Upstream — UC Berkeley CS160 Spring 2016

Conducting User Research Interviews: Task Analysis and Contextual Inquiry

To get a better idea of the problems fish owners face we conducted user interviews to gain more insight and context around the processes and grievances behind fish owning. Our team spoke with an aquatic specialist at PetCo and two other fish tank owners about their workflow and watched as they went about some of their tasks.

  • Fish owners are unaware of fish compatibility with tank size and other fish species. (Fish can die if the tank is too small or if fish share a tank with the wrong species).
  • Fish owners have a tough time identifying sick fish.
  • Fish owners should be monitoring water levels (temperature, pH, conductivity, salinity, etc.) as this can greatly impact the health of fish

Features from Pain Points

  • Warn against incompatible fish based on the current state of the tank and its inhabitants
  • Receive alerts about potentially sick fish and provide a database of sick fish symptoms
  • Monitor and change the tank environment (water levels, lights, etc.)

Usability and Concept Testing

Screens from the first prototype

Iterating and Adding Visual Polish

Our first prototype provided us with valuable feedback regarding the usability of our product. We asked users to perform tasks with the prototype and assessed whether their mental models aligned with our design. Using this data, we improved on the design and added some branding.

Screens from our final iteration
  • the use of cards to create distinct groupings of content
  • colors that reflect urgency (red when something goes wrong, calm blue when for neutral system components)
  • clearer visual representations (replacing ambiguous line graphs with distinct numbers especially in the dashboard section)
  • improved navigation (a bottom nav separating different tasks/features: Dashboard, Fish List, Controls)
Interactive prototype of our final iteration, built with Marvel





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