The final project was the first time I was able to work with students who are not engineers. Rachel, Sarah, and Zach all thought very differently than I did and it was awesome seeing a different perspective. I really liked our idea so it allowed me to enjoy the project as a whole. Holler turned out to be an extremely viable product which has received a lot of good feedback from other CS students and students in general. I look forward to continuing to develop the app and adding it to my resume and potentially a portfolio. I do regret not exploring hybrid mobile app frameworks, such as Ionic or Apache Cordova. It would’ve been a good idea to learn something new. I also restricted myself by choosing to develop an iOS app in Xcode when I have a PC. Other than that, I really enjoyed working with my team and I learned a lot from them.
UX Design as a course was interesting. I didn’t know what to expect coming in, I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be a semester-long project where the CS majors did not get any input and just were coding the whole time. Thankfully, that was not the case and UX as a field has become an interest of mine. As I mentioned in class, I thought we spent too much time on the wallet design, but it taught me what to expect for the project. I had never gone through a design process (interview, sketching, prototype, and evaluation) before this semester, so it was good experience. I am currently in an HCI course, so I was able to compare the design process and content between the two courses. I was able to apply concepts I learned in HCI in UX and vice versa which was nice, but I wish I would’ve taken HCI before UX.
Intelligence on Tap: Artificial Intelligence as a New Design Material
Artificial Intelligence, AI, is becoming more and more accessible to non-experts which is why it could be the next big utility for designers. I must question the desire for it, do designers want to use AI? Wouldn’t that take away from some of the creativity that designers love to incorporate into their products? Incorporating AI will redefine what constitutes a “unique” design in many ways. I am interested to see the rate at which design practices will shift when AI is widely implemented into new products. The article mentioned there was a big learning curve when designs went from paper to screen and I believe utilizing AI is a much larger jump.
UX Design Innovation: Challenges for Working with Machine Learning as a Design Material
Machines can learn from large datasets through reoccurring trends and explicitly separating what is “correct” for a given situation and what is “incorrect”. Will machine learning be able to take tendencies, likes, dislikes, and other characteristics of a person and cater to a specific person’s needs? I feel some people are afraid of machine learning because it doesn’t feel personal, in other words, they just like another line in a huge dataset. Every UX design has a certain demographic related to a persona created by the designer. Machine learning will be more welcoming to less technologically savvy users when it can take datasets from individuals and quickly create a comfortable environment for them. Sort of like an episode of Black Mirror where a company cloned the customer’s consciousness to provide the perfect home assistant. The assistant knew all the customer’s preferences because the assistant was an exact copy of the customer’s current state.
Machines Learning Culture
Art is a term that does not have a single definition. People who deem themselves as artists all specialize in a certain form of art and relay it to the world to express themselves. So why is the integration of technology and machine learning all of the sudden excluded from the idea of art? As a computer science (CS) student, I have realized that CS is an ambiguous topic to people who study it and those who do not. Someone could describe it as a science meanwhile someone else could describe it as an engineering practice. The interpretations are endless and now I can see why someone would deem CS as a form of art. I have seen beautiful code before and although I wouldn’t know what that looked like five years ago, it doesn’t make that code any less beautiful. Therefore, I think that machines built with beautiful code can and will create beautiful art. The art created by machines won’t be any less or any more artistic than an art piece created by a human.
Although my partners are no longer enrolled in the course, they helped out with making the prototypes. We created three prototypes based on the interviews and designs from last class.
1. A generic bifold style wallet with compartments for more storage. The “Tile” compartment was added to accommodate space for smaller items, including the Tile tracking technology.
2. A two-sided symmetric wallet which includes a transparent material for any id cards and different ways to prevent loss/theft (retractable clip, built in GPS tracker).
3. A minimalist wallet with more secure storage for cards and cash. Also two-sided with indents to easily slide cards and cash out of the wallet.
We wanted to make sure the client had a spacious design with loss/theft prevention features, a thinner design with loss/left prevention features and a thin design for those who prefer using Apple pay or other electronic forms of payment rather than cash or plastic.
Sengers article, The Engineering of Experience, was interesting because I had never heard this point of view before. Most computer scientists/software engineers generally enjoy their work. In the second section, she compares computer science to Taylorism which she negatively described in the previous section. Engineering the human experience is supposed to fun, but optimization techniques are not necessarily excluded from creating a more enjoyable experience. People generally enjoy when technology works seamlessly so I would argue that performance is a vital aspect when engineering the human experience.
The second article, Making Sense of Experience, gives an informal framework for designing for experience. The article gives a good starting point when starting to explore a design with four threads, or broad categories, of a user experience. I liked that they give a general explanation for each thread and challenged the user to elaborate each thread when necessary. Every experience is different, so this type of framework needs to be flexible. For example, in the fifth section, there was a suggestion to include a concept of physicality and I agree a physical embodiment could be an extension of the spatial-temporal thread. An extension to that thread would have to be adapted by the tester to get better results on this specific experience of buying CDs. Other experiences may call for different extensions.