Fast, Simple, and Creative!

By Zoe Nelson

Sprint#1 UCD Charette

Brain Storm

When it comes to coming up with new ideas, the most important step is brainstorming. Our task for the day was to look at smart interfaces in cars and find ways to make them the most helpful and beneficial for different user groups. Our fist step was to write down a different user group on each post-it note. Writing down ideas on post-it notes allowed us to simply combine the classes ideas and see everything together. The next part of the brainstorm was to take all of the post it notes and put them on the white board.

Post-it Notes Vaguely Organized into Groups

We placed similar ones together, ultimately creating different user groups such as Uber/taxi driver, soccer mom, and teen drivers. The saying that no ideas are bad ideas became evident very quickly. Some of the more out there ideas, get away driver, where the most interesting to think about.


Once all of the post-it notes were up, it was time to brake up into smaller groups. In groups of three, we took one post-it note to look into it and come up with ways that they could benefit from having a smart interface in there vehicle. Instead of coming up with a random solution, we first had to come up with a problem. By doing this, we avoided the situation of creating a random “As Seen on TV” product. After coming up with a problem, we switched groups. By doing this, we get insight from more people which can lead to a better overall product. Once I switched groups, our goal was for a school bus driver. This made us think more because school buses have been the same for as long as I can remember.

Getting Funny

After coming up with a problem, we needed to come up with a solution. For our situation, the problem was not knowing if/when a kid was missing. Fromm there, we came up with a comic strip to help visualize the problem. Although this didn’t initially seem super helpful, it really helped iron out the kinks. This allowed us to be creative with the process and put a more comical twist on it.

Working on a Comic Strip

Find Your Flow

Once the comic strip was complete, it was time to design the actual interface and what we needed to accomplish. Before this could be done, we had to create a flow chart. This helps when it comes to actually designing the physical interface. It also was a crucial process to coming up with everything the app needed. Once that was created, we drew out each display for the page and how the would switch from one to another. For the bus driver situation it was a relatively simple system. While driving, a regular map, similar to everyday GPS’s would be on display. Upon arriving at a stop, it will pull up a list of each kid that is supposed to be there. Then if they’re parent had called in, or logged into the app on their phone, it would show that the kid would be absent, allowing the driver to be worry free. If a kid was unexcused, the driver could tap there profile picture and parent contact information would come up along with an option to call the parent, call an emergency number (911), and update information. All of this would be on bluetooth to keep the driver and the children safe.


After we completed the project, it was time to present our ideas to the group.


Seems like a simple task but there was a catch, the presentation had to be under a minute and everyone had to talk. The first group got cut off before they could finish presenting their findings. Not many of the other groups went over, partially due to the fact that it scared people to be cut off, making everyone simplify their speeches and talk faster. It was fun to see everyones presentations and their solutions. It also made me see how different people think in different ways. Some of the ideas had never crossed my mind but now seem like they could be very beneficial for the intended users.


This process was not completely new to me. I worked on a similar project in high school, however I had forgotten a big part of it. However working with it again made me think of more problems in my life and what solutions I could come up with to solve them. One thing was how applying a smart system into houses could improve the lives of those living in them. I liked taking the overall process slowing and looking at each step as we went. I also liked switching groups and coming into the projects at different points in the process.