Interactive Open-Air Guide for Epping Forest
Group project, MSc Human-Computer Interaction Design
Team members: Adwoa Baah, Laura Lascau, Agnieszka Prusik
Methods: Literature review, storyboarding, conceptual design, paper prototyping
What I did: User interviews, data analysis, usability testing
The objectives of our project were to design a new interactive device to assist visitors of Epping Forest, helping them to better understand and interpret the open-air site surrounding the High Beach Forest Centre.
As we were designing a new device, we wanted to firstly understand who our potential users might be. We decided to conduct both observation and interviews as a form of methodological triangulation of the data. To understand what they really do, we decided we needed to observe them in situ.
We carried out direct observation at the High Beach Visitor Centre, and within the Forest, so that the Individuals were observed in a natural setting.
We interviewed visitors to Epping Forest in three different locations - the Forest, the High Beach Visitor Centre, and in a controlled setting (an office/home). The field interviews were carried out in groups of 2-3 people, by walking along with the interviewees, so as not to disrupt their visit too much.
Data analysis was conducted by discussing the key information needs across the people we interviewed. We then interpreted this analysis by developing usability and user experience goals and creating a small set of 4 personas, with differing goals, behaviours, and needs from the Forest Guide device. Following careful review, we chose our primary persona, Raj because if we design for him, we will be able to meet a large proportion of Epping Forest visitors’ needs.
In order to develop a conceptual model that captures what the product will do and how it will behave we first produced storyboards.
Initial evaluation findings, storyboards and the requirements were used extensively in the prototyping phase. We have created low-fidelity paper prototypes for part of our system to show how a user will interact with the Forest Guide device so that they can be easily changed or even thrown away.
Throughout the project, we conducted usability testing and interviewed potential users of the device to discover how well the users can select different options, how well they can obtain the expected feedback and what the users’ feelings are towards the aesthetics of the device.
According to the evaluation results, the paper prototype needs to be modified and evaluated again.