A mobile application paired with traceable stickers placed on everyday items for quick and easy finding.
I worked as the project manager, co-researcher and co-designer to conduct research, create personas, wireframes, and hi-fidelity mockups. The purpose of this project was to practice the user centered design (UCD) process by designing a solution for a problem space of choice. This project was part of the Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) graduate curriculum at the University of Washington.
DATE: Sep - Dec 2016
TEAM: Pierre, Alexa, Eli
ROLE: Researcher, Designer
COURSE: HCDE 518 User Centered Design
Forgetfulness is inevitable. Inspired by a teammate who frequently misplaced her things, we wanted to learn what people misplaced and how they go about finding them.
What does forgetfulness look like in people's lives?
We discovered the most common items people forgot or misplaced were their phone, keys, and wallet. These items are mostly carried on people while traveling such as commuting to and from work, but are often forgotten at home, work, or even in the car. When misplaced, we learned that people become dependent on their eyes, ears, and the community of people around them to help them find their belongings.
While there were a variety of methods that people used to combat their forgetfulness, it still happens from time to time.
41 survey replies
"When I'm at home, I toss [my keys] because I'm so comfortable. It's hard because I just want to relax."
Each primary persona embodied the forgetfulness of one of the items we found in our research: phone, key, or wallet. Our secondary persona represented a person who may indirectly be affected by a person's forgetfulness.
- Caylee, Student, forgets her phone in the dorm all the time
- Garrett, Businessman, forgets his wallet when he goes out
- Sarah, Housewife, loses her keys while trying to handle two kids
- Hasan, Uber driver, often find missing items in his car
These personas and our previous research shed light on the following features of our solution that we should design for:
- Small and portable
- Easy to see and hear
- Not distracting to others
- Calming and helpful
Each idea overlapped and focused on different aspects of the problem space.
- Sketch 1 focuses on the portability of the solution and the fact that people depend on their eyes and ears to find their belongings.
- Sketch 2 incorporates augmented reality, gamifying the experience to destress users and calm them down.
- Sketch 3 introduces the concept of a sensor to help people know when and what things were taken out of their bags, backpacks, or wallets.
PAPER PROTOTYPE & TESTING
We used a paper prototype to quickly test our design concept and information architecture. With 3 participants, we learned that our navigation wasn't entirely intuitive, and some interactions and features that users wanted were missing.
"What if I want to see a history of where my things have been?"
"Can I change which things I want alerts for? Like I don't want it to tell me I'm missing my headphones when I know I'm wearing them."
"Can I swipe to delete an item?"
HI FI PROTOTYPE
We used Sketch for our design and Marvel to create this interactive prototype. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to test this prototype, but we received positive feedback and comments from our peers.
WHAT I LEARNED
Being one of the very first UCD projects I've done, I'm very grateful to have gotten guidance from our instructors Rebecca Destello and Telle Zeiler. Our team struggled trying to identify a problem space because we would instinctively think of the solution to a problem without conducting user research.
If given the opportunity, I would love to conduct the user research again and change the survey and interview questions so that we could receive more qualitative answers. I would also like to retest the paper prototype with a better testing script and less leading questions.