Interaction Design

The making of the next best thing.

Interaction design is creating the means for which a user interacts with a product. The main components behind interaction design are architecture, interface, and navigation. A good interaction design does not make the user wait and seamlessly works with the user to accomplishes the task it is suppose to.

My Task

For this interaction design task, I was told to create a low fidelity prototype of an app that allows citizens to partake in scientific research. The specifications were that the app needed to collect some sort of numeric/sensor data, needed to motivate the user to use it, needed to have text input for research purposes, and needed to have a special feature. After brainstorming from possible locations for data collection to potential users and purposes, I came up with the idea behind my app Campus Creatures. After sketching a rough draft and making sure I met requirements, I created a low fidelty prototype on the Marvel app using pictures of paper sketches I drew and linking them together to simulate interaction.

Idea generation (left) and design sketch (right) including checking off the list of specifications before making the final prototype.

Campus Creatures allows University of Washington students to spot animals on campus and compete with their friends to find the most animals. The numeric data collected from this is the number of animals seen on campus as well as the sensor data of the type of animal seen. The app also includes a special feature of a “story” at which students can upload pictures of their findings to a public campus collection for other students to see. The overall motivation I came up with for students to use the app is for them to be ranked higher than their friends for finding the most animals because college aged students thrive on competition. The most vital specification that was met was the data collected on the type and amount of animals seen on campus can be used by researches such as environmentalist to conduct further research.

Campus Creatures product demonstration including all specifications met by the application design and use of application designed on Marvel app.

Why Try Low-Fi??

Low-fidelity (low-fi) prototyping like used in my Campus Creatures prototype is a beneficial technique as it allows designers and potential business partners to get the jist of the app without having to spend huge amounts of time or money. Paper prototyping in paticular is efficient because if you make a mistake in the design, it is easy to start over or quickly fix the problem without the worry of wasting material, money, or time. My favorite part about low-fidelity prototyping is being able to design an app and create a feasible prototype without having to have a technical computer background.

Looking Forward

Low-fidelity prototypes are great for getting started with an idea and not having to worry about the technical obligations of the product. I could see people who have an idea for an app use low-fidelty prototyping in order to minimize costs while still being able to fully present their idea to potential business partners or companies. However, low-fidelity prototypes are not appropriate for plans that are past the beginning stages. Once the idea is generated and specifications have been met, you should begin actually creating a full blown prototype that works normally of the product.

In regards to Campus Creatures, to better the app prototype, I would have liked to add a location sensory data function in order to know where exactly the animals were spotted instead of having to rely on the campus story function to guess where people saw the animals.

In my career future, I could see myself using low-fidelity prototyping to figure out interaction designs quickly and use them to better present a rough draft of my ideas. In specific, I have always wanted to pursue entrepreneurship with engineering. A low-fidelity prototype can be useful with engineering entrepreneurship to create a rough draft of an idea and present it to companies or partners in order to gain backing and support of the product without actually having to have the product yet.

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