In our previous blog posts were were describing our overall concept by introducing AVALOG. This week we were further finalizing our idea and developed a first prototype. We’ve started with a HTML mockup and improved it in multiple iterations. Finishing by the end of this week we produced a video-prototype which represents AVALOG.
Why is there a need for AVALOG?
There are many observers in the field who support the Bavarian Avalanche Centre with important facts about the avalanche situation of a certain area. Though, this data is not exchanged digitally between both parties. Still, the centre is calling every single observer and asks for the information. The gathered data is then being integrated into the
avalanche report, so that late phone calls lead to stressful situations, as the report has to be published within fixed time frames.
What is AVALOG?
We replace the phone call by providing AVALOG – an application which enables the observer to push the gathered data directly to the Bavarian Avalanche Centre. There’s no need for time consuming phone calls anymore – with AVALOG the observer doesn’t need to wait for the call and the other party in return doesn’t need to phone every single observer. As a result the avalanche report can be published much faster.
How does it work?
From the observer’s perspective:
Once all related data (e.g. snow depth, snow surface, temperature, etc.) are gathered, Karl just fires up AVALOG and enters the necessary information.
From the Bavarian Avalanche Centre’s perspective:
Worker Peter first logs into AVALOG and sees directly that Karl has sent its report.
However AVALOG reminds Peter, that there are still some reports missing. In that case Peter would call candidates, who haven’t sent their reports yet.
What are the benefits?
AVALOG provides the following benefits for the Bavarian Avalanche Centre:
- Improves workflow by parallelized data gathering
- Saves time by replacing the phone call
- Simplifies tasks with automated data highlighting
- Faster publishing of the avalanche report
After reviewing our collected data from the interviews, we were visualizing the main ideas with an affinity diagram. We were then continuing to narrow down things using a swim lane diagram, which turned out to be a powerfull tool.
Describing the overall use-cases in a storyboard we came out with the following concept: AvaLog
There are many observers in the field who support the Bavarian Avalanche Centre with important facts about the avalanche situation of a certain area. Though, this data is not exchanged digitally between both parties. Still, the centre is calling every single observer and asks for the information.
What’s the concept all about?
Here our idea steps in! We are proud to present AvaLog – the Avalanche Logging application for mobile devices! There are no time consuming telephone calls anymore! After the observer checks the conditions he/she fires up AvaLog, notes down the data and sends them straight to the Bavarian Avalanche Centre!
Time savings as phone calls are omitted, which in turn leads to faster publishing of the avalanche report.
Our group went to two fire brigade stations to do user research in the form of a semi-structured interview. Having met the rural volunteer fire brigade in Wolfratshausen and an urban volunteer fire brigade in Munich (Stadtmitte), we can tell that they both use similar technical support with some differences in terms of usability and technical progress.
Through the interviews we had the opportunity to explore different tasks and equipment that is used in the work environment of a firefighter. We got to know that technical devices have to function properly regardless of temperatures and weather conditions. This is an important point to consider in the later development of our concept.
In addition an apprentice of the fire brigade in Fürth answered our questions by e-mail, so that we could gather information from another perspective. In summary the interviews provided a lot of informations for us to analyse in the next phase of our design process.
In a series of three blog posts we are going to present the results of our practical course ‘Concept Development’. We will blog about typical phaces of the design process, which in our case are user/field research, concept evaluation and the presentation of a video prototype. As a first step we will run interviews on our target research group to gather all kind of information. Then we are going to do some data analysis in order to evalute a concept/prototype. Finally we will present our final prototype in a video presentation.
This year our target research audience are public services in general. After doing some brainstorming we chose the Bavarian Avalanche Centre (BAC) for conducting our user research.
After setting up an appointment we were meeting up last Tuesday at the BAC to run our interviews. Equipped with cameras, recorders and our prepared semi-structured interviews, we split up into three groups surveying three workers in total. Additionaly we’ve gathered much information about the software which is being used and about the overall workflow producing the avalanche report. All in all we’ve spent about three hours asking our questions and doing our data collection.
As a next step we will now analyse all the data and try to evaluate a prototype or concept from it.