HCDE 210 Process blog

In this project my team and I sought looked at the design of a car interface. These interfaces often pair with phones to allow people hands free calling or provide GPS services. However, these heads up displays are often not intuitive to use. We went through a very short design process to come up with some ideas to add features for different user groups. First, we separately started brainstorming all the different types of users that we could possibly design for. Then we came together as a group and started to cluster our specific users into different groups. Examples of these groups were: new driver, senior drivers, busy people, recreational drivers, people who drive for a living, and more.

An example of a user group created from brainstorming types of users

The second step that was to narrow down the user that we are going to design for. In my case, this user was a pet owner. After we were assigned the specific user group we started thinking about what this user would want. My group and I came up with the ideas that people would want some way to locate pet-friendly businesses, pet friendly parks, and pet services. After doing this we thought of situations where pet owners would be in their car wanting to use their car’s interface to help them. The scenario that we decided on was that a pet owner on a long trip does not know a good place to let their restless dog out. The solution to this scenario was to design an app for car’s interface that allowed the user to find the nearest dog-friendly park. In addition, the thought of losing your dog in a place you are not familiar with is scary so we built in a feature that allows for people to track their dog using the car’s gps in the case that the dog gets lost.

The Process:

Though I trust in the design process and the quick nature of brainstorming ideas, I believe a making a great interface that is fun and easy to use takes a lot more time. I believe setting certain time limits for brainstorming could allow someone to be more creative, however, I believe thinking through the UX and the actual design of the interface requires more time and thought. There are many factors to think about and an interface isn’t designed for a very specific user such as pet owners, these interfaces need to be designed for usability across ages, gender, and specific user groups. An elegant and well thought out design will appease these user groups. Given this, I believe that this type of design process can help create products and technologies that are simple, easy to use, fun to use, and useful for everyone. I really like how this process is collaborative. I believe that bouncing ideas of one another can really help create a great user experience. A challenge I foresee coming up is miscommunication of idea so I see that it is imperative to listen to one another and make sure everyone is on the same page before continuing with the design process.

Now What?

There is so much to be learned about the design process. I’m sure there are many ways to come up with the same idea. Whether those are very rigid structured systems or they’re very free flowing creative one’s good ideas are good ideas. I believe that this design process should be applied to every single product created. In a world that demands usability this design process is so important. The smallest design flaws can cause a lot of frustration to the user. One product I would love to look at in the design process is the gaming console. It appears with the addition of features to the console the design has not really been reconsidered. I’d love to go through the design process to figure out if there is a better way to design a UI for the XBOX or PlayStation.

These are the very quick sketches of the UI design of our app for the car interface
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