Interaction Design App Prototype

Brainstorming Ideas for App Uses

The Design

During our most recent studio session, my classmates and I delved into interaction design by exploring an app’s use with the practice of citizen science. I learned how citizen science is used by researchers to more effectively gather popular data with the help of citizens submitting information to them. My classmates and I were given four practical scenarios involving the use of citizen science, then brainstormed possible uses and data collection actions for the app users. I decided to create an app prototype that would allow average citizens living in urban areas to input information on noise disturbances that they hear in their proximity.

Mapping Out My App Prototype on Paper

After brainstorming my app uses and relevant features, I compiled the various screens to form them into a a full app prototype using POP. Below is the link to my app prototype and a video with a demo use.

My Takeaways

This prototyping experience brought up some interesting points that I am hoping to explore more in the coming months. While I was designing, I found myself basing a lot of my app features and buttons on previous app examples I have seen or personally used. I concluded that every app requires a set basis of functions to ensure an effective and efficient user experience, but a personal concern that came to mind was room for creative freedom. A question I plan on exploring in the future is where the line is drawn between basic, familiar functionality and fresh, creative features.

During the process of designing my app prototype, I came across the concept of a “back” button. The “back” button, seemingly small but extremely important to the functionality of an app, provides a tricky feat to accomplish in terms of keeping your layout minimalist with this crucial feature on every screen of your app. I also experienced some turbulence in utilizing the “back” button from my “Settings” page because ideally, you should be able to return to whichever page you were previously on from the “Settings” page. Given the rough prototype nature of my project, I was only able to direct the “back” button to one of the previous screens. In the future, I now know how crucial it is to spend ample time on mastering the functionality of the “back” button.

I appreciate how this project allowed for creative freedom in designing an app that was capable of incorporating features directly translated from my own ideas. This project provided me with an idea of what interaction design looks like and with experience in user and interaction design at this point, I am able to compare and contrast the two disciplines of human centered design.

The examples of citizen science provided me with a notable look at a more scientifically-motivated area of app motivation. From collecting data on noise pollution for scientists to study the relationship between noise and productivity, to collecting data on animal sightings to measure endangered animal rates, interaction design and building apps can be utilized in various productive ways to positively impact our society.

With an interest in the tech industry as well as humanitarianism, it would definitely be beneficial to further explore citizen science and other related areas involving technology and design. I am hoping to do just that in the coming weeks and months through more human centered design projects.

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