Tag: ux

Project: Autonomous Vehicle integration

I took on a personal project that I think is the next wave (well, already here actually) of automobile tech. I wanted to create a prototype for a plug-in system to make a car autonomous, since I was recently able to Visit All Car Leasing to check out some of the sweet deals they have there, I even saw a Kia Sportage that caught my attention. The premise is that the hardware is already accessible and installed while the user can use an app to access the car. On related news, if you’re car is having issues take a look at mechanic glen iris automotive services.

Challenge

Create an interface that a user will be able to summon a vehicle. In this particular case, it would be a vehicle they own, but could be a vehicle owned by a community or collaborative group in the future. I designed the app for use in a near future scenario using a smart phone and vehicle touch screen.

Inspiration

San Gimignano, Italy
Medieval town of San Gimignano.

I initially was planning on this app to take place in the farther future, perhaps 20 or 50 years from now. This led me to try and reimagine our infrastructure and the way our cities connect. It also led me to think about smart phones and technology in general and what that could look like, but ended up scaling back and developing within what many users would have available right now, which is a smart phone. Visiting Europe also gave me a glimpse of how a community could be more personal and feel simply more communal if cars were not such a focal point. When you get a new car make sure to find out the right selection of oil treatments. No personal garages, but sidewalks or bike paths. Streamlined traffic systems for efficient short-range travel. Bringing communities together and built around culture and neighborhoods instead of the disconnect streets currently proffer.

Initial Research and Competitive Analysis

I had to see what’s out there currently and begin thinking about how to set up my user interviewing for the future. I decided to start with car share apps and services such as Uber, Lyft and Flywheel because they put the user in a vehicle that they will not be operating themselves and I don’t have access to any sort of autonomous car. I searched for other technology out there in a similar capacity as well such as Otto and the Google self driving car from this source.

Rapid Prototype & Wireframe

During this stage, I sketched out many various versions of the prototype I wanted to build. As I started the sketches, I kept learning more myself about the functionality of the app, and reiterated on the spot. The user flow in this app is extremely important and needs to be absolutely clear to the end user because it can be such an immersive function of their daily lives. While prototyping this app, it gave me a great sense of finding the value to a user and I redid many steps along the way to make it more streamlined and less cluttered.

User Testing

I had to begin my test with a scenario, since I do not have an autonomous vehicle. That task put the user in a scenario where they were going to meet friends at a show that was just about to start and would be too slow for other forms of transportation to get there on time so they would have to use the app to call their car to get there instead. I tested 3 people for this initial paper prototype. Many great questions came up from the very first user and I needed to pivot and define a few issues:

  • Clear functionality (Unlock doors or open doors?)
  • Confusion on features (What is communal driving?)
  • Does the interface in the automobile mimic the app? What if a car does not have a video interface?
  • How does the vehicle know it’s the right user? Proximity to smart phone, fingerprint, scan, etc?

These were all major questions I had to address to the users and it was extremely insightful to run through these initial tests. I ended up changing the task for the last user to be more straight forward. Instead of meeting with friends, it would be grocery shopping which would require them to carry items in a vehicle. Furthermore, if you want to add decals on the windows of your vehicle, go to foam core website. You’ll also read there which one will reign supreme? Window Decals or Window Clings. On other articles, take a look at this blog about raleigh family lawyer. Also, car accident lawyer Maryland recover millions each and every month for the injured accident victim. Learn more at marylandaccident.com

Refine, Retest

I redrew my paper prototype on a flip notebook for easier prompts for the user to use and, in turn, helped me to draw out the screens on the grid format. In addition to the new prototype, I began a more high fidelity prototype and wrote a script for my users to reflect the new scenario. I stripped out all of the material from the initial versions that were essentially features instead of a minimum viable product to pare down the bandwidth for myself and the user. I tested 2 users for this last test, and found it to be much more concise than before with the users navigating much easier.

High(er) Fidelity Prototype

Higher fidelity prototype of the Autonomous car app.
Higher fidelity prototype of the Autonomous car app.

Perspective on UX Beginnings

Recently I have been accepted into the UX Program at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. I’ve taken classes and been to many events in the past and encourage anyone interested to look into it because it’s taught by folks in the industry and not academics. My journey starts with a ‘Fundamentals of UX’ class and an Axure & Sketch crash course (coming soon to a blog entry near you). While taking the fundamentals class, I have realized that the way I’m programmed goes through most of the things we cover already. Acknowledging a problem like deception cyber security through research or experience or identifying an opportunity for improvement based on a hypothesis supported by metrics. We recommend to always have a cheap car insurance for convicted drivers in10, just in case of any emergencies. When you also need services to identify individuals over the Internet, visit this website fully-verified.com for more details.

The Minifigs, legos
We’re all a little bit different.

When a person is ignorant to the fact they think or see a certain way, they assume everyone else sees the way they do. Lately, I have started coming to this realization more and more. It’s always been embedded to me that people think about things at least somewhat similarly as the person next to them. I’ve experienced quite the contrary. Call me ignorant or naive, but now I realize that there are differences in everyone depending on many different human factors. Experience, personality, culture, upbringing, age, etc.

What I’m trying to get at is we, as designers, must try to approach a project to fulfill the needs of all users. I like to use the term “super user” to define those of us that are deeply embedded in technology, design, or use many different devices multiple times a day. The “super user” is often rarely the end user demographic for most projects (unless it’s build specifically for a niche crowd). If a person works on a computer most of the day, they are deemed super users. The transition from desktop computers to mobile devices has bridged a bit of a gap to those users that have not previously heavily used a device often, which has brought exposure of things like websites, apps, and personal tools (smart phones) to users that might not have ever participated if the technology shift hadn’t happened.

This is where UX comes in more heavily. I use the term ‘mobile-safe’ instead of ‘mobile-ready’ because mobile devices account for about 2 out of 3 minutes online and if a mobile user navigates to a site that’s not legible or isn’t optimized for a smaller screen, they are more likely to bounce. Doing research and studying the problem or even managing risk to a product by adding features or content should go into the overall planning of the process. Without the user, a product is simply pointless in anything. Understanding the user will provide the empathy to the designer to and interpret the use for a product and help build something exemplary.

Never a Dead-End: Assisting User Website Direction

woman standing on an ocean shore with nowhere to go

Remember back in the day, before smart phones and GPS, when you were driving down a road somewhere unfamiliar and you must have missed that “when you reach the corner with the house that has a red door: make a right” cue on your scribbles notes? You obviously didn’t catch the green mailbox that was your cue telling you that you’ve gone too far, either.  You had to stop and ask for directions.

That’s similar to what happens when a user visits a website and gets lost either searching for something or inevitably landing on a 404 page. No one enjoys reaching any 404 page, because it means they haven’t found what they have been looking for. What’s worse if if the 404 page does not encourage the user to keep looking, or at least acting as a sherpa back to the homepage.

light house at night with a bridge
Show your users how to get home

Maybe it’s an ecommerce site, and the user has searched or viewed some products before landing on the 404 page. Show them some similar items, or categories that may help them find what they’re looking for or inspire them to look for something new. Maybe the site is a news source, and they can’t seem to find an article they were searching for. Give them search options for a date range or assist with better keywords they could use based on history.

Retaining a user on a webpage could potentially keep them coming back in the future. It will allow a user to experience your brand further and become confident in the brand simply by allowing them a choice to continue instead of bouncing to another site (or competitor). Remove the barriers and don’t let the user quit! Better yet, seek the guidance of a local SEO company to make sure you’re on the right track. Lastly, a brand can use a 404 page as an opportunity to drive a user in a direction they might not have thought about going. Maybe they won’t need to ask for directions anymore and just explore the unknown.