UCD Charrette Process

The first part of my UCD Charrette experience in studio was brainstorming with classmates. We thought of various vehicles and their potential users, then began to sort our ideas into categories. The brainstorming was fast-paced and fun, no idea was too far-fetched. The second part of my UCD Charrette experience was designing an interface for a specific user and vehicle. My team designed for Carl Fredricksen, the old man from the Pixar movie “Up”, and his personal hot-air balloon. His goal was to use his hot-air balloon to reach Paradise Falls, the mythical paradise located above the clouds. We created a circular screen interface for Carl that provided critical GPS and weather information. All in effort to enable him to reach Paradise Falls safely and efficiently.

Carl Fredricksen (http://pixar.wikia.com/wiki/Carl_Fredricksen)

Time was a big issue in our design process. We all had different ideas of what the final design should look like, but we did not have enough time for discussion and comparison. Under time constraint, we had to compromise quickly and put pen to paper. Given more time, I’d like to spend more time building off each other’s ideas.

I enjoyed the creativity of this Charrette process. Coming up with various users, vehicles, and scenarios was amusing. Then we started from ground zero and were tasked with creating a design. This “green-room” phase is always fun, where nothing is set and stone and the creative possibilities are endless.

The Charrette design process seems like it would be effective at getting small tasks done quickly. I can imagine a large project in which teams work though small pieces of the project using the Charrette process. These little pieces would build upon one another quite quickly. I also think the Charrette process works well for brainstorming. When tasked with coming up with ideas for a project, it sometimes works to rapidly spit out all ideas that come to mind. In this way, the time constraints of the Charrette process seem beneficial. However, later on in the process when it comes time to build, I feel like more time gives better results.

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