sprint 01 // interaction design

In this sprint the objective was to prototype a mobile application that could be used to evaluate the water quality of nearby bodies of water in the Puget Sound area.

Brainstorming initial ideas for our mobile app prototypes.

Before I could begin designing my prototype, I had to decide which user would benefit the most from my app. The first user to come to mind were fishers, who are affected daily by water quality while fishing. I then began writing down types of data that would be most relevant, such color and temperature of the water and number of fish seen.

Using tons of sticky notes to sketch down app screens.

While sketching my app design, I ensured that users were also allowed to share their personal observations and own geotagged photos, enhancing the depth and quality of the data shared with others. When I finished, I ended up with a low-fidelity prototype made with POP and a 30 second video detailing the most important features of my app.

One of the major problems I encountered while doing this project was keeping the video of my prototype under 30 seconds. Initially I thought I had described only the most important details of my app, but by the first time I tried recording my video, I realized I was almost 30 seconds over the time limit. It was difficult getting my video under 30 seconds without talking too fast, but from this experience I learned how to really distinguish what the important details are. In the future I now know how to avoid spending unnecessary time continuously trimming down my video script.

What I liked the most about this project was focusing on designing a low-fidelity prototype instead of a prototype of a higher fidelity. By having this type of focus, I found it easier to brainstorm more ideas without really worrying about how they would look like designed in the end of the process. By focusing less on the perfection of the design itself, I was able to spend more time elaborating on how a user would interact and use specific features of my app instead. I also spent more time expanding features of my app and finding better ways to motivate my user to volunteer their time to share their experiences with others, time I previously would have spent on creating a higher-fidelity app.

A place in society where interaction design and prototype building could make a difference and be important would be in the medical field where it is crucial that accuracy and efficiency is met in order to give quality medical attention to those who need it. For example, a patient could have a hard time understanding the instructions for their prescribed treatment plan, such as when and how to take their medicine or how to properly change the bandages on a wound. A lack of understanding will unintentionally cause patients to inflict damage on themselves, prolonging the healing process. Using prototypes and gathering intended user audiences to test these prototypes can help collect data on how easy it is to understand instructions and how easy it is for an average citizen to carry out medical related tasks without a doctor’s constant assistance. By gathering these types of insights, a prototype can be perfected to meet the needs of every patient in a way that anyone can use it without much trouble.

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