Interaction Design Process — HCDE 210

Demo video for the interaction design app prototype

Overview

As smart devices like smartphones become more common, technologies such as applications (Apps) provide a great platform. In studio this week, we were given the task of designing a smartphone application in support of the citizen science project focusing on plant health. Using the brainstorm ideas from studio, I decided to design an app screen targeting environmental health major college students attending a public 4-year institution in Washington state. I sketched out all the screens for the app on index cards. Using the Popapp technology, I created a prototype of the app. I showed the prototype to my mom, who helped me find some of the problems in the design, which I will mention next.

The brainstorming process in studio

Usability Testing

It is while testing (both self-testing and other user testing), that I realized some of the multiple choices I provide on the screen might not be sufficient enough to cover the users. In the future, I should probably think about adding an additional column of choice (such as “others”) to cover the needs of a variety of circumstances. In addition, I also had the dilemma of whether the transition to the next screen should be activated when the user click on a choice or be controlled manually by the user clicking a “next” button. I chose the first one. But in the future, I would probably select the latter one to compensate when the user accidentally click on a wrong choice.

Reflection

Sketches used in the making of prototype

This project is very fun while creating and very rewarding when testing a prototype using Popapp. It is very interesting to see the process an app designer goes through and to see how the design choices of an app can impact its usability. In addition, this project is closely related to our everyday lives because most people nowadays uses a smartphone along with many applications. It is important for us to not only know how to use an application, but also to think about all the background and choices associated with its development backstage.

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