Charrette #1 — Designing for Specific Groups

Hello! I had an excellent time at our first Studio session, designing car interfaces.

Lets just jump right into it! Before this week, I never knew what a creative sprint was, nor heard of the term ‘charrette’. You learn something new everyday!

For this charrette, we got into groups and discussed car console interfaces and brainstormed different kinds of people that would drive a car. My group came up with everything from ‘new driver’ to ‘deaf driver’ to ‘driver with kids’. We noticed many other groups also came up with similar kinds of drivers. I thought this was interesting, and attributed it to the time crunch we were under. I knew I could think of more unique answers if I had all day to do it.

Brainstorming different features!

Next, we were given a sticky note reading “Deaf People”. We were instructed to brainstorm different features that would benefit this driver, and pick one to demonstrate in a situation where they would use it. We drew pictures to illustrate the idea of a deaf driver getting a holographic notification near the windshield and a physical notification (vibration of the steering wheel), when there is a honking car behind them. This would also be used for sirens or any other alerting noise.

After a certain amount of time, the room rotated one person in each group. I was then paired up with Eden and we worked on an interface for drivers who had animals! If the diver had a dog, we depicted features such as a water, toy and treat dispenser at a click of a button.

I need to work on my presenting skills, I look a bit awkward here!

At the end of the charrette, each group presented their illustrations. I am looking forward to more presentations to work on my public speaking skills!

This first charrette was very beneficial. It was my first one and I had a great experience! I had to work on my toes and collaborate with new people. Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate group work because I am very cautious of what I say and do, in order to make a good first impression. Along with this, my ideas may sometimes get pushed under the rug or I may not even speak up at times because I feel it is not my place. These thoughts have potential to hinder my creative process and hopefully with more practice, I am able to be confident in how I am expressing myself.

I thought it was great to start out with car consoles, because most people have at least a little experience with them and what they can do. brainstorming under a time limit was a bit stressful, however I can see how it is beneficial in that our brains think of the most general of things. In this case, broad demographics. Each team came up with similar answers which goes to show some of the most common kind of people driving a car!

Particular challenges were associated with very unique kinds of people, such as Indiana Jones. This made me realize the importance in researching the people whom you may design for. If you don’t know who Indiana Jones is, how could you know what he may need while driving?

This Studio session opened my eyes to many opportunities in working with others. There is always something to bring to the table and a major like HCDE requires insight from as many different people you can, in order to design a successful product.

I am looking forward to the next Studio session and hope to meet more people and collaborate over new challenges! This time I will be mentally prepared to work with others and will not stop to think if I am good enough/keeping up with everyone else.

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