Tracking Noise Pollution
PROJECT CONTEXT
Our team was given a design topic based around personal informatics. We were tasked with understanding noise exposure and how we can relate personal informatics to help promote behavior change.

This was a 10-week project for Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction.
ROLE
Project management + Interface Design

  • Secondary Research, Task Analysis
  • Storyboarding, Sketching
  • Prototyping, Visual Design, Poster Design
PROCESS
With our design problem, we first needed to gain insight about how sound affects human psychology and physiology in positive and negative ways. Through our secondary research, we found that even though loud sound levels (85 dBs and higher) can increase the likelihood of stress-related illnesses such as heart attacks, periods of soft sound level (~30 dB) can also provide equally beneficial side effects.
In light of this, we sought to target users who work in loud environments and lack hearing protection. We utilized contextual inquiry to find out how restaurant staff combats the potential harmful effects of prolonged exposure to loud decibel levels.
Contextual Inquiry
We confirmed our hypothesis that many users in similar situations were mostly unaware of the sound levels around them despite the risks. Our goal was to design a mobile platform that would passively track and record sound exposure levels around them without detracting users of their current activities.
We wanted to focus on two user tasks:

  • Track the surrounding sonic environments with the native microphone of a smartphone

  • Review their aural history and receive insight about the health benefits and detriments of their sound exposure data
Tasks
Storyboard
The design process progressed iteratively with storyboarding of user actions, sketching of interface and interactions, and low and high-fidelity prototyping of the application with the use of Axure.
Paper Prototyping
We proceeded to do informal usability tests to determine ease of use and functionality of the application. After employing some of the proposed changes from testing, I designed the final visual mockup using Adobe Illustrator.
Digital Mockups
OUTCOME
This project presented an equal opportunity to tackle an interesting design problem with considerations to personal informatics, a hot topic within the tech community at the time, as well as further understand the field of sound. The problem space provided an interesting opportunity to understand how users comprehend the impact of sonic environments. This presented the team a complex challenge in terms of understanding user tasks and designing our application around them. The project was presented for the class showcase as well as submitted for the annual Shobe prize.
REDESIGN
Circa Sept. 2015: I decided to redesign the interface to rearrange information as well as give the application a more sophisticated visual appeal to match current iOS human interface guidelines.
Splash Screen + Live Tracking
Data Review + Analysis