Interaction Design Sprint
Our studio on Friday 4/7/17 was a charette focused on Interaction Design. We were assigned with the task of creating an app that Citizen Science could use to collect data on animals. It would be a product that citizens would be interested in using, and as a result give scientists as much data as possible. We started by brainstorming types of animals that Citizen Science may want more data on, such as pests, wildlife, and even household pets. We then proceeded to brainstorm the different types of users who would be using the product. After looking at everyone’s ideas on Post-Its on the whiteboard, we chose a combination of animals and users to develop an app design for that could solve their issues and/or concerns. I wanted to create an app that citizens would want to use to track animal and plant sightings in places where they go on safari, such as the savannas and parks of Africa and Australia. Citizen Science would be able to track the frequency of used tags and keywords (such as certain types of animals) to follow the trend of increasing or decreasing numbers of a species, and spot dwindling numbers before wildlife animals become endangered. In addition to keywords, scientists can also track data by viewing the photos posted by users, which are connected to the location where they were taken. I also wanted to make the app more interactive among users logging the data by making it more like a social media or blogging platform.
I chose the topic of an app based on data logged during safari because it would be interesting for both people who go on safari and park rangers and scientists. People of both categories would be interested in the data input by a large amount of observers. However, as I thought more about the back-end and system of the app, there would have to be a decently large amount of users in order for scientists to draw theories of dwindling species numbers in an area from the app alone. In addition, I had questions about how to integrate a search function for animals and plants that users could use even when offline. Users may not recognize an animal they see on safari (when they do not have phone service) and want to try and find it in the built-in encyclopedia, but the app would use too much phone memory storage if there was an entire encyclopedia that could be used offline. Another concern was that I have never been on safari myself, and did not know what the users would want for features in the app other than be able to take offline notes with photos attached to refine later at the end of their trip. I did some research on locations people generally go to for safaris, but would have liked know more about the experience, such as if they would have a park/tour guide and brochure.
I thought this sprint was good practice for using the UCD charette process to quickly and efficiently develop an app idea and design for a company that is giving a prompt. In this case the prompt was to create an app that solves an issue by creating a way for a certain group of users to give Citizen Science data on animals, and also have an enjoyable platform to look at their own and others’ data and logs. Next time, it would be better to do more user research as well as think further into back-end development and systems so that people can use as much of the app’s features offline as possible while on safari without phone service. With more time and research, the app developer can become more knowledgeable for who and what I am creating the product for. It would be ideal when creating a real app to go through the user’s experience personally (if I had the option of going on safari) to best tailor the app to the user’s needs and convenience.
See How the App Works Here: