Device Ecology Mapper

Context

  • Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • Ph.D. project (I was primary designer)

Case

Problem: We needed a way to capture data about the devices people own that is clear and easy to use. We also needed to find a way to do it in an automated way to collect a massive amount of data related to it.

ecology_map

This is an affinity diagramming session we did to work toward ecology mapping.

Process:

  • Using affinity diagramming, participants mapped their device ecologies with post-it notes and a whiteboard
  • Concept generation and sketching to explore representations for digital, automated system
  • Paper prototype of the agreed upon best idea informally tested with participants
  • Flash prototype with improvements from past test with formal usability test

concept1

The chosen design idea with two variations: one more normal graph with nodes and edges and a second more relaxed version.

concept3

This was an alternative idea where connections were made like puzzle connections. Puzzle pieces would morph to fit parts of the ecology already mapped.

paper_prototype

These are all the components of the paper prototype.

Solution: We created a digital, Flash-based prototype based on a metaphor of pinning things to a corkboard. There were plans for a system for displaying the collected data, but it was not completed.

device

This is a shot of the digital prototype. A version that does not record data still is available.

Click here to make your own device ecology map on the digital prototype.

Outcomes: The data recording portion of the prototype was completed. It never was deployed, but it is ready for that purpose.

Details

Dates of Project: Jan 2008-Mar 2012

UX Methods Used: Affinity Diagramming, Sketching, Paper Prototyping, Flash Prototyping

My Roles: Research, Writing, Artistry, Programming, Design