Interaction Design Process

This time at the studio, we came again with a creative and enriching experience, but a little bit different. This week’s job was to create the Interaction Design and prototype of a mobile application based on the citizen science practice.

The idea of this practice is to “ harness the power of the general public to contribute to the collection of data that can support rigorous scientific research” And thats what we did with our apps! Give to the general public a tool where they can collaborate to the scientific world, focusing on apps that could tackle these four issues:

  • Water quality in the Puget Sound area
  • Availability of fruits and vegetables for urban foragers
  • Noise levels in educational or public environments
  • Animal census in the urban community

And when the bell rang, Kerem started the designing process.

  1. The first thing that we did was to create groups and brainstorm who could be the users of the apps and what activities they can perform with the different apps. We did this part of the project at the beginning of the sprint, because it is important to understand the user and based on him create the app and establish the variety of tasks that he can do with it.
Brainstorming possible users and app’s characteristics

2. After that, we listed important features of the app, because it had to achieve certain requisites like: sharing useful textual information, geo-location, means to navigate through the app, etc. In order to make it a better experience for the user, it is really important to have what to include in the application in the top of our heads. And what a better way to come to cool ideas than Brainstorming.

some features of the app written down on the whiteboard

3. Finally, we sat down and started writing the final features for our apps and sketching them in paper. All this sketching process was very useful, since we could add or delete without problems aspects of the app as the designing was progressing, and at the same time, have the product in our hands.

By the end of the week, each of us worked hard on our final applications’ prototypes. I designed “Water Purification”. A mobile application related to the water quality in the Puget Sound Area. The final product was uploaded to POP in order to give it some navigation features. Here you can see a video tutorial explaining to the users how the application works.

Water Purification video tutorial

Reflection

During the sketching process, I found myself doing some drawings and questions came to my head related to different aspects of the app. One of them was “what do I include in each screen of the app?”. So, after certain drawings and brainstorming ideas, I ended into the conclusion that we do not have to pollute the user with a variety of unnecessary information and images. For that reason, I decided to made my application with a simple navigation design, but modern and colorful at the same time.

Based on this problem, in the future I would like to search a little bit more about the most common navigation designs used nowadays, because people prefer common things through applications and not get use to new icons every time.

The most amazing part…

The most amazing part of this project was the idea of creating the prototype for an app with a navigation interface. I have never created a mobile application before, but my dream has always been to be able to that! So, brainstorming random ideas of the interaction design, sketching the application on paper and adding navigation to it through POP, was a really fascinating job for me. An even explaining my “creation” to possible users by a video tutorial; it made me want to have this in my future.

Using this to achieve a big difference…

This type of work (interaction design, building prototypes) could really make a difference in places in our society where big changes need to be done, but takes a lot of time or money to achieve. For example, I consider that security is a really important matter for any society. For that reason this work could achieve a difference in reducing the delinquency levels by sketching and prototyping something like a “criminal map”. This idea is something that I have been thinking for while, in which criminal activities can be reported by anyone on live time so that the police can be able to see in a map, delinquency hotspots and do a more effective work. With this criminal map, and an integral use of it, the levels of criminal activities can decrease and be controlled.

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