Week 1: User Centered Design Charette Reflection

As an introduction into our HCDE 210 studio, we were given images of interactive vehicle interfaces, and discussed the differences and similarities between each one: including intended user, intended uses, and methods of interaction. Soon after, we were asked to create personas for users who use vehicular interfaces on a regular basis.

Our class came up with several dozen possible users. The first thing that came to my mind was the elderly, who often want a more simple way to interact with technology. I also thought of busy business people, who receive frequent calls, emails, and texts of great importance. After we came up with a few, we organized them and put them on a whiteboard. It was surprising to see so many personas I’d never thought of before. I had never thought of “pet owners” as a category beforehand. Next, we were put in groups and assigned a user persona, and asked to come up with and solve a problem that the user would face.

My group and I were assigned a family unit on vacation. The problem we chose to tackle was finding a bathroom when someone needs to go. The image to the left is the interaction flow I imagined when a user would interact with the platform. Since a car terminal has many functions, we thought that there need to be a transition from Main Screen -> GPS. And since a bathroom is a point of interest, we decided to include in that category along with food, gas, and presumably other things. We also decided to include hygiene along with bathrooms, since some people might be looking for a place to shower. Voice control was also included as a way to skip the main flow and move directly to the map.

The last part of our “sprint” for this day was to create a wireframe of what the whole process would look like. To the left is a visual of what my group and I imagined the series of interactions would look like. The number in the lower right hand corner indicates the flow of interaction. Steps 5–7 show markers of bathrooms on a map centered around the user’s current location. We chose to take this approach to allow the user to best visualize where the nearest bathroom might be. After making a selection and seeing a description of the POI, the user can directly tap to navigate to the desired bathroom.

As a whole, this was my first experience with intentional User Centered Design and I really enjoyed it. Going through the process and putting people first has changed the way that I view even the simplest of products, like water bottles or staplers. Design is purposeful and intentional; and almost everything I interact with on a daily basis has been meaningfully designed by someone else. Moving forward, I want to deepen my understanding of the Human-Centered design process as I do more sprints and continue to ponder on the design of everyday things.