Project Overview + Topic
In this collaborative group assignment, we were tasked with trying to come up with creative solutions to improve the student experience at York University's Keele campus. With the focus of the York Lanes shopping centre in mind, we created an app to improve the heavy foot traffic and long wait times that students experienced which caused them to avoid this space.
Paniz, Leah, Heidi, Ivy
improving user experience
The system we wanted to create is an app used for finding busy and available times in stores, as well as for seating. The app was to be named Fast Lanes and would be available on all smartphones. The app would be targeted largely towards students (Undergraduate and Masters) and faculty of York University. York Lanes is an area that is visited by a lot of students for various services throughout the day. Unfortunately, many of the stores are crowded with people and have long wait times and issues with availability that draws people away from wanting to use these services. The students could benefit from a system that regulates this issue and makes these services more efficient and accessible.
We first began brainstorming about our topic of York Lanes. We had to experience the space and its limitations before being able to decide what we were creating. The first step was to create an AEIOU (Activity, Environments, Interactions, Objects, Users) analysis based on the York Lanes environment. and creating the app requirements.
Use Cases and Scenarios
For the project, we began the first part of actual creation with making use cases and scenarios and flow diagrams as well as a system map to contextualize how our app would work. This would be the core of the user interactions. Next, a style guide was created with initial sketches for the design of the app before the consent forms, interview scripts, and questionnaires were made with our ethics approval. Soon after, we began creating the app prototype on Figma since it was a collaborative space we could all work together on as a team.
Working on Figma and User Testing
We decided to pursue a thematic design of a racetrack to symbolically reference the fast efficiency of our application. The design stylistically reflects the purpose of our app to enhance the experience of York Lanes visitors. The design is created to remain consistent while using abstract concepts to display the theme to avoid overwhelming the user. The colours red and grey are used consistently
throughout the design to visually reflect the thematic colours and feeling of the mall itself that was observed during the initial observations of the environment. There were some minor issues that users experienced throughout the testing when using the map to access different resources. Some were due to a limitation with prototyping. and a few were because the logos were small or not identifiable so they were not sure which button to select. Overall, the user testing of Fast Lanes was successful and helped the team determine what recommendations and changes could be made to the app.
Proposed Solution and Results
The application would provide estimated wait times for lineups at the restaurants and stores located in York Lanes as well as notifications for available seating and crowded locations. It would also provide some additional information about the various stores in York Lanes, such as opening hours, menu items and location. As a final step to our project, we created a video displaying of the app prototype and viewed the main problems that were found during testing and proposed various recommendations. Although these recommendations weren't fulfilled, they provided a more thorough learning experience in the process.