Some technical issues have delayed this blog post, but we’d better be wrapping up the summer school now than never. The final day of the program saw Frank Bentley, a former colleague (and current good friend) of me and Elaine, talk about how to create mobile experiences. Apparently it’s not just writing the code! (Who knew?)
Using examples from numerous case studies to illustrate the points he was making, Frank took us through a super-compressed version of the design process of a mobile application, with brainstorming, sketches, paper-prototype user tests, and finally in fact some code writing, using the AppInventor tool to quickly create a mockup of the application that could be demoed on an Android phone.
While those students from an HCI background probably weren’t surprised that the off-the-top-of-their-head designs turned out to be flawed as soon as they were put in front of a user (or at least they shouldn’t have been!), the lecture seemed to open the eyes of others to the importance of a user-centered design process. It was also exciting to see concepts evolve from elevator pitches to simple prototypes running on real devices over the course of an afternoon.