Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Co-design session 1

Time is flying! End of last week we had our first co-design session with users, and I didn't even find time to blog about it. So here's a brief summary. The meeting took place on 30th of July for 2½ hours. As one would expect for this time of year, only 3 of the 6 invited 'super-users' were available. The schedule included:
  • 15 minute questionnaire to establish participants' background and views
  • 15 minute introduction to CloudBank (included below)
  • 5 minute questions & answers
  • 15 minute viewing a very English film (A Private Function)
  • 50 minute discussion: what was difficult to understand, why, similar situations in other contexts, measures to improve, etc.
  • 50 minute co-design: feedback and ideas based on initial interaction designs
The whole meeting was video-taped (with participants' consent) and two researchers took notes during the session.

And what did we learn? A lot! The session brought up many aspects we did not think of before. It helped to further develop our initial interaction designs and in the process led to a more rounded, complete service: Whereas we initially thought of the CloudBank Android client as an application to collect, annotate and tag language related content, with distribution handled through RSS feeds and mobile alerts, our users placed equal emphasis on querying and editing the data on their handsets. Yippee, this makes it a much more useful service! Ouch, we just added several layers of complexity!

Many other ideas were thrown in, ranging from the extremely useful and powerful, like filtering based on social networking concepts, to the more adventurous, like voice recognition and synthesis. Sadly though we only can note them down at this point as the project must end in November. However, the most promising ideas might well inform a follow-up project :-)

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