UCD Charrette Process Blog


My group was assigned with people on road trips as our prime user group. We first brain stormed a list of needs and possible activities that driver on a road trip will need and be doing (shown below). We decided to use the scenario of when the user needs to find a gas station to refill his or her gas as the program we want to solve with our interface. The reason is that users tend to drive a large amount of time during road trips, therefore one of the top needs would be finding nearby gas station to keep the car going. Our little “comics” below shows how our design will be helping the users with their need of finding a close-by gas station.

Sketch that shows how our design will satisfy the user’s needs

Our design solution is to attach a sensor to the fuel tank, and creates an alert on the smart screen that will ring once the fuel is below certain percentage. We believe this design is better than the map feature on the user’s phone because of two reasons: 1. often time users would use their phone for navigation to their destination, and it is inconvenient to search for gas stations then change the destination; 2. The warning makes sure the users are aware of their fuel situation without having to constantly pay attention to the gas mileage. The user then will be given two choice after the warning screen: 1. find the nearest gas station, and 2. keep driving and remind me later. By choosing the first option, user can select two different setting in finding gas stations, the cheapest and the closest. Each option would lead to a map screen and after the user selects leads to a map screen that navigates the user to the selected gas station. The cheapest gas option give those who are on a budget a chance to enjoy their road trips longer.

Interface design


“What did you like about the technique/process you used this week, and why?”

I enjoyed sketching the solution and scenario out on a paper. I find it helpful to visually picturing the actual design interface and why it will serve its purpose. By drawing the group ideas out, I realized the details and flaws of our design otherwise I would ignore. Furthermore, it is satisfying to look at the word we did.


I can see myself applying this technique often in the initial establishment of an idea/solution in the future. By using this technique, it is easy for others and myself to understand my design then give feedbacks so I can improve on it or just realize it is a bad idea. For example, after brain storming multiple ideas, I can just doodle some designs that comes to mind then later integrate them together. With the physical copy of it, I will be able to look at the design closely.

Since it is only a rough sketch, it is not appropriate for designs in its final stage. Imagine how disappointed when a clients sees the sketch at the final presentation. The final work should be elaborate and visually pleasing.

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