Ideate, Ideate, Ideate!

One of the most important aspects of design is ideation. My team and I brainstormed various ideas to make the life of a commuter more simple by evaluating more deeply about their daily life.

I started off with thinking about how many different commuters there are. So many people came to my mind: people with disabilities, Uber/Lyft drivers, elderly, tourists, are just a few that I thought of. I finally nailed it down to one that I was mostly interested in, which was people with disabilities. We went more in depth by narrowing it down to a colorblind user.

Everyone posting the different users they came up with as I am still sitting down thinking of ideas

I went to work and jumped into what I wanted the user interface to have without thinking about the interactions that the colorblind user might have in their daily life. I realized that I needed to learn more about this person and what a typical day of their life may be like and what kind of frustrations they possess. It is important to empathize with the user and I did not want to dismiss anything that makes their life slightly more difficult than a user who is not colorblind.

Sketching the interface

We finally decided to begin sketching our interface for the commuter. We thought of ideas like making the screen voice activated with no buttons, or inputing shapes on the buttons so that the user can feel around and know what button they are pressing. But we finally decided to go with designing the different styles of how traffic is displayed for a colorblind user. Our idea was to answer the question: “How will a colorblind user differentiate between light traffic and heavy traffic if they mix up their green, yellow, and red?” We answered this question by displaying a screen that demonstrates dotted verses a thick line for traffic for the user. We contemplated on whether or not we should use light verses thick lines, or colors that really differentiate for the user but we finally came to a conclusion on what we wanted to see which was the dotted verses thick filled lines.

We finished our sketch, demonstrating light and heavy traffic

The best part of this sprint was the presentation where we displayed our idea in front of the classroom to receive any comments or questions about what we came up with. I was anxious to share our idea, wondering what others might think about it.

The presentation process with my team

The whole process really made me consider things that I would not have come up with if I just went straight to trying to solve the problem instead of considering the little things that make up the solution to a problem. Ideation gets all the ideas out so that you can narrow it down to a few that are treasured. Although sometimes the idea you go with may not be the best one, I would say that I learned more going through this process than to not think about it at all.

— Mandy Truong

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