The biggest changing factor in my design process was the Covid-19 pandemic. This caused a large amount of problems for me from gaining access to resources, ability to user test as planned and having any access to users at all. I had to change the way I worked on my app and how it would function to best demonstrate its working condition under the UK Guidelines to isolation and social distancing.
My first issue relating to Covid-19 was a minor one but it soon became apparent that it would have a large effect on my work ethic and quality. Being in isolation took me out of my studio environment which effected how I received constant feedback from peers and staff, how I accessed resources provided by the university and my mental well being. It was difficult to produce the same quality of work in a different environment but over time with the assistance of the University and my lecturers I overcame these problems and learned to combat them over time. I managed to set up a small working area within my home and received large amounts of assistance from my family in the form of opinions, photos, video work and user testing. I kept in contact with my classmates and we communicated as a group offering each other opinions, advice and some inspiration from one another, this was a big help during covid as t was a sense of still being together and working together.
My next problem was more of a serious one, I had no opportunity to physically meet with users and test my app and receive valuable feedback. A result in this was that I lost access to two of my users but I was able to move back home to have access to my final user Barra which was a small win during this hard time. I went on daily walks with Barra and his owner to continuously test my app as it was changing quite frequently, I also kept sending visual of my changes to my other users and we communicated over video calls to discuss their opinions and feedback. My final problem came in the form of my final deliverables and how I was to present them, we were told early on during Covid-19 that we would be presenting our work over video call but this raised some small problems for me. It was going to be difficult to show everything I had achieved as I could not demonstrate my app’s functions as well as I could have in person. This led me to really focus on not just how my prototype worked as an app but also how I could showcase my final prototype in a way that complimented my app well. A way I combated this was by keeping my dad in the dark about everything i was producing so that I could present to him and he would be seeing my app for the first time which is a great practise for my final presentation. I also made sure I was collecting a large number of images of my user interacting with the app in the home and outdoor setting.
Luckily I will be able to produce my one minute video as planned as I have access to one user and a rural walking setting to create an authentic experience.
Covid-19 has impacted my process in ways I could never had imagined. It presented me with new challenges and forced me to think in different ways to complete my work with ever changing circumstances. I believe that I have coped well and have not allowed it to cause a detrimental effect on my work.
My pop up home studio for the rest of the year.