In this UCD Charette, we began with brainstorming possible users and writing them on sticky notes. Some users I came up with include an elderly man who is nearsighted, a mom with three young children, and a daily commuter. After we categorized the different users, my group and I decided to focus on creating a safe vehicle that would appeal to a mother. The scenario we created started with a mother backing out of her driveway and prevented backing into another car due to the sensor and alert system we designed. The mother then turns around to take care of her child and is alerted that she is moving into oncoming traffic, allowing her to react, and thus arrive at her destination safely. We drew out both the scenario and our interface on a poster. Our interface included aerial views of the car, rearview, and blindspot views that could be accessed with a dashboard console.
A difficulty my group encountered was thinking of a way to make our designs interactive with the user. We began our design focusing on sensors placed around the car and what would activate those sensors which did not require user interaction. After a fair amount of brainstorming, we came up with a way the user could not only be notified when the car sensed danger, but use a dashboard console to access cameras that can see around the car.
I enjoyed this project as it required problem solving, collaboration, and teamwork. It was interesting putting myself in a specific users shoes and coming up with possible designs to benefit them. It was enjoyable tossing around ideas (some outlandish and some useful) with other people interested in design.
I think this technique of design could be used in many different situations. Anyone who is given the responsibility of designing a user-friendly automobile could use the same process we did. In this scenario the users needs need to be thoroughly evaluated and even span across many different types of users to make a useful and versatile product. The way we brainstormed and placed the sticky notes on the board could be useful for this if we had had more time as we could have found common denominators between the different users and created a more widely usable design. Also, the process of sketching interfaces could be used for anything from designing an app that tells you when your laundry’s ready to a dashboard console in a car as we did in this charette.