IDATA UCD OVERVIEW
User-Sensitive Inclusive Design promotes the concept of involving users with specific needs in the design process. The activities in this series will engage high school students (both sighted and BVI) in the process of redesigning the Afterglow interface to better meet their needs. Activity One, the introductory exercise, models User-Centered Design Methods through hands-on engagement with a design problem.
During Activity Two, students draw upon their own experiences to create personas and scenarios representing typical BVI Afterglow users. These initial exercises employ investigative methods, asking students to critically reflect upon and document the needs and preferences of BVI users and then share that information with the IDATA team.
Activity Three through Six move into generative methods, i.e. the making phase, asking students to envision new solutions to current Afterglow Interface inaccessibility. Activity Three utilizes improv techniques to structure a fast-paced ideation session for reimagining the Afterglow interface. During Activity Four students use a Task Flow as a springboard for envisioning innovative means of completing a specific task—an accessibility wish list. Activity Five asks students to record moments of delight as they interact with everyday technology and then transfer characteristics of that moment to the Afterglow interface. Activity Six engages students in Card Sorting, an exercise that asks them to reorganize the content of the Afterglow homepage into a more intuitive structure.
These initial six activities in IDATA UCD Phase One embrace the students as co-designers, empowering them not only to critically examine existing non-accessible digital platforms but also to use their experiences to develop innovative concepts of their own for making these platforms accessible and enjoyable to BVI users. All of the material generated by these activities will feed the larger Afterglow redesign process.
In the second phase of the project, students will test prototypes of Afterglow created by the IDATA team. These prototypes will respond directly to the material generated by Activities 1-6. Students will provide feedback and ideas for further iteration of these prototypes which will, in turn, lead to Phase 3.
During Phase 3, the prototypes will be developed further—coded rather than mocked up. These prototypes will also be tested and revised based upon student feedback, although only minor changes will be possible at this stage. The final redesign of Afterglow will, ideally, not only be accessible to BVI students, but also enjoyable to use.