Sprint 0: UCD Charette

Working in groups to consider the different types of users that may use a car

Last week, I was part of an interesting charrette exploring user centered design. After brainstorming different users that may use a car, we were then tasked with considering the needs of a specific end user in order to devise a system to benefit this user when they use a car in their everyday life.

My group was tasked with coming up with a solution to help “a person who gets distracted easily”. Though I found this strange at first, me and my group quickly begun to think of what issues might be important for people who fit under this category.

Drawing a storyboard for a possible scenario involving the end user

To help us visualize the situation, we started by drawing a storyboard involving “a person who gets distracted easily”, giving a possible scenario that would involve the end user before giving a solution that would solve this issue.

Amusingly enough, the scenario me and my group came up with was that a person (who we named “Luke”) was driving down a highway, when all of a sudden a monkey appears on the side of the road. Being the “easily distracted” person he is, Luke decides to take a picture of the monkey to send it to his friend. However, this is not ideal for the user because evidently, it would be unsafe to stop and take a picture.

To solve this issue, we designed a system where the user is able to use voice commands to tell the car to take a picture using the car’s built in camera. The screen next to the steering wheel, which would usually be used for the driver’s GPS system, would then change to show the picture taken. Voice commands could then be used to save or discard the picture, and another built in voice command would allow the user to send the picture to a friend. In this way, the driver is able to avoid danger that may be caused by stopping to manually take a picture, and be able to send the picture without his hands leaving the steering wheel.

Presenting our scenario and our solution

Overall, this was quite an enjoyable experience. The major challenge for me for this assignment was the limited amount of time, as we were being pushed to advance to the next phase of the design process quite rapidly, and as a group we were often rushing to get things done at the last minute.

I think in the future, besides working more rapidly, I would also like to try to tackle a more challenging problem aimed at a different target audience. I found the specified end user of “easily distracted person” did not really give me the information I needed to come up with a great design solution, so I would like to try this again in the future.

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