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IAKM 61095 Interaction Design, Summer 2016

Lunch Money Buddy app

Problem: For this project I was asked to create a mobile app called "Lunch Money Buddy" that allows parents and guardians of school age children to manage different aspects of their kids' in-school lunch accounts. Details such as signing up for the account, adding funds, viewing account balance and lunch menu, and setting up alerts for favorite lunches and low balances needed to be addressed.


The first step in this process was to create user journeys from two supplied personas. The user journeys helped inform content organization, navigation and interaction of the app, and include a range of tasks for each persona.

User Journey 1

User Journey 1


Action: Creating user journeys helped me understand the flow of my users, which led to the next step of the mobile app creation process which was to create a sitemap that diagrams the content structure of my app. For my sitemap I used the top-town flow chart method of charting the app navigation. I feel that it’s the best way to show the process of how the user will experience the app, from initial login to checking their child’s account funds, favorite meals, and setting up notifications. This method will also help inform what content will need to be produced, as well as establish a hierarchy of information.

Site Map

Using the content organization from my user journeys and sitemap, I created a comprehensive wireframe that documented navigation, content placement and user flow. After initial sketches were created and analyzed, I converted them using Keynote into polished wireframes, exploring how screen size and orientation affected content organization and functionality.

Wireframes

Results: I built my app around the persona of Samantha, mother of Hailee and Brendan. I wanted an app that was clean and simple, yet visually attractive so that Samantha would want to use it, and enjoy her user experience. The functionality is very simple, and is modeled after similar apps that I use on a daily basis on my own iPhone.


The interactive prototype was built using Keynote, and runs through all of the functionality of the app, including signing up and logging in, adding the access code given to the parents by the children’s school, adding funds, selecting favorite meals, and setting up alerts. The functionality of the app is based on the premise that it helps make life easier for busy families.

Final App Designs

Lessons Learned: Developing this app prototype really challenged me to think in a different way, from the perspective of a unique user. As designers it's easy to think that we know best, but that's not always the case, and keeping the user in mind through each step in the process is essential to the overall product's success. I also learned what a powerful tool Keynote has been for prototyping throughout this process. While I could have spent time learning a new tool such as proto.io or invision, I'm glad that I was able to start with something familiar and spend all of my quality time on the creation of my app.

Click here for interactive prototype (Use your back arrow to return to portfolio)

Working Prototype


Thesis work, Fall 2012

Thesis Research Posters
Research Component: My thesis is about how digital media and unstructured play can be combined in order to foster healthy child development. As I finished up my secondary research I wanted to build a poster to highlight my research. This will be the first poster in a series of three.

Thesis research poster

This will be the second poster in a series of three that highlights the development of wireframes and paper prototypes used for user testing of my mobile application.

Thesis wireframe poster

This will be the third poster in a series of three that highlights the final interface designs for my mobile application, called OhSnap!

Thesis interface poster

Thesis work, Spring 2011

Thesis Concept Map
Research Component: My thesis is about how digital media and unstructured play can be combined in order to foster healthy child development. As I work on my secondary research I wanted to build a concept map to help make sense of it all. The ultimate goal is to build a digital and/or interactive tool of some kind that kids will love which will inspire them to spend time outdoors.

Thesis research concept map

Advanced Kinetic & Sequential, Fall 2011

Concept Map
Research Component: In order to create an educational iPad app that will help motivate tweens to learn in the classroom, I had to do a lot of secondary research. To bring this research together in a visual way I created a concept map highlighting the key points and definitions that will help guide me in the process of building my app.

Research concept map

Educational iPad app prototype screens
A few frames from an educational iPad app that I developed which was created to motivate children to learn in school. Different students enjoy different subjects, so by combining different subjects into one, interactive project, it will appeal to many different students and connect their love of digital media with the inspiration to learn in the classroom.

iPad app Screens

Information Architecture, Fall 2011

Blueprint Project
The purpose of this assignment was to develop an evaluative blueprint of the Arduino site. My blueprint was built to provide a meaningful representation of how the site is organized and structured. I also analyzed and critiqued the site, which is reflected in my blueprint annotations and summary.

Blueprint

Information Visualization, Spring 2011

Visualization Poster
Research Component: When challenged with collecting data in order to visualize it graphically, I thought conducting a survey about which platform people use and why would be good subject matter. I handed out printed surveys as well as posted my survey on Facebook. Once the results were tabulated and organized, I created pie charts and word clouds and represented all of my findings in a poster format that I could easily share with all of the participants involved.

visualization poster

Independent Study, Spring 2011

Four Learning Styles iPad epub
Research Component: For my independent study I wanted to research how children learn in school in order to create an interactive learning tool. Instead of creating a research poster, I decided to create an iPad epub out of my research and make it more interactive. It was also a challenge to learn the folio building feature in InDesign, and I hope to utilize this knowledge with future projects in the classroom.

eMag example 1

eMag example 2

eMag example 3

eMag example 4