Water Quality In the Puget Sound Area
Design Process During 01/11 Sprint
We received an interaction design project that making a prototype for a mobile application helping citizen science, to enable citizens collecting useful data for environmental research. The specific topic for our group is water quality in the Puget Sound area. I decided to focus on the user group who is living in the urban area and using public-supplied water daily. Among many different properties of water, I chose the pH level of water as the primary observing data. Because of the convenience of detecting pH level by pH test strips, which is cheap and easy to purchase. I designed my prototype of the application having the feature can collect pH level data of water, and record the location and time information at the same time. All these data would enable scientists to study the water supply system in cities. I also designed a watering plants function to encourage users to continue using it and collecting data.
Overcome Difficulties and Learn from Them
At the beginning of this sprint, I was a little bit of frustrated. I didn’t narrow down the user group. Correspondingly, I made a scenario for the application having lots of features, which could be complicated and hard to turn into a prototype. I quickly found its unreality. Therefore, I decided to make a less functional scenario, more focus on one specific user group and one data type. Then developed it having more features when creating the prototype from the scenario. I found it is helpful and easier starting from the smaller project.
Contribute as A Part of Bigger Program
My final prototype contains limit functions, which can only collect one property and two relevant data of water. This prototype is easy to achieve using nowadays technology. It can use as part of the water quality research program in the future. For example, scientists want to study different factors cause water quality changing in the water supply system in the urban area. They can use my prototype to collect a significant amount data of water pH level at various locations and different time periods. They can also develop more features on it and use it collecting other data. Beyond basic functions, I have a great motivation design in this project. Let users water their plants. Plants will grow bigger and bigger after users watering them more and more times. Each time users need to collect data in order to water plants. This idea can use in many different water quality collecting applications. People like to see their plants grow up.