Interaction Design ~ Census Data Collection

Friday ~ 7 October 2016

1. What did we do?

For this specific sprint, it focused on ideation and interaction design, particularly focusing on creating ideas for scientific census data collection on animals. The class as a whole first brainstormed possible users and science-related projects that may need a specific data-collecting app to use.

Brainstorming map of possible science projects and data collectors that would use an app

After brainstorming, each team chose one specific science project and user and proceeded with creating an app around those two criteria. My team decided to create some sort of educational animal tracking application for children ages 6–12.

My team and I selecting a specific user and science project

With our selected science project and user in mind, we began to create an idea for an app, which became what we called “Animal Go!” This app can be used for children that allows them to record the various species of animals they have discovered during their strolls outside while learning about those particular animals.

In addition to conceptualizing this idea, we also analyzed what types of text input, data, and other features are appropriate for Animal Go!. For text input and geotagging, my team and others brainstormed these options:

Ideas and options for geotagging features and text input

We then began to take these ideas and start to visually form a prototype, a mock-up interaction that allows us to physically work through our concepts. Although my team members and I created an app and its features together, we created our own prototype using POP app. I drew mock-ups of the visual screens for the app using index cards and sticky notes, which I then uploaded onto the app and began to design an elementary user-interface and interaction.

Generating drawings of screens for our application

Above is my prototype of Animal Go! created on POP.

2. Reflection on Experience

  • What surprised me? What surprised me the most is discovering that there is such an app (POP) that allows one to visually conceptualize their own app design, which I found to be very incredible and amazing. Especially after creating my own prototype of my team’s app, I felt successful in a sense that the application created by my team and I can have so much potential and could possibly be created into a real, final application for children interested in science to use.
  • What challenged you? It was initially challenging generating features and interaction designs for our app, and even more difficult navigating my way through POP in order to create my prototype. But gradually, I was able to successfully use POP to create a visual of our app. Another challenge was designing screens that would be easy to understand and navigate through for children ages 6–12. The way I — a 19-year-old girl — would interact with a scientific data-collecting application is definitely different from the way a 7-year-old child would.
  • What would you like to explore? I would like to explore the process after creating a prototype — how can we make this app come to life?

3. What did you enjoy?

I definitely enjoyed creating an application for children to use. I am very fond of children and to create this, even if it’s only a prototype, for them was a gratifying experience for me. I am also a supporter of a current movement to keep children, especially girls, interested in science and to keep them curious about the world we live in.

4. Future Application?

This technique can be and will be used for the creation of future applications. Especially in a technology-centered world, this process of interaction design is essential in generating a useful app for people of varying demographics can utilize. Additionally, our app, Animal Go!, can also definitely be useful in the future. This app, if created, can be used within classes and in various schools across the nation. Within teachers’ science lessons for their students, this app can be utilized as a supplement to their science projects and research on animals and other organisms.

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