Appreciation for Application

Interaction design, the first step to mastering the art of Human Centered Design, is a integral part to the process of learning and harnessing the power of media and general public to one’s advantage. This last week’s creation process and sprint encompassed working on creating an app related to the contributing data that could aid researchers on environmental issues.

The Sprint

The sprint started off just as any other sprint, with some brainstorming. The class brainstormed for ideas related to environmental science that could be made into an app. Originally, my group planned for an app that could identify different plantation in natural areas of hikes and such. This idea was quickly abandoned as it was a common theme within the sprint brainstorming process. Later on, we landed upon an idea that would appeal to an overall audience and invite new users, a gardening app game. With the motivation that comes from a competitive game, a gardening and game combination sounded like a great way to involve users. Hence came the idea for Gardenrama, an app for all users that would help them grow their own backyard garden.

The App

The idea was a simple tracking app that would make it easier for the user to keep track of the plants they are growing in their garden. Using the camera app on the phone and a live database working with the app, the user would be able to feed information to real life botanists that would relay details back about the plant and any other questions the user has about growing a proper garden. The image to the left shows the opening screen of the app. A video is available on the details of this app through this link:

After showing this prototype to a few potential users, it raised many questions about user intractability that goes into making an app. The app seemed too simple and as if it was missing something. Though it was just a prototype, it showed how much goes into creating apps that help users as well as aids new ongoing research on different topics. Problems seemed to arise in this topic while adding different features to the app to make user intractability easier such as geo-tags and sensory data. An app requires much more time and structure before it is allowed into the public. The design I made was just one of the originals plans out of the hundreds that could be made going into an app.

The Outcome

This was a unique and creatively intense project with a very enjoyable process. I believe it helped further raise questions and interest into the field of Human Centered Design. It also brought into play the engineering aspect of the class as it asked us to create a design for a working app. The process of using the POP app to illustrate work for an app after sketching the design on paper was truly unique and gave a glimpse into the designing world. The video aspect also gave way into the design and commercial bit of creating an application. Altogether, this project led to appreciation of the design beauty and skill that goes into creating a working application.