The Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System monitors a stream that leads to the Duck Pond. Through a real-time water and weather monitoring system and a live stream feedback, student’s can learn about water sustainability and research at Virginia Tech.

The final group project of the semester emphasizes user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Our main objective was to educate the public about this program, what they do, and why it is important to them. In addition to the prompt, the groups were also assigned different user groups and locations. Our group received the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at the Moss Arts Center. One of ICAT’s goal is to promote new, transdisciplinary research domains that transcend boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science to fuel future innovation within local, state, and national industrial partners. We immediately thought that the incorporation of technology and user experience will lead us to many possibilities.

In the first ideation process, each member thought of broad and wild ideas that can be implemented in user experience. Because our main goal was to educate and inspire, we wanted our design to be interactive, as well as something that the user can take with them. This lead us into incorporating the environment of the Moss Arts Center.

In the second ideation process, our group was more detailed with the actual experience. One of the group members, Hafsa Malik, thought of a screen that ripples whenever touched. I also thought of a screen that educates people what would happen if they can control the different factors that affects the creek. Michael Watanabe thought of an app that can show augmented reality through one’s phone. We then decided to combine all three of these ideas to make an ongoing experience in and out of the Moss Arts Center.

Each members were then given different tasks for the video. All of the member designed the graphics for the app, screens, branding, and the experience. Furthermore, while Hafsa and Michael were finalizing the graphics, I was composing them into a video. With this system, the video flows in one continuous style rather than a mix of different ones.

The final project, compared to the Wicked problem, had a lot more emphasis on the user interface and user experience design because we were trying to educate a large group of people about a topic that would not really be interesting to some. I learned that feedback, both positive and negative, are used to make important decisions. Feedback from my peers advised me how we would present our video. Feedback from the people at LEWAS gave us much more concrete ideas to exhibit a message they want to give.

All in all, this project gave me a glimpse of what UX and UI design has to offer. This project, as well as the Wicked problem, made me more interested in learning what I can do further with the video-making skills I gained.