UbiComp System Design

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During the last part of my Interaction Design Studio (spring 2013), we completed our last group project. Our task was to design a ubiquitous or ambient computing system for a specific place. After doing exploratory research into our target field, we had to brainstorm over 50 ideas. Then, we had to take our 10 best ideas, create storyboards for them, and get feedback from potential users in a process called speed dating. Finally, we had to take our feedback and use it to create a design, which we presented to the class in the form of a video sketch.

In this project, I worked with three other students: Kelsey Humphries, Truc Nguyen, and Aishwarya Suresh. Out of the five design spaces we could choose from, we decided on “local government.”

We interviewed six people, to better understand our scope and fuel our creativity. We also created a brief survey and distributed it via Reddit.

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After we finished our research, we created an affinity diagram to organize our feedback. Based on our findings, we decided to focus on apathetic citizens. We wanted our ubicomp system to raise citizen’s awareness of the positive things that local government does, give citizens an easy way to contribute to their government, and help citizens see the impact of their actions.

With these factors in mind, we created a series of storyboards (like the one below) and tested them with people to get immediate feedback. We conducted two iterations of storyboarding and testing.

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This feedback informed our final design concept: CrowdChange, a ubiquitous computing system that allows citizens of a city to take part in local government by allowing them to choose where the government spends their some of their tax dollars.

With our concept finalized, we created a video sketch as part of our final presentation to the class.

My contribution: During our exploratory research, I interviewed one of our apathetic citizens. After our group brainstorming session, I created two of our eleven initial storyboards and tested all of them with fellow students, a professor, and a politically inclined friend. Finally, I created the voice-over and the background music for our video sketch (and had a cameo appearance in the last few frames).

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