UCD Charrette

Like a charrette should be, our team’s charrette yesterday was very intense, fast-paced and filled with various ideas.

We were to build a smart car interface with ‘a single, young and rich woman who lives alone’ in mind as our target audience.

The Process
(Working as a team may be hard but it is the best way to a an all rounded brilliant idea)

We began by coming up with various activities our audience would partake in. We came up with things like: going to work, going to the supermarket, the mall, going for spa treatments, going to bars and clubs, going for golf, calling her parents/family/friends often as she lives alone, etc. 
We eventually chose navigation, voice control and phone as our primary user needs. And therefore we decided to build an interface along those lines.
Since it is a car interface, we decided to have navigation at the center with calling, voice control and notes on the sides as icons. We also were confused between having a touch-screen interface or one with buttons but due to the immense flexibility touch-screens allow (in terms of usage of the screen in various ways) we decided to go with them. 
To demonstrate/present this idea to the company, we came up with a bunch of scenarios, eventually choosing the one that we presented to you yesterday; the young, rich woman at the supermarket. So our woman, let’s call her Jane, is coming back from work and is craving some of her mother’s spaghetti. She uses the voice control facility to call her mother up and find out the ingredient she’d need to make it. Using the same facility, she first adds those to her shopping list and then asks the navigation facility to direct her to nearest supermarket. We chose it because this scenario helped us demonstrate all our ideas for the interface.
 I hope her mom’s spaghetti recipe was as liked by her as our scenario was by you yesterday.

(Know Your Audience!)

This entire project was a great way for me to understand the concept of ‘target audiences’. A lot of times we make things or design things based on our needs but what is wrong with that is our needs may not be the user’s needs. The design we create has to be holistic, it has to encapsulate the solutions of all the various needs your diverse target audience might have.

What’s Next?

As I said, this experience has greatly impacted my understanding of ‘designing for the user’ and also how important team work and taking into account various opinions of your teammates is. So whenever next I am asked to design something, I will definitely incorporate these two things in my work.

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