One of the features I axed was having a way to connect with other travelers to exchange money to help avoid ATM fees. My testers were not enthused about this capability and said they would not likely take the time to take advantage of such a feature. By the end of testing I was confident with the cohesiveness of my idea going into Sketch and using Marvel to do my digital mock ups, but I still struggled with the finality of pixels. Having the option to do an individual project was helpful to force improvement in this skill area.
One of the most significant challenges in the process was overcoming not being able to program an app that would link to my phone’s actual camera to take the pictures of the money and purchased item. Luckily we went over behavioral prototyping so I was able to get creative with the help of Gabby and Justin. To simulate the camera I turned a screen recording of a me taking a picture and used Photoshop to turn it into a GIF. This trick made it so when testers were positioned in the right way (over the items) it looked like the phone’s actual camera came up. Not being a developer, it was very informative to have projects every week where we had to get resourceful with prototyping tools.
Overall I’m happy I got the chance to try and design another app and definitely want to continue improving my ability to translate my concepts into the digital spaces users are familiar with and have high expectations of. Having the chance to explain the idea at the final showcase was very rewarding and I received more positive feedback this was something people could see themselves using during their travels. With additional time I would like to build out viewing options for all the categories to allow for more self exploration during user testing.
Dinero is a shopping discovery app designed to help travelers understand their local purchasing power.
The final set of user tasks the prototype was used to evaluate included:
Upload your current spending money using the camera feature.
View a pair of earrings under the shopping category and “favorite” them.
Upload a purchased pair of earrings to share with the Dinero community.
I chose these tasks because I wanted to get opinions on the navigability of the app and whether the camera feature would in fact be valuable. At first most testers didn’t see the point of the camera options (especially for the money entry), but after seeing the GIF photo simulation within the app they thought it was a fun feature. I got several questions about the feasibility of this Wizard-of-Oz feature, but I would like to think with the growing ease of uploading pictures of checks for banking deposits, the idea isn’t too farfetched.
This project was a great opportunity to walk through multiple iterations of an app design. In general I mostly enjoy the initial brainstorming process and relying on paper to work out the concepts of the idea. I truly have been amazed throughout the quarter how much better I can communicate design ideas by putting pencil to paper (even with my less than enviable sketching skills). By doing several tests on paper I weeded out features I had initially been excited about (true to the theme of “we are not the users”).
You can then go your separate ways and use the person finder to ask them to wait for you or have them come find you. This features allows for greater peace of mind when traveling in groups. The navigation feature to find your buddy or a piece of art uses vibrations to help guide you.
My usability test participants thought the syncing feature and photo hotspot ideas were the most intriguing. They felt it was important to be able to read info about the various pieces of work, but assumed that would be a given with any education influenced app. With more time I feel the design would be enhanced by simulating reading content and exploring art categorization to find the best way to allow people to quickly navigate to areas of interest or a specific piece.
I began this project interested in creating an app related to tourism. In particular, I was excited to utilize the hands free nature of the smartwatch to encourage travelers to be more in the moment instead of obsessively clutching phones in an effort to document their experiences.
One chief complaint I’ve experienced and witnessed at museums is the distress of coordinating with travel companions. Whether it’s a field trip or two friends with different interests, keeping tabs on people is tricky business. With this design, after registering for the watch, you can tap it your buddy’s watch and confirm you are touring with them.
My favorite model I prototyped was the Pedal and Blend. For this prototype I build a cardboard pedal with a pipe cleaner spring to simulate how to adjust speed using this t-shaped blender. The driving idea behind this blender was to make it easier to adjust speed while blending by allowing you hands to stabilize the device and your foot to control the speed. The pedal and blender would be synced wirelessly so after you turn on the blending device the “ready” light should appear on the pedal in addition to the display on the blender.
When we were tasked with redesigning hand immersion blenders for users with mobility impairments, I pursued three primary designs that minimized the effort imposed on a user after research the traditional specifications of immersion blenders.
Overall I observed the control interfaces were simple enough to allow the tester to begin blending right away. Only with the Pedal and Blend was there any hesitation about speed adjustment. I admit I was the most excited about the Blender Box concept, but this design was seen as the most un-OXO like by my tester. The feedback I received would made me curious to explore more rounded corners, an overall grippy surface for the box, and some type of embedded/flippable stand to use when pouring contents from the box. I am very thankful for the excellent think alouds my tester did throughout using the three designs.
For the video prototype challenge I wanted to convey how easy Car2Go is and why not having a car is no longer an imposition living in an urban area like Seattle.
Having a clear vision for the video laid out beforehand was the greatest asset to filming. While time constraints led me to cutting one or two initial scenes, I feel I was able to largely stick to my finalized storyboard. Editing took longer than shooting, because of how easy it is to get wrapped up in the very nitpicky details. I struggled the most with transitions in the iMovie library, I felt I couldn’t get as seamless transitions as I would have liked. Other than transitions though, for the effects of this video, I felt iMovie addressed my needs in audio and speed well.
I have never relied so much on music to set the tone of a video, since I typically enjoy the greater control narration and dialogue lend to explicitly letting the viewer know your intentions. It was fun to use one of my favorite pieces of music to add some drama to the video and while all of the people I sampled my video on thought it was funny, I can definitely see how some may think the choice on the campy side. Overall the opportunity to make a video prototype was rewarding in the sense that it is one of the best ways to help viewers imagine how your product could function in the world (as opposed to being constrained in a lab setting).