This project was done as the primary focus of an HCI (Human Computer Interaction) class at Georgia Tech. We were instructed to find people at work on campus, and to pick a group to analyze and eventually assist with technology changes. We chose Starter Bikes, a club on campus that sells bikes. They take bikes that are abandoned on campus and resell them, and also help bike owners fix their bikes. They have many tools and parts that owners can use for free, and if owners need a more expensive part, they can purchase it at wholesale value from the club.
Our work consisted of three parts over the semester-- research, ideation and prototyping. I specifically contributed to everything discussed below, with extra work in coordination and leadership along with another team member.
We found that it was hard for new visitors to know what to do-- everyone looked the same, whether volunteer or bike owner. It was also evident that there were not enough volunteers to handle the large crowds that would gather each Friday. Many visitors would stand and wait for a while before receiving help. When talking with the head volunteers, we learned that they barely had time for all of the work they did, they and did not want any kind of solution that created more work for them. Seeing issues such as these led us to better understand this organization that only operates from 4-6 on Fridays in the bottom of a parking garage. After thorough research and using an affinity diagram, we developed four fundamental design implications:
We then began to explore potential solutions that would fit these design implications, using SCAMPER tables to generate a significant portion of our ideas. These ideas ranged from impossible to immediately achievable, and we began to put similar ideas together to narrow down our scope. The ideation process resulted in three potential solutions, with varying amounts of technology used.
After deciding on three potential solutions, we hosted multiple sessions to obtain feedback. Two sessions included Georgia Tech students from our class, and the rest were with people directly related to Starter Bikes. After feedback from classmates we decided to focus on our third design, a mix of technology and physical invention. Group member Dave Hoatlin created a prototype for the tablet navigation that we then used for heuristic evaluations. Then we did "think-alouds" with stakeholders, asking them to perform tasks with the prototypes.
Overall, people liked our design. They thought it made sense and addressed many of the problems Starter Bikes is currently facing. They also pointed out some limitations and things to be aware of (like preventing people from stealing tablets). Volunteers at Starter Bike also enjoyed seeing our different designs and hearing how we felt the organization could be helped by some extra technology.
The goal of this project was to use the User Experience Design process to assist people at work at Georgia Tech. These people could use our project if they wanted, or simply gain knowledge from what we had done. With Starter Bikes, we accomplished this goal. We came up with a product that we thought would be immensely valuable, and others agreed. This project could be iterated on in the future, or used in some way now to facilitate bike acquisition and fixing at Georgia Tech.