During the initial stage of dating, each party wants to make a very good impression on each other. Especially girls who want to be polite and don't want to feel embarrassed if they are using single stall bathroom in the public spaces. They don't want other people, especially if a guy is waiting for her to hear the sounds when she is using the bathroom. I am finding a way to improve public restroom experience.
Using Public Restrooms
When people are out in the public, restroom use is one of the most common interactions we have. The current interaction is good, but it doesn't take into account of people's consideration of being polite.
Finding Pain Point
Currently, the restrooms are not human enough to make people enjoy the process of using them in the public. This is especially true if people are on their first date or also being too close to their neighbours.
After a few research and talking with people, the most embarrassing moment for people while using public restrooms is that when the walls are not very sound-proof and they have people waiting outside. It is embarrassing for people to know that their friend or date waiting outside could hear them using the restroom.
After realizing the most pain point of using public restroom. I brainstormed based on the consideration that the most embarrasing moment for most girls is that their date/friend could hear the sounds of them using the restroom. I then generated different ideas to distract the waiting person or muffle the sound so that the sound is not heard.
2. Sketch prototyping
After initial brainstorming stage, I picked the music player installation idea to further improve it because it has the best solution vs effort ratio. To quickly test the feasibility of this idea, I started sketching out the idea on paper to figure out the different components as well as the constrction of this idea.
Ater figuring out the feasibility of this idea, I felt pretty confident about realizing this prototype. So I went on to gather all sensors, arduino boards, wires and speakers. Some of them like the music shield and wireless module need to be soldered. Quickly learned soldering from my fellow classmates, I was able to put together the prototype within 3 days. Then the next week was figuring out the coding to make sure the different parts were correctly connected and function as they are supposed to.
After all the hardware and software components are working correctly, it was time to start figuing out the user's inteaction with the installation. The best method is through phone connection as almost everyone has a smartphone today and phone as the interface seems pretty intuitive. So this stage is about prototyping phone wireframes, testing them and iterating to ensure a smooth user interaction.
VISUAL UI DESIGN
After the wireframing and iterations, I went on to make the user interface look more consistent with color and illustrations to make it more understandable from user's perspective. Also, since the main target audience is ladies, products with better aesthetics will be more desirable.
UCD Prototyping Process
This is a really good practice to learn about how to carry out a thorough process from initial idea generation to prototyping using user centered design methodologies.
Planning Is Really Important
Working with hardware has a lot more unforeseenable factors that come into play when designing. So when working with hardware, we need to consider for software, design setup and also hardware. It is a lot more difficult to debug the different problems when so many factors come into play.
Since the process is so complicated and take a lot to debugging to make sure everything work perfectly, it is therefore important to be flexible. When working on the tight deadline, it is very important to be flexible with the making process and approach prototyping with flexible mind to ensure the successful completion of the projects.