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Architecture and Design homework help

Architecture and Design homework help.

Practical 3: Ideation prototyping

Purpose:              how to rapidly prototype

Due:                      Monday Week 4

Part 1: Design problem definition

Part 2: Final details

Paper prototypes for three versions of a home thermostat. From [Tohidi CHI2006]

This prac focuses on two rapid prototyping techniques that will help shape a design idea to a first draft of a user interface. Rapid prototyping addresses an important tension in design: forward momentum is essential, yet design excellence often requires exploring diverse ideas.

mission: Create a high-level need/problem statement (point of view), flesh it out with storyboard scenarios, then choose  a concrete direction and create some paper prototypes.

For this assignment, you will begin to work in teams:
Each team member contributes to the ideation process: everyone will create ONE storyboard + ONE paper prototype


Part 1: Developing a shared design problem

Your first step is to share your observations. Each group member should share:

  • What brief did you choose?
  • What activity (s)did you observe?
  • What needs did you identify
  • What were some of the ideas you proposed to cater for these needs?

As a group decide what design concept sounds most interesting to you all.
Please don’t consider technical issues at this stage!!!! Feasibility comes a little later!
Depending on your group experiences you may explore more than one idea at this stage or you can combine briefs.
STEP 2: POINT OF VIEW (Group Task)
Your next step is to write down a need or problem statement (point of view) in a sentence or two.

  • What’s a need or problem statement?
    It’s your take on a high-level design strategy, before actually designing a solution.
  • For example, if you wanted to improve the check-out experience at a grocery store, your point of view might be: “waiting in line is intrinsic, but the boredom is not”

This would lead to design solutions like showing news or playing games while waiting in line.
Alternatively, your point of view might be “with a good scheduling interface, no one should have to wait in line”. This might lead to better ways for employees to staff registers and consumers to pick them.
Or, you might have a different point of view: Let’s make grocery stores more like farmers’ markets, where payment is distributed across the stands that have the food.
These are valid needs or problem statements – they suggest different possibilities and have different implications/entailments for what constitutes a good design.
A good need or problem statement should:

  • clearly express the problem/opportunity and
  • make clear what a good solution would accomplish.

Coming up with a good need or problem statement that you can successfully tackle in the remaining weeks of the semester is crucial. If you have doubts – then discuss with the lecturer.
As a group, develop your need or problem statement.  To do this……

  • Review all the observations from Week 2.
  • What are some of the user needs identified?
  • What seems interesting to explore further?
  • What point of view /need/ problem statement summarises the design problem your group will tackle?


Part 2: Rapidly prototype ideas

Using a storyboard develop a user scenario that addresses/engages your point of view/need or problem statement.  
Each team member needs to develop their own storyboard based on their ideas.

  • A storyboard is a comic-strip-like set of drawings about what your interface/design idea: what it does and how it is used to accomplish tasks in a real usage scenario.
  • Check out the Guide to Storyboarding in Week 3 Learnline
  • A good storyboard should clearly demonstrate who the user is, the usage situation, and the user’s motivations for using the interface.
  • It should show what the user can accomplish with your interface, but it needn’t (and often shouldn’t) show a specific user interface design.

Each storyboard should require 5-8 panels, and should fit on one A3 sheet of paper.

  • Use a thick pen (not yellow)
  • Using a thick pen limits the amount of detail that you can add, forcing you to only draw the most important elements of scenario, user, and interface that communicate your ideas
  • A thick pen is a good reminder to focus on the high-level and not sweat the details at this point.  There will be time for this in a few weeks!
  • Ensure you sign your storyboard.

External students – either use A3 and photograph – (two A4’s stickytaped together will work) or use an online storyboard tool. There are a range of free tools available: eg Picton.
Decision time.

  • Share your storyboards.
  • With your team members, take some time to discuss the different ideas you’ve had.
  • Make sure you discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each design, and how well they achieve the goals set out by your point of view.

As a team, decide which of the ideas from your group you want to take further.
EACH team member creates a paper prototypes (one each) that implements the idea you’ve decided on. (in this task you are exploring alternatives?)

  • A paper prototype concretely shows all the elements of a user interface, except that it’s implemented with pen on paper, as opposed to pixels and code.
  • To learn how to do this, see the Snyder reading, in Learnline . See also http://paperprototyping.com/references.html for more references.
  • Prototype interfaces must be hand-drawn, no computer. Again, it helps focus on the concepts, and saves you from wasting hours twiddling pixels.

The prototypes should vary in interface, but offer the same basic functionality.

  • For example, if you were designing a mobile transit application, your two prototypes could display the bus times in two very different ways.
  • The prototypes should be complete enough to “run” a new user through each task. When you’re done, label the prototype you created. It’s important to show interaction flows
  • Note: the explanation here is very linear, but your process doesn’t have to be. You can start making a paper prototype, and then change your mind.
  • Your prototype doesn’t have to exactly align with your storyboard if your ideas have developed as a result of making the storyboard.

To summarise:

  • Each group needs to have a single point of view which is then explored through storyboards. (one for each team member)
  • One storyboard (or two) is then chosen by the group to explore further
  • Each person needs to create a paper prototype that reflects the chosen storyboard.



One prototyping write up report through Learnline submission per group.

The prototyping write up will include:

·         Team members

·         Which design brief your group is exploring?

·         What design problem, need, point of view your group has chosen.

·         All individual Storyboards and paper prototype artefacts:

Internal students: External students:
·       Digital photos + your actual storyboards, which should be signed by the creator.
·       Photos embedded in the file
·       Storyboards brought to class
·       A set of digital photos + your actual paper prototypes, which should be signed by the creator
·       Photos to be part of the submission document
·       Prototypes brought to class (labelled)
·     A comprehensive set of digital photos &  or scans of your storyboards, which should be signed by the creator. Digital Storyboarding tools can be used
·     A comprehensive set of digital photos & scans of your paper prototypes, which should both be signed by the creator
·     All photos should be part of the single submission document
·     Multiple documents will not be accepted for marking.

Submit the digital resources via the submission link on Learnline. Ensure you clearly label your file with your team’s name.

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