Interaction Design — low-fidelity Prototype
What did we do?
This week, our job is to design an interaction and produce a prototype for an app for the purpose of citizen science, collecting data about a specific kind of animal in a specific environment by specific users. Based on what we did last week, we chose a specific user as an design center and then came up with interactions between our program and the users.
My app is called “Finding Bunnies”, I designed the prototype for elementary school kids who are living nearby park in Seattle to help scientists collect data of bunnies in public or national parks near their homes, as a participant in Citizen Science. I choose photo as my sensor, because it is the fastest, most direct, and most convenient way to record information. The textual information includes the bunny’s fur color, rough size, and a specific location, which can be added by phone automatically as long as the user click the button. Considering the users are kids, these blanks are simple for understand and easy to fill. To be mentioned, kids can name every bunny they pictured, and can check “who” they got and bunnies “portfolio” later on in “My Achievement” page for fun (But I did not add the actual screen and link for the checkable portfolio due to the limit of screens). “My Achievement” page records how many bunnies the user pictured and how many left they need to win a random prize. The biggest prize is a real bunny pet. The random prize here functions as motivation. I have learned in Psychology class that people alway be motivated for longer time if the rewards are randomly given. So, I set the prize to be random to maximize kids’ interests in this activity. Moreover, the additional feature, my wildcard is a small game called “Talking Bunny”. The idea of the game is from the game popular few years ago called “Talking Tom” (Outfit7), but they are slightly different. In “Talking Bunny”, kids can choose it gender, talk to it, feed it, and visit friend’s bunny who are also using this App.
What did I learn on this project?
Brainstorming is really important in the process of interaction design. First of all, we need to come up with as many as users, environments, animals, and scenarios and as specific as possible. In that way, we can possibly produce interactions that users are interested in and willing to interact with. Therefore, brainstorming is the first step of the interaction design.
Then, do it Step by Step. After brainstorming, we might have tons of fantastic ideas, but they are in a mess. We need to write them down, put them into appropriate spot and in logic order. What I did in this process was that I wrote my user, environment, animal down on the top, listed all components(navigate, sensor, motivation…) I need for this prototype, then matched all my ideas into these components. This method helped me organize my ideas and produce the prototype in logic and appropriate way.
Making the prototype was a really interesting process since it combines several techniques and skills like UCD, Interaction Design, and my creativity, imagination, and my logic.
When I was working on this project, I had come up with some other ideas that the project did not required. For example, after the kid (my user) filling out the textual information about the bunny he or she just pictured, the App can provide the kid some information about the bunny, such as its scientific names, its characteristics, and its habitats, by searching in the web data base. In that way, the kid can learn something instead of simply providing information to scientists.
Therefore, if I have opportunities to working on Interaction Design in the future, I will go deeper. Explore more on the users’ interests and needs, and brainstorm more on the possible interactions.
Outfit7, Talking Tom [video game], November 14, 2013