people to take risks with what they come up with.