Final Reflections

Coming into this semester, I didn’t really know what to expect due to the newly developed nature of the course. However, I really liked the set up of having half CS students & half ID students and was interested to see what dish could be cooked out of this melting pot of a classroom. It was really cool to be able to expose each other of our respective disciplines. Despite only being able to meet once a week, I found class time to be both enjoyable and stimulating. It was beneficial, especially for our final project, to discuss various ways technology is currently being used in the world today, how it would affect our users, and eventually change society as a whole.

I always knew that UX Design is a vital part of our society, a way to bridge the gap between technology and people. However, this class really opened my eyes to exactly how much of an impact it could have not only technologically, but also socially. It is powerful enough to create massive waves in society: from the way individuals can reduce water usage, spend money more intelligently, etc.

Other than having more frequent class times, one other thing that would have been more beneficial is to have a longer period of time to work on our final project. I think that extending the amount of time for us to work on our project would have allowed us CS and ID folks to be able to intertwine each other’s skills and be able to learn & execute the discipline of the opposite major towards our final project. It was very helpful to have one professor from each field of study, so that every student felt fully understood and that our individual needs have been met. Even though the majority of CS and ID students stuck to our own specialties, working with each other and meshing ideas together brought a unique real-world experience inside of a classroom. Overall, this class has been a great balance between the world of CS and ID. It has been a fun and enlightening semester!

Reflections on Machine Learning Readings

Machine Learning is something that scientists have been working with for years. Minimized concepts are already widely existent today and are used very frequently. Think of “recommended” features on YouTube, online stores, google searches, etc. I believe that much like any other materials we use to improve our standards of living, individuals need to get a better understanding of machine learning in order for it to be used for good.

Many people fear machine learning because they believe it to be a foreign concept. When cars first came out, I’m sure there was a lot of uproar on safety aspects of this new idea. Without any regulations, cars can be very dangerous. However, society slowly discovered the risks that come with driving a tin can at fast speeds. Seat belts, road signs, various laws, and constant regulation have been set in stone in order for cars to be used for good. In the same way,  for us to be able to regulate machine learning and for regular consumers to appreciate and respect such regulations, we as a whole need to be more familiar with the concept of machine learning, understand how it works and the risks that come with it if improperly utilized.

Personally, machine learning scares me a little, because of the lack of regulation out there and the lack of knowledge individuals have of this idea – think autonomous cars. Although it could be very useful in certain situations, it should not be a backbone for drivers to depend on 100% of the time. Essentially, all of the code and technology has been designed and created by us, imperfect humans. There is no way we could create a completely foolproof technology. Consumers need to understand the risks that come with this technology for them to avoid crashes and be able to utilize this feature to its best ability. Our best creations could also be our worst enemy. However, with proper monitoring, education, and use, I believe that machine learning could truly benefit our society as a whole.


Week 1 Reading Reflections

The Engineering of Experience

The concept of “Taylorism” is still very much, if not more, relevant in our society today. As the world’s pace is continuing to grow faster, humans are perpetually trying to find a balance between pleasure and efficiency. We are always looking for the “best way” to complete a task, minimize errors, and save time.

I found Winograd and Flores’s rejection of Artificial Intelligence to be interesting. In the article, Sengers mentions how his “clean, beautiful models of behavior always seem to miss the point”. They seem to never generate the complexity and richness of natural behavior of humans/animals. I believe the complexity, messiness and enigmatic nature of human behavior is what makes us beautiful. In the midst of creating technology to help us be more efficient, we shouldn’t forget the human aspect of it all.

Making Sense of Experience

I found this article to be very enlightening in that it really broke down the different aspects that designers should keep in mind. I loved that they pointed out that “we can design for experience”. Often times when we are creating something, we get caught up on what we could bring to the users, but it was interesting to think about experience being something that users bring to the situation as well. Overall, this gave me a great in-depth breakdown various factors that contribute to one’s experience.


Wallet Prototypes

My partner, Lily Bloomberg, and I used the important points in our interviews to create a wallet that fit multiple needs. We came up with three ideas, shown below:

Sketch 1:

Magnetic snap close/open. The main focus for this prototype was no bulk. The wallet is separated into two even pockets inside the wallet. The user gets to choose what goes in each, depending on their needs. For example, they could store their keys or cash in one, cards in another. This wallet is enclosed at the top with a magnetic binding.

Sketch 2:

Zipper billfold. This slim wallet fits more than the first sketch with cards and IDs readily accessible with a designated spot for your identification. The zipper compartment also allows for freedom on use – made for whatever the user wants to put in.

Sketch 3:

This is a take on a traditional bi-fold wallet. The ID slots are on the outside for ease and accessibility and the whole thing zips closed for added security.