Spring 2 Interaction Design
College student’s find animals
This week I created an app with the ultimate purpose of providing scientists with animal census data. The Pacific North West is known to be rich in resources and wild-life, and is also particularly tech savvy, so why not combine the two and ask the region’s University of Washington attendees to scout for critters and compete with each other for points while doing it. I sketched low fidelity user interaction screens that users would easily navigate by tapping on icons, and then made those sketches and interactions come to life using the marvel app on my phone. The home screen showed the user’s location as well as a message stating what new secret wildlife rich location they unlocked on campus depending on how many animals they documented seeing. The user could also use their phone’s camera to document what they saw and share it with friends, which is a college student’s favorite pastime!
Low Fidelity, High Reward
Normally, I would assume that sketching something out, spur of the moment, would result in a final product I would be less than satisfied with. This week I learned that this in fact was not the case! Designing user interactions using quick sketches produced the most usable and natural interface. I arranged the screen in a very easily navigable way, and had the most natural placement of icons, text boxes, etc. Sometimes your initial ideas are the most intuitive!
Let’s say in the future I am asked by an employer to pitch my idea, in under 30 minutes, for a navigation app for commuters using the London Tube; how would I begin? I would initially sketch out screens that come off the top of my head that are easily navigated by a busy commuter. I would sketch an appealing layout. Think through what actions take the user to which page and quickly upload them to an app like marvel that would allow me to very effectively present my idea to my boss, confident that she/he would clearly see my vision for the user’s interaction with the app.
Low fidelity prototyping is an incredibly cost effect and easy way to get ideas on the board so that they can be talked about and developed further, and I am certain I will be using this skill in the future.