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Design, Prototyping, and Construction

In-Depth Activity Comments 

This is activity contains a lot of design tasks. Here are some observations to help you be creative:

  • For this activity, don't be constrained by existing booking products – use them for inspiration but don't be constrained by them. Consider a wide range of interface types: what would the product be like if it was accessible through the 'hole in the wall' technology as used for ATMs, or a NUI, or a wearable or tangible?

  • Seek out alternative example products. Not necessarily ticket booking systems, but products for making an appointment, booking hotel rooms, banking apps, social media and so on. See what ideas these products spark.

  • The shopping cart is a common metaphor for purchasing items online. However, is it suitable for this environment? Will users be comfortable with it?

  • Look out for any metaphors that arise from your data gathering. Do users consistently refer to any particular metaphor or experience?

  • Will you have one product for larger, static displays (maybe one in a public space?) and one for smaller devices such as tablets and smart phones whose screen requirements and constraints are quite different? Or would it be better to use an SDK that caters for different form factors?

  • You could try using a prototyping tool in this activity, such as those listed in the web resources section for this chapter, or those at the end of Chapter 13.

  • Some of the requirements collected in the activity at the end of Chapter 11 will be functional. During design, you can choose which of these functions to support and which will not be supported.

  • Follow the steps in Chapter 12 for producing the prototypes from the requirements activity outputs. Initially this will probably produce uninspiring designs, but they will contain the basics, and these ideas can then be expanded, and seeking alternatives will help being creative.

  • Consider whether to sketch a wheel-based experience map or a timeline version. Which is more appropriate for this application? It may be helpful to do this work with a group of peers or friends so that issues can be discussed. This is how they would normally be used in practice.

  • The maker movement is focused primarily on physical computing, i.e. combining electronics and fabrics and software, while the application in this activity focuses more on 'just' software. But would you agree with this? Maybe your design is more adventurous?

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