Interaction Design Process
In this sprint, we tried to design and prototype a simple smartphone app to facilitate the contribution of data that could aid researchers investigating in the availability of fruits and vegetables for urban foragers. In this assignment, what I designed is an app for citizens to find whether the mushroom, especially wild mushroom is edible or not (Here is a link of my demo video of running this app https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVlDTq9oWcI). People can simply start searching by entering key words or take a picture of it.
If the mushroom people find is edible, the system will quickly show yes. And users can learn further by click “learn more” and just stop here.
If the mushroom they find is not edible, the system will show NO. And it is always helpful to adding their locations of where they find the toxic mushroom. In this way, researchers can get more information about their researching.
Another function I want to highlight is that on this platform, citizens can interact with scientists directly which means through this app, citizens can ask some questions even participate and contribute to some current researches.
During the designing process, I found it is really difficult to think comprehensively about the functions which users really need. I tried to make the app clear and simple because I think concision is necessary. Nothing is redundant. Another thing I find really important is motivation. At first, I did not really realize this important thing and I showed my first design to my friends. From their feedback, it was useful but lack of inspiration. They told me it was better if I can add some interaction platform. I thought it was a really fantastic idea and I changed it to what it is now. From this experience, I think motivation is a really significant part which decides if users want to use it often.
I really like this project and the way I designed the app. First, the app is very precise: just taking a picture or entering key words, you can know if the mushroom is edible or not. There is no redundant information except “Yes” or “No”. Besides, through this platform, citizens can interact with scientist directly. I believe it is really a good way to learn.
I think showing prototype to users is very important way to get feedback. After I finished my prototype first time, I showed it to my friends and I mentioned this before. From their feedback, my original design lacked of motivation that they may not want to use again. Thus, after gathering more feedback, I improved my app by adding the interaction platform. Doing this way, I can always get good opinions about my design. And their feedbacks were definitely useful. Thus, I think as a human center designer, I should always think from user’s side and ask for their feedbacks. I really like the words in a particle I read today that “products should be adjusted to fit people’s behaviors”.