Reflection

I think that working on the project with group members outside of my major was a good experience for me. I was able to learn a lot from my group members since they had knowledge in areas that I didn’t have. They brought a different perspective from mine to the project and showed me new ways of looking at the problem. I think for future classes, having deliverables due on a weekly basis with specific instructions on where the group should be would help a lot for groups to stay organized and on top of their work. I think this way there will be no confusion on what needs to be done for the project at a certain point and group members have a better idea of when to meet up to work on the project.

 

Taking this UX class was far different from any of the other classes I have taken as a Computer Science student. The class is a lot more engaging and provides useful discussions that are helpful for assignments. The class provided me with something to take back and think about. It was refreshing to go to a class that is far different from the norm and to interact with classmates from different majors.

Water Supply

Problem Statement:

factory

Polyfluoroalkyl and Perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) are two widely used industrial chemicals. These two chemicals have been linked to cancer and other health problems. PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products around the world since the 1950’s. Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences found that PFAS exceed the recommended safety levels in public drinking water that has affected more than 6 million people in the United States. Since the industrial revolution, we have been allowing chemicals with unknown toxicities to be used and released into the environment. We now have cases where these chemicals end up in our water supply and start to affect those who drink that water.

We wanted to create a way to make it possible for homeowners to see what and how much of a substance is in their water. We also want to be able to do this in the easiest and most convenient way for the homeowner.

How can we make detecting hazardous substances in our water easy and convenient?
Questions to consider:

How will we go about informing the user about the chemicals in their water? Will it be a mobile app or some other mode of communicating with the user?

Will we focus on water that is used in people’s home or will it be designed for public places?

How do we want to warn the user if their water is unsafe to drink?

Is there any way to design this system so it is affordable for people who have low income?
– Andrew Walraven, Nathan Eggleston, Jad Sidi-yekhlef

Readings #1

The Engineering Experience:

I think Sengers brings up a good point in talking about how we prioritize efficiency over the quality of experience. We create mindless work where we tell the worker what steps to take to increase efficiency and this ends up with having unhappy workers. We balance out the unhappiness and maximizing efficiency at work with engaging in fun and minimizing task achievement after work. Sengers makes the point that instead of having these two experiences split in two we could instead combine a steady stream of work with pleasure throughout the day.

 

 

Making Sense of Experience:

The main takeaway that I got from this reading is that we as designers can’t design an experience but design for an experience. I understood this to be that we cannot control every detail of the user experience by what we design. We have little control in creating the experience since there are unknown variables that depend on the context of the user. It is impossible to know and design for all these unknown variables.