January 14th, 2016— Sprint 1: Interaction Design

For our first sprint, students were introduced to the concept of interaction design in which we brainstormed and created engaging application prototypes using the “POP — Prototyping on Paper” app. Our POP app was to promote citizen science and focus on animal census in an urban city.

Classmates focus on brainstorming citizen science topics for our POP app

The prototype I created encouraged users to capture pictures of spotted raccoons around the Seattle area. Users are then asked to take a short survey about the raccoon spotting in order to assist scientists in tracking raccoon populations.

My hand-drawn slides for “Raccoon Rack-Up”

As a gift, users are rewarded a free trip to the zoo after reporting a certain number of spotted raccoons.

My Experience:

This was the first time I had ever experienced any form of prototyping. Though I found the POP mobile app very easy to use, I began wondering what the interaction design processes are like in the professional HCDE fields. How do engineers in the professional fields come about with prototyping? Are programs used such as the POP app? Or is it mainly paper and/or material prototyping? I also found it very surprising how so much effort and detail is needed in order to carry out a successful prototype, and makes me wonder how long it takes to build a prototype.

Project Perks:

Though it may have taken a bit longer than expected, I fully enjoyed the process of designing my application and then being able to place all of my ideas together, creating my own finished prototype. I enjoyed asking my peers for feedback after brainstorming concepts for the prototype. Designing my own application prototype aided in sparking a great amount of creativity and further educated me in the design process. I found sketching of the slides to be a really fun part of the process as it allowed me to translate my ideas into physical form.

Importance:

The process of building prototypes regarding interaction design can make a huge difference in several fields of exploration. By building prototypes, designers are able to fully explain their ideas to their design teams as well as receive input from potential users on how to improve the product. Prototypes can also spark ideas and conversations as they may receive beneficial critique on how to better execute the project. For example, with the constant boom of ever evolving phones, it is important for designers to create prototypes in order to test the product. By creating mobile phone prototypes, designers can pinpoint what needs to be improved. These prototypes can highlight and test new features such as the phone’s camera, speakers, battery power, etc. By using prototypes in order to improve design, manufacturers are able to release the most desirable form of the product through interaction design.

Raccoon Rack-Up Mobile App:

Raccoon Rack-Up Video Demo:

~Lynda Nguyen

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