Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Conceptual Design & Principles of User-Centred Approach

1. Conceptual Model
  -Describing in terms of core activities, objects or interface  metaphors.
  - Conceptualizing what we are doing.
  - Based on core aspects of the customer experience.

  - Being intuitive to use.


2. Propose one or more related social mechanisms in communication and collaboration to be added to your proposed project, describe the purpose, and give justification why the proposed mechanism should be included. Draw the proposed mechanism interface and prepare the detail descriptions for each component involves in the interface.

There are three types of social mechanism in Human Computer Interaction field. They are convention mechanism, coordination mechanism and awareness mechanism. Convention mechanism is a type of social mechanism that facilitates the flow of talk in an application and aids the use of voice technology. Coordination mechanism is a mechanism that allows people to cooperate and interact with each other. Awareness mechanism allows users of an application to keep updated with their surroundings, as in they know what is happening and to let others know the information as well.

In order for the users to be able to cook in the nick of time, they need a cooking application which helps they planning their meal efficiently. By taking this into account, we intend to propose our application, KitchenGeek with allows user to insert their own list of ingredients – users will be suggested with a list of recipes possible to make with their ingredients.

We propose coordination mechanism on our application, KitchenGeek. We added a feature known as Comment Section and Ratings under the recipe section so that users can actively interact with other users about the effectiveness of the recipe. The comment section comes with a reply feature where a user can reply to the comment of other users. Other than that, users can rate the recipe provided so that we get a feedback about the recipes.  The purpose of this mechanism is to allow users to discuss about the recipe and comment about any correction in the recipe if any. Users get to share their knowledge while other users get to expand their knowledge on cooking as well. A comment section is vital for any apps that promotes social mechanism because it allows us to communicate with each other. It does not only become an app that serves the user for some purpose but also allows the user to interact with other people.

Besides, we also propose the awareness mechanism. We propose a feature known as “Share in Facebook or Twitter” where the recipes available are being allowed to share on social websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The purpose of this mechanism is to increase awareness to the public about the existence of this application. It will attract more people to use our application as a tool that could aid them to cook better. Social websites are very powerful tool to spread information, thus sharing the information about our application on Facebook or Twitter will be a very good option.

3. Describe in general the components of the principles of user-centered approach map the components accordingly to your proposed project.
a. Early focus on users and tasks
We will be studying directly studying cognitive, behavioral, anthropomorphic & attitudinal characteristics. We will observe the way user perceive the application and how they use it. We will also note the behavioral change of user when they are using the application. This is because we want to ensure that the application obeys the user-centered approach, which focus on the user requirements and needs.

b. Empirical measurement:
We will be analyzing users’ reactions and performance to scenarios, manuals, simulations & prototypes are observed, recorded and analyzed. When users see the icons in our application, they will react and use it in some way. We will observe if they understand the icons in the system. Users will react differently once different page comes up. This is because different pages have different manuals, icons and instructions.

c. Iterative design:
When problems are found in user testing, fix them and carry out more tests. Users must test the system so that they can figure out the difficulties and problems faced by them while using the system. Sometimes, as a designer, we tend to overlook the difficulties faced by the users. This is because the application is created by us and we should be the last person testing the application. More users testing the application will produce better feedback and we can correct the necessary errors in the application.

4. Develop a team structure; each group should attempt to come up with structures of the team and each person responsibilities in the team. 

5. Establishing Requirements/Designing Alternatives/Prototyping

Establishing Requirements.

Our target users group are housewives, employed people, and university students. For these three user groups, their respective stakeholders are:

  • ·         Housewives – basically her family members; husband, children and herself who will taste the cuisine cooked based on recipe displayed. (those who receive output from the products).
  • ·         Employed people – herself/himself that needs to cook faster with limited amount of time they had. (those who interact directly with the products).
  • ·         University students – herself/himself that needs to save; cook with ingredients they only got. (those who interact directly with the products).
These three groups needs are:

  • ·         Learning new recipes
  • ·         A new way to learn recipes
  • ·         Cooks with adequate amount of time they had
  • ·         Cooks with ingredients/groceries that they have at home
These needs we would like to solve by creating a mobile apps called KitchenGeek that will carry out these tasks:

  • ·         Changing the way users learning new recipes; using mobile application.
  • ·         Suggest recipes to user based on list of ingredients entered by users.
  • ·   Saves users’ time that they usually need to spend while searching for suitable recipe based on ingredients they had at home.

Designing Alternatives

With our apps, KitchenGeek, we are giving users an alternative besides traditional recipe-looking apps. The traditional ones are those which user needs to enter the recipe name and press search/enter. But with our apps, users just need to enter lists of ingredients/groceries that are currently available at home and click search. Then, the apps will return the search results, consisting lists of recipes that uses partially or all ingredients that had been listed by user earlier.
            Our aim by creating this kind of solution and a new way of searching is mainly to save user’s time, where, he/she did not have to waste time checking the list of ingredients needed for the recipe they’ve searched only to realized they’re short in ingredients to cook it. It is also on-the-go kind of apps, where user just need to search and cook.
            Housewives who had a lot of time at home may find this kind of new way is thrilling and makes cooking experience more thrilling. While for employed people, our main point which is to save time is suitable for them as they’re busy working and have no space to spend longer time in kitchen. For university students, this apps will help them to discover various recipes with given limited ingredients they had because, yeah, they need to save their money for other purposes.



Our pilot group for testing will be majorly Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s students, aged around 19-23 as they are the nearest community to us and it will be easier to engage with them and ask them to test our prototype. Besides UTM students, we will try to ask our close friends’ parents which basically can fall into the other two of our target users; housewives and employed people.

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