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This is the website for Team Fresh City, part of the HFID class in Fall 2009.

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01 Dec - 31 Dec 2009

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« User Script | Home | Design Devlopment: Us… »

Design Development: Design Process

19 10 09 - 08:48

Following user interviews, goals for the design development process were to:

  1. Identify a space which addresses needs and values, which we can design for
  2. Synthesize user research in order to ideate prototype concepts. 

Key lessons learned:

  1. Paper collaboration and writing space is expansive. We chose to focus on the revision, commenting, and editing space.
  2. User script was a key step in our development process, and it served many purposes
  3. Using our inspirational ideas and user script, we have decided to move forward with Tradmin, due to its functionality and value.

Many design steps were taken after learning about our user group in order to create a paper prototype.  This portion of the design process can be broken into five main steps: narrowing focus, creating a user script, initial ideation, sketching storyboards, and choosing one concept.

Before entering the ideation process, we realized that this space of “academic paper collaboration” was still too large to design for; we needed to narrow our design focus.  By breaking the process down into smaller compartments, we were able to decide which parts of the process had the greatest need and value. 

[Paper Collaboration Breakdown.  This poster details the process of writing an academic paper, and highlights areas of interest and value.]

We needed to find interactions where the team could have the most leverage.  Through this exercise, we narrowed our focus to the compilation, editing, and commenting of a paper.  In this area we could address trust, increasing visibility, progress management and communication. 

With a narrower focus, we needed to decide what interactions we were specifically dealing with.  What are the users doing with our tool?  What are they trying to accomplish?  Generating a list of actions and goals was the first step in answering these questions and creating our user script. This user script would then be a framework to ideate and design around.

[Action Brainstorm.  We generated a list of actions that are performed in our space of interest.]

Through a design ideation process, the team worked together to combine different features, values, goals, and inspiration designs, into new interface tools.  The goals of these new interfaces had to fall in the compilation/editing/commenting phase of the paper collaboration process, and serve as solutions to our user script actions. 

[Ideation Sketches.  These sketches were created during the ideation phase.  The top shows the cloud paper concept, bottom, tradmin.]

We created three different ideas: pen and paper, tradmin, and cloud paper, inspired by google docs, classic writing by hand, Microsoft track changes, and versioning concepts like DropBox.   With three different and unique ideas, we moved to sketching storyboards.  Sketching storyboards for these concepts was a direct way to check our user script with the actual interface concept.  We applied the actions and goals to each concept and worked out the rough interactions and steps to accomplish these goals.

[Storyboards.  A story board was developed for each tool concept, showing the actions in our user script.  From top to bottom: Pen & Paper, Cloud Paper, Tradmin.]

With these storyboards, we had three unique, valuable and compelling tools for academic paper collaboration.  However, we only wanted to move into the paper prototyping stage with one.  In order to decide on one concept, we looked to our personas, user goals and values, and user script.  The user script was particularly helpful, in that it clearly defined what each idea focused on.  As it turned out, two of our ideas addressed more of the editing space, where as the other the compilation space.  Using the user script to categorize our concepts, and our user values and personas to attach meaning and impact to each one, we were able to decide on one idea. We chose to move forward with Tradmin, carrying it into the paper prototyping stage.

Appendix: Design sketches and discussion during phase

Photos of design work Here are the photos from earlier work