Interaction Design: Plant Health (King County)

What I Did and the Prototyping Process:

To start off, I had to think of a specific group of users that would want to go out and collect the data in King County using my designed App for this Citizen Science Project. The topic of this App design is ‘Plant Health’ in King County, therefore I decided that my App would consist of identifying toxic plants in recreational and hiking areas around King County. My goal for the user was to be able to quickly enable them to locate toxic plants near them in order to keep their animals and children safe. My users then would be narrowed to be hikers, pet owners, families and students. Then, I started to create the features of my App design. The main screen would consist of the steps needed for the entire process, making it very easy for anyone to use. The app will have GPA and location services, as well as landscape recognition. All the user needs to do is take a picture of the plant they would like to identify and the app will recognize the location the user is in, and all the information on the plant will pop up on the users screen, notifying him/her if the plan is toxic, harmless, or even edible. The toxic plant will then be submitted into the apps data base to keep track of all toxic plants found for all the users to see.

My Reflection on the Designing Process:

While creating my design for the app I struggled putting all my ideas into a flowing and organized design. Once I started designing the main screen, I was able to gather my thoughts on how I wanted the scenario to go, but it was harder putting it all into one flow chart then I had imagined. There was also, one feature that I wasn’t sure was clear enough while designing the App. I wanted to make sure that the design was clear, quick and easy for the user to be able to figure out and use. The ‘Data Base’ (extra feature) part of the App was where I was unsure about. It is supposed to keep submit all the toxic plants users have found in order to notify the user which toxic plants have already been found near their area to prevent wasting their time. I also thought it would be fun to have my motivation aspect of the project be that every 45 minutes, a picture of the users animal or child would pop up to show them that they’re doing this to help keep them safe. The only problem I think that would arise from this, is that some users might not want the app to be able to access their photos. Therefore they have the option to click no, and instead of the picture popping up, they will get a medal and a congratulations for identifying the number of toxic plants they found. I learned that the next time I am creating a design, I will start with all the features the design has to include, and then start creating the main screen in order to have a basis for the entire design for me to work with. I found that helps me a lot when trying to keep all my ideas organized.

What I Enjoyed:

I really enjoyed creating this App not only because I am interested in the topic, but I believe that this App could very much be useful in real world situations. About 4 months ago or so I stumbled upon a news article stating that a woman’s dog had convulsed and died within one hour of coming home from a hike that they take almost every week. The reason? The animal accidentally ingested a poisonous/toxic plant while the owner wasn’t looking. I have 3 dogs back at home and I would hike with them numerous times, therefore reading that article made me think that that could also happen to me because I have no knowledge of toxic plants whatsoever. I think designing this App was really fun because I know it would actually be very helpful to a lot of people (including me), and it could potentially save animals and small children, which I think is pretty cool.

Link to my Product Demo Video:

Interaction/Design Prototype (6 screens)
Interaction Design Flow
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