Ny Vestamager is a new public nature park located just outside of Copenhagen. Naturstyrrelsen wishes to strengthen the publicity of the area, but what are people interested in when visiting Ny Vestamager, and how do we communicate it in a useful and engaging way? With a user-centered design approach, I helped Naturstyrelsen develop a prototype of a mobile app, as my bachelor thesis in Informatics.
UX/UI-design based on participatory design-methos and IxD principles
In this project I got to explore the fields of UX/UI-design based on a human-centered design approach. To apply a user-centered approach, methods such as user research, use cases, participatory design activities was carried out in the development of a native app for the natural park Ny Vestamager located just outside Copenhagen. The prototyping-part of the design process was based on the 7 rules on usability from Ben Schneider and Catherine Plaisaint's "Designing the User Interface: Strategies for effective Human-Computer Interaction" (2010).
1. Design Research
The design process was kicked off by conducting design research. We visited the area by bike, did interviews with visitors and had a meeting with the ranger in charge of the area. These experiences gave great insight to the basic needs of the users and Naturstyrelsen and helped us setting the main focus for the project.
2. Use Cases
Based on the insights from the design-research we created use-cases as a way to clearlyfi the contextual requirements for the app. We based the use cases on three scenarios wich were: At home, arriving and exploring.
3. User Requirements
Based on the use-cases we described the basic functionalities for the app to make sure the user would reach their goals. Some of them were: A splash-screen showcasing the area and, a map functionality and a hamburger menu as the main navigation pattern.
To explore the functionalities in the app further and gain a deeper understanding of the use case scenarios, we organized and facilitated a workshop based on Eva Brandt, a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, "Design Game"-theory. In the Design Game the users got to express their thoughts, needs and ideas by using different probes and explore .
5. IA and wireframing
As a tool to synthesize our insights from the design research and workshop, we created wireframes. In the wireframes we got to explore the information architecture and the different functionalities. The wireframes worked as a communication tool as well, among the project group.
6. High Fidelity Prototype
Based on the wireframes we designed a high-fidelity prototype.
To make sure the app met the users needs, the prototype was tested by using the method think-aloud. The testers was picked from being potential users of the area and with an objective to create an authentic setting for the test, we conducted the test in Ny Vestamager. The test was carried out by giving the respondents tasks that the testers should try to solve, while expressing their immediate thoughts and experiences.