We in design school keep exploring and prototyping ideas all the time. This process generates alot of scraps in every department. After a workshop usually there is excessive scrap around.
The goal of this project was 'How can we make scrap more accessible for SCAD students?'
We were challenged to create an app for finding the scraps that meet the needs of those learning or teaching at SCAD.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS
An observation activity called “POEMS,” was conducted to analyze who was involved in the departments, what materials or supportive equipment were present, how the environment was presented, and what messages or services were present.
We did this research at three different buildings:
Students, professors, and monitors or lab technicians were the main users in each department. Each department had “free scrap” areas of the building that were designated.
CONCEPTS TO FINAL CONCEPT
We brainstormed, how we could make an app that would allow students and professors not only to access scrap easily but have fun doing it!
Final concept: We aimed to provide an element of surprise. The app would inspire users when they didn’t know what they are looking for, as well as locate specific types of scrap material when they knew exactly what they needed.
A fun interaction that immediately came to our minds was a Magic 8 Ball. This fun game from our childhood created excitement and anticipation with every shake. The simplicity of the Magic 8 Ball and unique interaction with it is what inspired Shake Shop.
We assessed what elements of information we needed from the user and what elements we need to provide to the users. We started grouping the information which led to hierarchy and page definition.
A global navigation was created to cater to the three main screens:
This exploration was facilitated through the lo-fi prototype activity, and continued to be simplified and tweaked through the mid-fi and hi-fi prototyping phases.
VISUAL DESIGN EXPLORATION
We explored five different branding themes that would clearly communicate and reflect our concept. One of the themes was “Playful” theme, which was inspired by our desire to create an app that would make the stressful process of finding scrap enjoyable and entertaining. The color palette is soothing with toned teal and a subtle pop of red. The typeface reinforces the calmness of the colors by implementing a structured, rounded sans serif font.
After branding and creating an information architecture, we did three stages of prototyping: lo-fi, mid-fi, and hi-fi. Through feedback and analysis of prototyping stage, we began developing user flow and interactions to better suit users needs.
The hi-fi prototype was restricted to only click interactions initially later we were able to develop shake and other necessary interactions. This phase highlighted points of the app where interactions needed improvement and better flow. This influenced our final service encounter map, which describes the users journey through touchpoints and triggers.
The shake interaction at the home page on of the main feature. Every shake gives user a new material. This interaction was designed to promote exploration for users lookng for inspiration.
Filter for specific material search.
For exploring more options within a category
Moving from left to right.
Profile page: For delivery of selected materials, user needs to have the email and location in profile info.
Favorite page: Stores the favorites of the user.
Upload page: This contains simple material info form with upload image option.
Simple form to provide the description of the material.
Tap camera to upload an image of materials the user wants to discard.
The upload page of the app. Through this page SCAD faculty and students can upload the materials ( in form of image) they don't need any more.
The favorite page is a space with all the items like/favorited by the user. Eevn the uploads by the user are visible here.
Secondary navigation on top for user to switch to favorite and upload page.
The hi-fi prototyping evolved a lot in terms of the interactions. we had to cut down/simply some interaction due to development constraints. It gave us a exposer of interactions and development at the same time. We worked with an external evelopement team to execute a fully functional app. This phase helped us understand how to communicate our design with a development team and how designing an app is an iterative process.
The approachable aesthetics and usability of the hi-fi prototype enabled our team to take it to the people for trial, first by heuristics and followed by user testing. We began testing by giving the users two tasks: To add scrap to the favorites page and to upload a scrap photo on Shake Shop.
Read the full article about our work at:
Books read/referred: Microinteractions - Designing with Details by Dan Saffer
Team: Michael Buquet, Chelsea Belle, and Jagriti Kumar