This module was extremely focused on something that is quite pivotal when creating products in the 21st century: User Centered Design. Over the course of the semester, in a group we explored various design and research techniques to design, prototype, test and re-design a mobile application and wearable device for cycling tourists in Urban spaces.

Assignment 1 – Understanding the design space.

Our first assignment was to identify our design space and generate a detailed report highlighting who we were designing for, and what space they would be using it in. We identified that our user group would be Tourist’s in urban spaces that enjoy exploring by cycling. We explored some of the options available for cycling tourists at the moment and some of the tools they use for navigation of a new environment. We conducted our research using three Ideo Methods,

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Long-Range Forecasts
  • Cross Cultural Comparisons.
Coca Cola Zero Bikes
The Coca-Cola rental bikes were a tool we researched that tourists can use for navigating an unfamiliar city.

For the full report, click here.

Assignment 2 – Interviews

Our second assignment was again research however it was more hands on as we conducted interviews with people who we felt were part of our user group, however the closest we could find to our user group was Erasmus students on campus. We designed questions relating to use cases and an ethics form which each participant signed allowing us to film our interviews. From reviewing the video’s we were able to create a list of design requirements and social requirements for our App.

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Screenshot from one of our interviews.

The Full Report (with links to the interviews) can be seen here.

Assignment 3 – Paper Prototype

Assignment three involved implementing our research and creating the early stages of our prototype on paper. paper is the best way to create the first prototype because you can quickly create an interface and make necessary changes immediately without hassle. Again, we had a generate a report which included scans of our paper prototype, displaying how our app would handle three tasks, an easy task, a mid range task and a hard task.

The Full report can be seen here.

Assignment 4 – User Testing

Assignment 4 was quite informative and useful as we gained experience in User Testing and the overall process of testing our designs for refinement. Again, we recruited more potential users, similar to our interviews and we got them to test out our paper prototype by completing certain tasks assigned to them.

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One of our users testing our paper prototype.

The full report can be seen here.

The Final Design

Surge-Logo-1

Our app ‘Surge’ was designed around a tourist who wants to explore the golden gems of a city or wants to explore a city based on whats happening currently. Our app in theory would allow a user to explore an area based on hashtags they can input. This displays a series of Instagram posts which are related to the tag that were taken from the area around them, The user might see a post they like and then they can set this post as their destination and be directed to the location using our wearable.

 

Along with this, the user can see a map with ‘surges’ on it, in other words, a collection of posts form an event which would be happening live in their area. The user can select a surge, see posts from it and if they would like to visit this ‘surge’, they can set it as their destination and be navigated by out wearable device.

Our wearable sleeves prototype.

 

Our wearable device was prototyped using BLE Pads, LED strips and Vibration motors and was run via Arduino. The code for the functions was created using Android Studio. Our device consisted of two sleeved of LED strips and a vibration motor in the cuff. To navigate a user, the device would vibrate to alert the user about a change of direction. To turn left, the left arm would flash yellow, to turn right, the right arm would flash yellow, to go straight ahead, both arms would flash yellow. If a wrong turn was taken, the cuffs vibrate continuously and both arms flash red to alert the user to turn around. When the user arrives at their destination, both arms flash green.

Overall I found this module quite interesting and enjoyable considering how hands on it was with prototyping and I am quite pleased with how our product turned out…

Thanks for reading,

Darragh

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