Racel Williams

Interuppter – Digital Bike Bell2012

Summary:

The Interuppter aids cyclists and pedestrians ride and walk around campus safely. The system consists of an enhanced bicycle bell and mobile application which allow pedestrians and cyclists, respectively, to send each other messages that use audio, visual, and vibration feedback to alert other users in environments that might be distracting or noisy.

Visit the project website to see our process, progress reports, and usability findings.

Contribution: I was a team member on this project and contributed to all parts of the project including defining user requirements, understanding the problem, designing a system, developing a Wizard of Oz prototype, experiment design, and presentation of findings.
Process: At Georgia Tech, the increasing presence of cyclists presents new challenges for everyone in the community, especially pedestrians. While traveling on campus, everyone must be more vigilant about the presence of other modes of transit to avoid incidents. Since the number of on-campus cyclists is growing rapidly, it is unlikely that other non-cyclists are used to dealing with such a large population of cyclists at once. It is imperative that systems be created that help both cyclists and pedestrians interact with each other. For these reasons, we decided to develop a prototype called the “Interruptor” to help cyclists and pedestrians ride and walk around campus safely. The system consists of an enhanced bicycle bell and mobile application which allow pedestrians and cyclists, respectively, to send each other messages that use audio, visual, and vibration feedback to alert other users in environments that might be distracting or noisy. Additionally, we expand upon the “Collaborative Game” idea that we developed during our earlier design stages and include it as a feature of our prototype. In addition to sending each other messages, pedestrians and cyclists will also have the ability to gain, lose, reward, and punish other users of the “Interruptor” in the form of points.

The process consisted of the following steps:
1) Defining a problem
2) Identifying the users (interviews, focus groups, and surveys) and their wants/needs
3) Understanding the environment (competitive analysis, why the problem was occurring)
4) Developing a prototype
5) Formative evaluations (user studies, think-alouds, surveys)

View Progress Report 1 - Understanding the Problem
View Progress Report 2 - Design Alternatives
View Progress Report 3 - System prototype and evaluation plan
View Progress Report 4 - Evaluating the System
View the Final Prototype & Evaluation for the Interrupter