All posts in Prototyping

  • Reflection & 2014: second semester here I come!

    Ok, while I’ve updated various parts of this site to hint that yes, the second semester has started, I haven’t officially closed off on the last semester or offered the review as promised. I was so exhausted and brain dead after the last two weeks of the semester that I was pretty much a useless puddle as a sloshed through airport security to head home for winter break.

    And then winter break was as much as a break as I had hoped because I spent most of the time laboring over my new website. I’m happy I did, but when I found myself waiting in the cold for the the Pittsburgh buses again, I didn’t necessarily feel like my brain had been refreshed.

    However, that just what been keeping me. As I was working on and describing all my projects from last semester and I really the amount of things I have learned and worked on and how much I have grown. Even just being the TA for Communication Design Fundamentals made me think more closely about the way I design and organize information. While in the thick of it, it was hard for me to look past the kind of aches of the every day process of going to class, doing homework, reading until your eyes fall out. But working on my portfolio was a good chance to step back.

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  • Prototyping: Every day task…of shopping


    Project 1 Final:

    When we last left of you were on the edge of your seats to see what every day task I would choose to make your task flow…well folks, you’re in for a real treat!

    We had just started going around the room to present tasks and I felt pretty good about my reasons for get wanting to create a recycling app, even if it had already manifested on the bloated app market. While listening to the other people, I my mind was jogged into thinkings about things that annoyed me throughout the day, that frustrated me. Things that I wanted help with.

    Shopping. Informed shopping.

    Hear me out:

    I’m not a health nut, but I’m starting to kind of feel like you have to be in order to eat even remotely healthy foods. After living in Colorado, everyone was about healthy lifestyles, food & exercise. Greek yogurt and quinoa flew off the shelves before the packages could even settle. You were told this and that, everyone was putting beans on stuff as a protein substitute when they weren’t using ground turkey…it was intense. I picked up some things and learned about other stuff which added to the things about food I already knew. I tried to avoid GMOs, if I drank milk, I would avoid milk that used hormones in the process (rBST). Eventually when I saw this list of 8 foods banned in other countries that are still used in the US I was like “Alright, why is it so hard to find food that isn’t slowly going to kill me?” I was really frustrated and I distinctly remember a few months ago standing in the grocery story with my friends trying to find cereal without potassium bromate. Anyway, it was hard.

    So above you can see the finished task flow for how I personally go shopping. I want to iterate that I’m not the most food-conscious person you’ll ever meet, I’m just trying to make better food choices when I can. So yes, sometimes that means being cheap and not always getting the super organic alternative.

  • Prototyping: Everyday task

    Project 1:

    For the first project we had to think of an every day tasks that were are “professionals” in. As in, sure do things every day, but we had to be really familiar with the process and know it in and out. I had been chewing on this for a while trying to pick something manageable. I knew later we would take the task flow we developed from this task and making some sort of technology to help this process.

    The initial ideas I had didn’t seem right for various reasons:

    • Emailing: This was just a huge beast that seemed like a lot  to tackle.
    • List-making: There are so many technologies that already do this and I personally like the process of writing lists in pen and paper anyway.
    • Taking the bus: This would be nice, wouldn’t it? But it deals mostly with trying to get the buses to have technology to tell you when it comes. That’s as simple as it is: you have that, and you’re happy and you don’t need an app that does 100 other things.
    • Reading articles and bookmarking: The problem I have is wanting time to do it, not the way I do either.
    • Using my alarm clock: I need something to wake me up and keep me up. But if I was completely honest an alarm clock is not going to make me happy about waking up and I don’t want to work on a project everyone is going to hate. (“But Jacklynn! You can make it a more enjoyable experience!” No.)



    I decided upon recycling as an option.  I am silently frustrated with my the way my housemates recycle and as the new person am not prepared to step in an lecture 6 strangers about the proper recycling technique. Especially since I’m new to Pittsburgh. Simple things like not trying to recycled soiled paper or most pizza boxes. That’s right, pizza boxes! The oil in the cardboard is difficult if not impossible to clean and the box is unusable (according to past hearsay and confirmed through recent research). I know they mean well, but it’s juts hard to stay on top of information like this and I thought it would be helpful for their to be an app that can easily tell you what’s recyclable in your area or not. For instance, Pittsburgh is the first city I’ve been in that can recycle the hard plastic of bottle caps. It makes me worry about how much recycling is just thrown away because of contamination.

    I decided I wanted my app to…

    1. Tell you what can & cannot be recycled in your specific area. Recycling plants would have incentive to send their information to the company since it would be helping them at no extra cost.
    2. Have products be quickly searchable to see if it’s recyclable or not, or even if certain parts of it are. My housemates will frequently through saran wrap into the recycle bin and I’ve just never considered that recyclable. (I’m not sure about this though)
    3. Has a list of common myths. Short and digestible. Also just interesting information about the recycling process and best practices. Like cleaning out your containers before throwing them the bag.

    In my research I stumbled upon an app called iRecycle which actually did a pretty good job with many of these points (especially having local data!) and it was pretty well designed. It was so functional, in fact, it made me kind of think I should look for some other every day task….


    To be continued :).