Conceptual Product Design
A mobile companion application to traceable stickers placed on everyday items for quick and easy finding.
I worked in a team of four classmates as a project manager, co-designer, and co-researcher in this project. 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.
1. Identify a problem space
2. Conduct user research to understand issues and pain points
3. Develop personas and requirements to guide our design
4. Ideate and select a solution idea
5. Create and test low-fidelity prototype
6. Design and present high-fidelity prototype
Inspired by our teammate who frequently forgot her cards at bars and restaurants, we wanted to see what other things people tend to forget, where these items were misplaced, and how do people currently go about finding them.
1. Surveys // 41 replies
2. Interviews // 4 participants
3. Observations // 4 environments // Car, bar, study center, cafe
The most common items people misplaced were phones, keys, and wallets. We discovered that these items are carried mostly during commuting and traveling, but are often forgotten at home, work, or in the car. We also learned that when misplaced, people become dependent on their eyes, ears, and the community around them to find their belongings.
There were a variety of methods people used to help them find an item, but even for the most organized participants, it was inevitable.
When I'm at home, I toss [my keys] around because I'm so comfortable. It's hard because I Just want to relax.
PERSONAS & REQUIREMENTS
Using data from our research, we created three primary personas, each focusing on one belonging - key, phone, or wallet. Our fourth and secondary persona represents a person who is indirectly affected by the primary personas.
The following solution requirements were derived from our research:
- Small and portable
- Easy to see and hear
- Not distracting to others
- Calming and helpful
Each solution below addressed a different issue of the problem. Moving forward, we thought the best solution was to consolidate the three ideas, taking the best from each to create a solution that prevents and helps with misplacement.
The idea: You receive a set of stickers, 90% of which are GPS traceable for you to place on your belongings. The other 10% are scanners and can be placed at the opening of any bag, pocket, backpack, etc. Placing an item in your bag will allow it to be scanned and sent to your phone to observe its location. If misplaced, you can trace it or if you're close enough, use your camera to scan the room and find its exact location.
Beautiful sketches courtesy of our teammate, Alexa.
LO-FI PROTOTYPE & TESTING
We created a paper prototype to test our design and information architecture. With three participants, we learned that our navigation wasn't entirely intuitive, and some user interactions were desired but not present.
We iterated and tested again with three new participants and received feedback on design clarity and additional desired but missing features.
Below are a few screens of our paper 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.
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.