HCDE Sprint #3 Blog

The aim of this sprint was for us to create our first actual working prototype, where unlike last week, we would be taking the ideas on the table further to make a fully functioning app on POP for civilian science about water in the Puget Sound area. With a fairly open-ended project, I went to work trying to make something that both fit the criteria while still being fun to make, and a little out-of-the-box if I could manage it.

The Plan

What really stuck with me during the studio work-time was the issue that the app had to be appealing enough that the user had to come back to it, as the science was no good if it was only recorded once by each person. I focused on this and tried to work backwards, making the app fun and compelling first, then incorporating that into the science aspect of the app.

A few of the note-card ideas I hoped to incorporate into the app

What came to mind immediately was something achievement based; people would come back to it because there was something fun to collect for helping with the data collection. Think of it like a daily fitness tracker, but instead you input something you learned about your local watershed instead of how many miles you walked. From this, the idea to take pictures of local life for a few of the objectives came into play, aiding scientists in working out what sorts of wildlife are in local ecosystems. I also wanted it to be easy to use, as the concept already took some willingness from the user to work for the reward, so I didn’t want the interface to be complex and make the issues worse.

Above is the final design for the main page. The main buttons are big to clarify the importance, and all the smaller buttons have both a picture and a title to clarify what they do.

Issues with Making it

As you can tell from the above picture, there is a finished product, though I’m not really 100% happy about it. As with the last sprint, time was yet again an issue. I really wanted the POP app to have more functionality and show off more of my own ideas, but with how long it took to make each screen, it just wasn’t meant to be. If anything, I probably need to tone down my ambitions, because I currently have a 2/2 record for trying to do too much with the time given (wow, that was too many 2's). While I get that not every button made needs to have a link or screen for it, I would still feel better about it if that were the case. That being said, the thing works, and I’m happy about that much (check it out here: https://popapp.in/w/projects/57fd9fde862a5f5405612fab/mockups ). Next time we do something like this, I seriously need to sit down and work out what all I can get done in a week, because that’s really starting to become a problem. That all being said, making something like this is a blast, and I can definitely see myself doing further work on POP after the class is over, perhaps taking a month or so to fully flesh out an idea.

While I do feel that starting on a civil science idea is kind of odd for the first app that we make (it definitely threw me for a loop at first), it was fun nonetheless. I would also appreciated to have an idea of how big of a project we were expected to make, as that could have helped to deal with my issues of trying to make too much. I can understand that making so many guidelines for this task might be difficult or intimidating for students doing this for the first time, but I feel that some more structure to our first major project would have been greatly appreciated.

Like what you read? Give Kyle Crane a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.