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Interaction Design Coursework 2

ECS612U - Interaction Design


Inzamamul Haque
Student ID: 120167085
January 2016

Part One: Conceptual Design


Following the ethnographic study of major train stations in London I noticed
that there is still a great necessity for the utilisation of departure boards that are
located in the main station concourse. The departure boards cause for a big build up
of crowds in the immediate vicinity of them and make it harder for passengers who
are familiar with the station to navigate to their departing train platform. By providing
a solution to get commuters to arrive at their platform in the most efficient manner, I
hope to declutter the main concourse and bring a more fluid flow in human moments
in train stations.
I have created a conceptual design to assist a passenger with navigating a train
station to go straight to their platform by utilising a wearable device that provides
information about relevant information to speed up the process. The goal of the
device is to provide the user with guidance with information preloaded beforehand
which is provided from the users train ticket. The wearable device is fitted with a
colour touchscreen, and is able to provide the user with audio and haptic feedback
when required to do so. The device is equipped with bluetooth so that it can
communicate with a bluetooth and data-enabled device such as a mobile phone or
tablet. The device collects real time data about the train departure by bluetooth
pairing the data-enabled device. The device goes into standby mode to preserve batter
when not in use, i.e. the screen goes dark. The device wakes up when the user touches
or taps the touchscreen of the device.

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Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3
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The device has three different screens or states in which the user can be in.
The first state (figure 1), displays the destination of where the traveller intends to go,
the platform on which he or she is to embark the train from, the time at which the
train will depart as well as the operator of the train service. The device will provide
haptic feedback in the form of two vibrating pulses, and with visual feedback where
values in green will flash if there are any changes to the original train departure
platform/time/service-operator. The device will also provide audio feedback when
changes in the departure of the train occur. This audio feedback would take place in
the form of a chiming bell to alert the user of changes in the train departure. The
wearer is able to change the volume of the audio feedback using the physical dials
located on the side of the wearable device.
The second state (figure 2) is accessed if the user swipes the touchscreen to the
left from the first state using their finger. It provides the user with the time remaining
until the train departs, represented by hours and minutes. The values provided are in
real time and change every minute. The times also change if there are changes in the
time of train departure. The second state also provides data on the destination, time
of departure and the platform in which the train is departing from, although this is not
intended to be the focus of the screen. At t-15 minute and t-5 minute, the device
provides the user with haptic and audio feedback to indicate that the train will be
departing soon. The haptic feedback takes place in the form of a single pulse, and the
audio feedback occurs in the form of a chiming bell.
The third state (figure 3) is accessed when the user swipes two states to the right
from the second state, or one state to the right from the first state (figure 1). The state
here provides the user with an interactive map of the platform, showing the user
where their platform is located with a target, and amenities such as a coffeeshop and a
fast-food restaurant. The map is downloaded from a database by using the bluetooth
paired data-enable device. The map is then stored on the wearable device offline for
later use by the user. The map provides the user with where the ticket barriers are, as
well as the information kiosk in the case they need further assistance. The user is able

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to pan and zoom around the map in order to see the map more clearly. The map
provides entrances and exits of the station as well.
An outline of a possible use case scenario is as follows. Male user A has booked a
ticket to Brighton using an online service. He updates this information using his
booking reference on his data-enabled mobile phone which then sends the data to the
wearable device using Bluetooth. The user leaves work at 2pm and sees that he still has
1h and 35m remaining on the second state of the wearable device. He decides to get
lunch before getting the tube to get to London Bridge Station. Upon arrival at London
Bridge he notices that he still has 32m remaining by looking at second state of the
wearable device. He has enough time to pick up his physical ticket from a ticket
machine and is already aware of his platform number. He accesses the interactive map
on the third state of the wearable device and finds that there is a coffeehouse on the
station concourse. The wearable device buzzes to let him know that there is fifteen
minutes till the train departs. He uses the map to get to the coffeehouse and fetch
himself a quick coffee, and he then uses the interactive map to navigate to his
platform. As he approaches the ticket barrier the wearable device buzzes again to
indicate that there is five minutes remaining, which is not a problem as he is already on
the station platform about to board the train.

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Part Two: Analysis


Part A) Activity Theory
This section aims to provide an exhaustive analysis of the system using the
activity theory principles. There are six elements to the activity theory analysis which
are mentioned below in figure 4.

Figure 4

The object is the wearable device that displays important information about the
users train departure. The outcome of the system is to make aware of the user the time
remaining for their train, the platform from which his or her train will be departing
from, as well as amenities on the station concourse in an efficient, innovative manner.
The instruments involved in the activity system include the wearable device that
provides the user with the information on a graphical user interface, and a dataenabled mobile device that pushes the data from an online source to the wearable
device. The wearable device is the object that is being transformed for the user.
The subject in this activity case is the wearer of the device, also the user of the
system. The subject will require an introduction and tutorial to use the wearable device
in order for it to be a useful tool.

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The rules that can be associated with the usage of the device can be such that the
wearer should be aware of his or her surroundings when using the device, and not to
obstruct others when using it. Another rule that the wearer might be inclined to follow
whilst using the device, is to not use the device at a high volume, in order not to
disturb other people around him/her.
The community in which the device is going to be surrounded by includes the
wearer themselves, the people and commuters in the train station and the staff
members at the train station. The community might also include the people that the
wearer will encounter before they arrive at the train station (and may also be able to
hear the audio feedback coming from the device).
The division of labour involves the user looking, reading and understanding the
details presented to him/her by the wearable device.
This system is an appropriate solution for the user because it is a mobile wearable
device. It provides minimal interference with the users day to day activities as it is
discretely placed on the users wrist. The system allows the user to navigate the station
concourse from the entrance to the platform without having to stand around by the
departure boards or screens.
Advantages of the system include the wearable device presenting the user with
accurate real time information such as the time remaining until their train departs.
The device will also adapt to changes in the departure schedule of the train, so that
the user will not have to worry about updating or refreshing the interface. As the
device is wearable and is discrete to the user, the audio and haptic feedback that is
produce provides alerts and notifications of such information that is mentioned
previously.
Disadvantages of the system include if the user is not able to understand the
language that is displayed on the device. This will mean that the user will struggle to
understand the information and would not find the device useful as a tool. Another
disadvantage would be if the user was not able to see or if they struggle to see the

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information provided by the device. Another possible disadvantage of this system is


that the social interaction of the users with other actors in the community might
decrease as the user has most the information he/she required on his/her wrist.
Part B) Normans Design Principles
In the book The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman mentions a variety of
basic user interface design principles and concepts in order to communicate the system
model as effectively as possible to the user. Visibility, Natural Mapping and Feedback are
some key design principles, with the applications to the system described below.
Visibility
This principle concerns in assuring that the control and states are visible to the
user in terms of what they are and what they do. The device follows the principle of
viability by displaying the necessary information in each of the three states. If the
begins swiping within a a state, the state moves with the finger, affording the user the
knowledge that the states are interchangeable by swiping left or right. The device also
has physical controls on the side of the device for controlling the volume levels. The
values on the displays also flash if there are changes to the departure schedule,
indicating that the user should be alarmed or aware of new changes.
Natural Mapping
This principle concerns the ability to make natural connection between controls/
actions into results. The device provides natural mapping in a manner of ways. One
method is how in the third state, the user is able to use his/her finger to pan the
interactive map of the station concourse. The map pans in the same direction as the
direction of the finger, so it is a natural output to the users actions. The way that the
device changes states by switching left or right when the user swipes left or right is
another example of a natural result due to the user input.
Feedback

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This principle requires the system to provide feedback on user action effects or
the state of the system. It should be easily interpretable by the user and relevant to the
user. This principle is valid as the system provides visual feedback, with information
relevant to the user regarding his/her train times, in every state. The device provides
audio and haptic feedback in states one and two (figures 1 and 2) when there are
changes in the train departure schedule, alerting the user appropriately. When the user
changes state by swiping left or right, the device does not proceed to keep going left
after the next state has been reached. This is so that the user is aware that the device
has only three states.x

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