Interaction Design: Week 2

creating an app for citizens to help researchers

  1. For this Interaction Design Sprint, we were creating an app based on citizen science which would in turn help out environmental researchers. The first thing we did was brainstorm potential users (the citizen reporters) and activities (the things they could do in order to help the researchers). While some groups did that, others brainstormed things we should consider when building our app, like navigations and motivations. Once we had figured out what topic we wanted to focus on, and who our users and activities were, we designed it using the Prototyping on Paper app. When the app (mine called “Forage Your Lands” and was focused on urban foraging) was completed with the controls to navigate through it, I created a video of how the app would be used. Here is the link to the video of my POP:
Here is an image of us brainstorming the potentials users and activities for an app.
Brainstormed potential users and activities for an Urban Foraging app.

2. After experimenting with this, the questions that it raised was how long the process of creating an app typically took. I felt like even after I had submitted my POP app, I already realized things I should have done differently, so it made me wonder how often that took. When creating my app, one problem I faced was when linking things to other pages, I had to make sure I got the whole box of the link. If I didn’t, when I clicked the corner of it that hadn’t been linked it would not take me to the screen I intended to go to, reminding me that screens are sensitive.

3. What I liked about this project was that it made me envision what the process of creating an app would really be like, something I could potentially see myself being a part of one day. I like the idea that you have to think about what a user would like and need, and you have to think about what would make sense to them. Doing this experiment made me realize creating an app is a constant revise and improve process.

4. Places in our society where these kinds of work could potentially make a difference are in academic places, and professional places. Professional businesses could use these to make a difference within their own company, and really anyone can. When student’s like us are being taught this work and the process, some people may end up pursuing this major and create prototypes of their own in the future, which they would probably show to users in the process of usability testing in order to better their prototype. Another example of where it makes a difference is like with the PhD student Brian Ferris who was the co-creator of the One Bus Away app. That is an app that so many people across our society use and is so very useful, and I can only assume it has made a large difference in the bus system for their users.