UCD Charrette: First Day in the Studio

An exploration of user-centered design process

What do designers do when they are working? How do they work? I would have no idea if these questions were asked a week ago. Luckily, after explored a session of UCD Charrette to design a car’s smart interface, I learned, discovered and got my own point of view.

Think! As users.

Different kinds of people have different kind of needs. My group’s design was targeted on parents who just got a baby in their lives without preparation.

Since our users may be frustrated about how to take care of the baby appropriately, isn’t it a great idea, to have their car’s smart interface look after their baby for them?

Work! As designers!

We tried to imagine what will happen when the dad himself driving the car for a long time with his baby daughter next to him. We want to keep the dad focus on driving, so the interface is mostly automatic input by the sensor monitoring the baby, whether playing cartoon to make her laugh or Mozart to help sleep. But if the dad disagree with the interface’s solution, he can make his as well through audio input.

Reflect! As thinkers.

First thing I learned is time is always important and I should have a plan about how to use it instead of just start and see where I can get. Since no matter how perfect my idea is in your imagination, I have to show my physical work to others and that’s the only thing they can see about my design.

Next is teamwork. I really enjoyed working with my group. Sharing ideas together really made the whole process more interesting and developmental. So, I would like to gain more experience on working with people.

My best time of this project is the brainstorm time, thinking as others, finding out their needs, and coming up with solutions. Everybody was thinking and creating, so many amazing thoughts and ideas keep popping out and keep surprising me. Came up with new points myself was also exciting, and new points were just automatically jump out under that situation.

Trying to put myself on the user’s spot itself was a fascinating experience, too. It’s like living as somebody else for a really short time, imagine what’s going to happen during my day and how to fix it.

Apply! In the future.

Last quarter I always saw people standing outside the dorm and when others opened the door everybody went inside. If I need to search for my purse all over my schoolbag and then open it to find my husky card to swipe and open the door maybe I could just wait till someone else to open that door. After change the sensor, this “scenery” has already gone cause we can open the door with the card inside the schoolbag.

I think this is what UCD is for, making life simpler and better. For things associate with our everyday life, UCD is especially useful and helpful. Like to help people using their smartphone in different condition, there are waterproof phone bag for underwater situation, bath desk for bubble bath, and hanger for lying.

But with things far away from life, like in the scientific world, it may not be the best solution of problems.

With designers keep working, we can tell that our life experience is getting better and better.


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