Building the Interface

From User Journey to Interface Actions

One result of creating two user journeys (see that post here) was a long string of actions which the tangible and graphic interface managed. However, this list included repeats of actions which could be edited into one, such as the tangible interface prompting goal buddies to “discuss” and on another occasion “reflect”.  The running list also didn’t present any hierarchy or priority for the actions which each interface managed. Lastly, the user journey began to flesh out the idea of inputs and outputs, but did not go into much detail other than labeling the actions.

In response to the suggestions of my thesis advisory meeting, it became clear that creating an edited set of actions and priorities of each interface would be an important next step. Below is a description of my vetting process, to organize, synthesize, and edit the long list of interface actions (represented in the user journey) into a discernible and manageable set of interface functions and features. Also, in this progression there is increasingly more attention put on the information flow between the tangible  interface, graphic interface, and user experience.

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Step One: Making sense of a long list of actions

Take the long string of actions extracted from User Journeys and begin to edit them down into bigger categories of actions. For example the TUI produces a prompt “discuss” as well as “reflect”. “Discuss” is a more appropriate phrase because both involve conversation with the goal buddy. Therefore the category is named “discuss” and I later discover through the editing process that there are four types of prompts within the TUI: record your task, discuss your task or goal, and assess or challenge your task

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Step Two: Organizing the actions to create a few key priorities of the entire system

Breaking up the actions again into more discernible pieces.  Here there are four parts: Prompting (Telling), Recording (Listening), Displaying (Showing), Confirming (Agreeing). However, at this phase there is still no differentiation between the priorities of the tangible and graphic interface. There are also some lines that are beginning to draw out possible collapsable categories.

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Step Three: Assigning those priorities and actions to which interface “said it” or “did it”

Taking from the previous list, this list begins to assign some of the key actions to an interface. During this process I am not only considering where the information is coming from and which interface is “saying” or “hearing” it, but also using what I know from the User Journey to place the appropriate actions or functions to the appropriate interface, understanding that the GUI might require more attention and intentionality to check than the TUI. Here it shows the GUI would be in charge of controlling the recorded meeting times of the goal buddies: regularly (can input reoccurring date which could send you alerts) or sporadically (can notify system whenever you meet), and remotely or locally meeting. Both of these designations work best in the GUI because they are once or every couple of months kinds of actions, and would not be needed to be displayed or recorded within the TUI.

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Step Four: Type it all up and continue to edit some more!

Type all of that up and begin to edit even more. For example: The GUI has three purposes to it’s display: to show logistical information, information about your goal activity which is inputted from your TUI, and information about connecting to your larger community of goal achievers.

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Step Five: Print it out and map out the information flow (input/output to goal buddy,  TUI to GUI)

This map started off as a print out from the text edit document. I find that switching between all of these mediums helps me process information in another way. For example, here I realized that what the interface “displays” and what the interface “prompts” the user to to are both outputs. Whereas what the interface “records” is input which the interface must absorb. Therefore, it becomes very important to be very cognizant of how that information is being recorded and where it is going, or what it is informing.

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Step Six: Continue to clarify the information flow between the two interfaces

Shortly after the last physical map, I tried to simplify and make large gestures in another map to help me understand exactly what information is being exchanged between the goal buddy and the two interfaces.  I find that by making a map (which unlike the last) is easier to read from a distance, can help me understand all of the relationships holistically. The more times I iterate on the same map, the more I understand and improve.

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Step Seven: Digitize the findings by adding info to the System Map and continue to edit

also add informal information exchange between goal buddies

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Notes:

create 3 wireframes for each square of action combos

call out task completion

think of weekly (shallow) view and gui shallow view vs. more complex layered information views.

think about the everyday experience: ongoing action and reflection dispensed to the user, an ongoing diagnostic:
the focus is more on everyday experience rather than longterm relfection and goal management because i feel those other programs lack an interest for the everyday, whereas mine makes it easy and keeps people involved, becoming a habit and part of the social experience of working towards goal. i also think the everyday interactions create a novel experience to elicit an interest in the more complex information interface, which other programs start out with. my system values simple actions and aggregates them into a rich everyday experience shared between two friends. it takes the simplist idea: that we feel better when we are working towards something, that we understand more and have guilt less, less idealistic unreachable ideas, we are caught in the immediate action of making progress instead of planning out progress. it takes very little to begin in the process. mainly it is mediated through conversation with the social buddy aspect.

The experience of a curated goal buddy task package, receiving that information through TUI

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