Interaction Design: POP Process

I prototyped an app called “Count 8” using POP (Prototyping on Paper) for citizen research on the topic, animal census in urban communities. The app’s purpose was for users to be able to record the number of spiders in a room.

Before working with POP, I brainstormed ideas for the different app functions and the flow of the screens.

Afterwards, I drew the screens onto sketch paper and uploaded them to the POP.

Although most of the functions remained the same, instead of a facts page, I changed it to a data page because I thought that it would be more interesting to the user to see how they are contributing to the research. In addition, the photo button was changed to directly lead to the camera page in order to decrease the buttons the user will have to press.

The prototype:

The demo:

Throughout the experience, I noticed how I carried over concepts from my personal experience with apps into my own prototype. For example, the menu bar at the bottom and the photo screens. I found that it is easy to carry over ideas that have been seen in a lot of apps, but it is difficult to incorporate new ideas into an app that would make the interaction flow easier to navigate for the user. In the future, I would like to explore the positives and negatives of different interaction flows and utilize the research to brainstorm new screen functions.

What I liked about this project was that what we were prototyping is something we all used before. Since apps are something I am familiar with, it made it easier to use my personal experience to create an app for a regular citizen. Being a regular citizen in an urban community myself, I was able to gauge whether my interaction flow was easy-to-use.

By thinking about the interaction between the user and a product or service, I think this kind of work is especially important when you are designing for a specific demographic. The experience of interaction design differs from person to person depending on familiarity, age, background, and more. In situations where you are designing for an older demographic, such as an online shop for reading glasses, you would make the font and pictures larger to make everything look clearer. In addition, with interaction design, because the user will navigate through using mostly intuition, it is important to show instead of tell. I think in that this kind of work will make a difference in many applications, such as online food ordering, video/text messaging, and social media sites.

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