Interaction Design Sprint

The Sprint

For this sprint, we were tackling the subject of interaction design. To explore this concept, we each created prototypes for apps that would help users participate in citizen science.

citizen science

the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

For my app, I chose the topic of animal census in the urban community. We began planning out our apps in studio, by first determining who our users would be and what their needs would be. Thinking in this bottom-up way is what brought me from having no idea how to approach the concept, to being brimming with ideas.

After coming up with the users and needs that the app would be designed for, it became easy to come up with activities that the app would perform.

We also brainstormed in studio the different ways that our apps could meet the functionality requirements, such as GPS capability and capacity to capture numeric/sensor data.

This is some of the things we came up with for the animal census app.

I got really into this project and became a bit too thorough. I showed my prototype to two users, my dad and a friend, and both of them were really impressed, especially with the POP software.

Reflection

Looking back on this project, I probably was a little too thorough with the features of my app. Trying to explain it made my demo video ridiculously long, and I had a large amount of slides in my POP project. I don’t necessarily regret this, because of course I was having a lot of fun connecting my ideas together and making the best app that I could; for this assignment, however, brevity probably would have been more appreciated.

I really liked this project, it was a lot of fun for me. I enjoyed how the POP format allowed my ideas to be organic; if I suddenly realized a certain feature that needed to be included, I could fit it in easily. I loved the way it helped along the natural fluidity of my process; I could address obstacles as they came instead of trying to plan everything from the very start, and it allowed me to work and ideate more freely.

Applications

Incorporating an important cause like citizen science into an accessible format like smartphone apps is something that really can make a powerful difference. Some examples of similar apps that have become incredibly successful are Yelp, where users can find establishes and services near them that other citizens personally have rated highly, and OneBusAway, a public transit service that users can help contribute information to to keep it as accurate as possible. Incorporating these two concepts together can make life easier for so many people.

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