Sprint 1: Interaction Design

This Sprint focused on Interaction Design and citizen science, which is the scientific research conducted by amateurs or non-professional scientists. For this project, I created a prototyped app focused on hiking.

The app is called Hike-It. I began with brainstorming ideas with my group.

Then individually we sketched what our screens and buttons would look like. Users make a profile to leave reviews and ratings about hikes that they’ve gone on. Each review includes a difficulty rating, a space for open comments, and a few questions about the hike.

The public would be able to view the reviewer’s age, gender and short bio. This would allow the people looking at reviews to gage if their age and fitness level would match with the reviewer, therefore, letting the viewer know if the hiking experience would be similar. For example, if a fairly fit adult couple went on a hike and reviewed it as being comfortable, it may not be as comfortable for an elderly person or a family. An addition of a picture and completion of each question adds points, and a user can accumulate a maximum of 25 points for a review, and points can be spent on special items.

Below is a link to my short informational video on Hike-It:

During this Sprint I constantly questioned what made more sense on the user end. I wanted to make the app as user-friendly as possible while motivating them to keep utilizing the app. I contemplated many times over which buttons would work, and if they did work, where would they work best. From this I learned that it takes trial and error to really see how an idea works on the user side.

Although the above explanation made the project challenging, it also made it enjoyable. This is, because it brought an entire new perspective to User Experience and Interaction Design. Also, I liked how I could make my app on basically anything that I wanted. It was intimidating at first, but we had many ideas once my group and I began brainstorming.

This kind of work is highly valuable in or society, and will continue to gain importance as technology keeps advancing. Users will always have a major role in technology because this type of work will be utilized with every new release of tech; if the users don’t like it, the outcome and purpose of the technology will be completely lost. This kind of work (interaction design, making and testing prototypes, etc.) will be useful in settings such as IT companies, cell phone companies, game companies, and many more. If a game company manufactures and distributes a new game without prototyping and testing it, then they risk having malfunctions or having the product not sell. Overall, testing a new idea is the best way to see whether or not a product will actually be successful.