IDSA Bragging Rights Competition

OBJECTIVE

In this IDSA competition, teams were provided with an opportunity to develop and present unique design solutions that creatively integrate community learning and science into a park space. Concepts where presented to a jury of design professionals to be awarded based on each project’s feasibility to create a withstanding impact on the community. This winning design solution utilized the park space for a new Cultivation Center which focused on dietary choices, urban farming, and community outreach.

PROCESS

It was important to establish early on how we wanted the park to function as a public space so we could design the structures within the park. The park’s focus being raw food nutrition, culinary arts, urban farming, and community. These aspects working as an ecosystem of the park’s function was what we believed would allow the park to operate the best for the community.

DEFINE

The driving force for this concept was the interaction between a greenhouse, a cultivation center, and an auditorium. The ideal experience for someone utilizing this park would allow them to produce herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse to then be fully cooked or prepared in the cultivation center. Patrons would then share their experience in the amphitheater for new groups to repeat the process.

IDEATE

Working within a team based setting we found the simplest way to combine our park concepts was to work from a single SketchUp file of which we updated throughout. This allowed for each team member to make their park feature, save it into the file, and then upload it to our shared drive. Each feature was then combined to a master file. This process allowed the team to swiftly finalize the design.

Ideation included the production of physical models to create a sense of space and utility. Taking inspiration from architectural practices was in the best interest for the park.

DESIGN

Our design intent was to create a park which addressed the aforementioned functionality in a way that looked modern and attractive to park patrons. We strongly believe that the park’s aesthetics would drive to greater interest in the area. Additional phasing was an important aspect for this park. Allowing the space to function as a park without the structures was key for creating a space that established familiarity within the community to increase potential interest and funding for the facilities. It seemed ideal to create an amphitheater space ready for plays, lectures, and function as any other type of venue.

PRESENT

When it came to presenting our final project it was imperative that our deliverables were of the highest quality. We made our focus describing the function of the park, the park’s facilities, and how we believed our design would make a positive impact on the surrounding community. We described how the intended function of the park led to the final design decisions of and how we ultimately named it Raw Cultivation Center. The judges made apparent that the function, as well as form, were leading factors that granted us 1st place.

UX heuristics poster

UX Heuristics Poster

During my internship at Computerized Assessments & Learning I was tasked to design a poster which displayed a series of problem solving guidelines known as heuristics. These guidelines are useful to follow when developing digital applications. Practicing heuristics as a problem solving strategy will not always lead to a perfect solution, but instead an optimal solution for the time being.

MV Transportation Sponsored project

MV Transit Sponsored Project

The new MV Transportation Scholarship supports student initiatives and gives students interested in pursuing careers in public transit more real-world experience in the industry. This scholarship is funded by MV Transportation, the private transportation contracting firm that operates Lawrence Transit under contract with the city of Lawrence and KU on Wheels.

Cross Comparison

We sought usability problems within the current application, Where’s My Bus?, a mobile app that MV Transportation had previously implemented as their bus route guide in Lawrence, KS and what was suggested to KU students. The task was to acquire a bus route from Javabreak, a local coffee shop, to Snow Hall located which is located on the KU campus using Where’s My Bus?.  To have a definitive comparison of how this app operates we simultaneously used Google Maps to acquire a bus route to Snow Hall. Our test results were definitive, Google Maps blew Where’s My Bus? out of the water and provided us with multiple route options and bus schedules; whereas Where’s My Bus? failed to provide any up to date route information. 

Commuter Survey

A great way to find patterns and existing problems within applications is to ask how uses currently operate a service. By examining the tone and responses of these 6 transit participants we received a better understanding of how they interact with the Lawrence transit system as well as their overall feelings about the service.

9 Survey Responses

The small data-set prohibited a better study of target users. We were still inclined to use this data to inform our decision making when developing a persona and as well as what features to direct our focus.

Age Range: 20 - 24

Taking into consideration the age of survey participants provides an understanding of how experienced users are with technology. A younger user will typically have more experience with application usability compared to someone elderly.

Accessing Route Info

To learn how users were currently access their route information we wanted to know if they used a map, a mobile device, or through a computer. Smart-phones were the primary source for inquiring about route information.

Rider Interviews

A great way to find patterns and existing problems within applications is to ask how uses currently operate a service. By examining the tone and responses of these 6 transit participants we received a better understanding of how they interact with the Lawrence transit system as well as their overall feelings about the service.

Establishing Visual Direction

To keep our grant sponsors in check with our progress we participated in multiple critiques and evaluations. The generation of these mood boards acted as the start of the visual development of our app.

Branded for Lawrence, KS

An app which we wanted to be focused for KU's students as well as Lawrence residence would include graphic elements based from landmarks and architecture from around Lawrence. The Lawrence public library, the Campanile, as well as the Oread hotel were made into graphic elements aimed at increasing familiarity and thus rider confidence.

Branding Finalization

Simple, bold, and iconic. Three attributes which we applied to the new Lawrence Transit brand. We developed this brand by looking past what was trending now and instead aiming for longevity. This brand would pave the way for the design of our application's interface, the functionality we based off of the research.

Site Map

Our first steps when creating the application was to start with a site-map which would point out the essential functionality of the app. To make this map we took our collected research and implemented features which we believed were going to increase rider confidence.

Essential Features

Route Scheduler

A feature to interact directly with your schedule. Set reminders for when you need to leave, where your bus will arrive, and schedule any future routes.

Quick route

Retrieve route information instantly to get where you need to go. Basic functionality is the center of our application.

QR Reader

Instead of a bus pass use your QR reader to pay your bus fare. Check your balance through the application.

Route Timer

Raise confidence of the user by knowing exactly when your bus will arrive, when you're at the correct stop, and which stop you need to hop off at.