UCD Charrette: HCDE 210

In this week’s sprint, we designed interfaces for a variety of (sometimes odd) vehicles and drivers. I first worked on creating a scenario in which Obama in his limo would use an interface. Then, changing tables and subjects, I designed an interface for a cat lady in her SUV filled with her precious kittens. For the specific objective of feeding her cats and avoiding boredom while driving, my group designed an interface that would allow the driver to indicate the specificities of automative feeding (such as the type of cat food, the amount, and the time dispensed), cleaning the bowls, and connecting with other cat ladies currently en route to talk about their cats together.

As a group, our largest problem was working around the small amount of time we had to complete the sketches of the interface. We were so full of ideas that we didn’t really have enough time to fully develop the wireframe sketches and add all of the features that we really felt would be useful to the client.

What I liked the most about the project was the spontaneity of the switches between subjects and tables which really made you think quicker and made the energy in the room feel very charged which I really enjoy. Furthermore, using such funny and creative car and driver combinations also forced us to think more out of the box and made our discussions and deliberation funnier and more goofy as sort of an ice breaker for the first studio.

Even though a lot of the subjects and their vehicles seemed to be very out-of-the-box, odd, and sometimes just completely impractical, it is important to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes: to be able to design for someone’s problems that aren’t your own. This project really emphasized the practice of recognizing the needs of others which is very useful both in several faucets of human-centered design and in life in general. Specifically in human-centered design, however, possessing this skill really helps you create both a compelling and useful product whether it is physical or electronic. Designing for the client rather than for the designer is a cardinal rule in any sort of business- knowing what the client needs and being open to change your product in order to amend to these needs will drive business and also increase the overall appeal of your product.