Week 9

This week was even more hectic than the last, so I can only imagine how next week will go.

This week, we conducted user testing, and received great feedback about our product and how it should work. We went in with a functional prototype (if you read between the lines, this means it worked *mostly* but the visual design wasn't implemented yet). As a developer, it was great to see how kids interacted with it and were generally excited by the notion of augmented reality. On the other hand, it was quite frustrating to not guide people through the app when they weren't sure what to do.

However, as a UX design intern, that's a pill I have to swallow in order to best understand how to redesign the app to guide users into making the correct decisions, and maneuvering the app correctly. It's great that we have a design team to focus on some of these aspects, and that's the primary thought on my head today.

After this testing phase, Liam and I worked together all of Thursday to make sure everything worked the way that we liked and to make sure the design interface matched the designer vision. It was interesting to see the gaps in communication, and how we worked with each other when trying to execute a certain idea. Sometimes, when we discussed the feasibility of a certain feature, we went to our developer supervisor for help. It was odd to see that Liam's communication with Charlie was actually more fluid, because Liam's questions were centered around "can we make this work?" while my questions were "does this work?" The caveat here is that I would ask my questions while explaining what I knew to do. My limited knowledge, even in the same field, actually hindered my communication with someone working in the same field because I wasn't able to keep my questions "open."

Even with all of these communication conflicts, Liam and I were shocked at how simple it was to start putting the app together once we sat together and talked through our ideas while attempting to execute them. This was a major push in the right direction, and we regretted not having done it earlier. When we talked through ideas before, there was a certain degree of disconnect because we weren't going through our own trial-and-error process together. But once we did, the process became much simpler and easier for both of us - I didn't have to explain how Xcode handled a certain design, he saw it. Conversely, he didn't have to try and design around my explanations / limited knowledge, he was open to design as he saw fit.

Having this epiphany about the developer-designer relationship, and the communication necessary in such a relationship, was something that I wouldn't have experienced in any other development internship. I'm thankful for being shaken out of my "tunnel vision."