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Mobile media metadata

Lead Interaction Designer

Overview and Challenge:
Mobile Media Metadata is a mobile application which leverages automatically available metadata via the camera phone, in order to create an image annotation application, which works "at the point of image capture". By utilizing both image processing algorithms and the automatic metadata it presents the user with a series of screens to confirm or change the system's "guesses". Here we developed a working prototype which demonstrates the interaction and functionality of the system. Challenges in this project include: small screen real estate of the camera phone, network unpredictability, limited user interaction time (i.e. a mobile application), XHTML browser interaction constraints, and large semantic hierarchy display issues.

Case Study: The process to make it happen.
To demonstrate my process here are the steps I took in creating the interaction of this application.


1. Personas and Goals
In order to understand the users of this system better, their goals, and their needs, I created a set of personas. Putting a picture to the text brings the users' needs alive and makes it easier to design the appropriate functionality for his or her goals.

2. Scenarios
We then brainstormed the basic interaction of the application. From this brainstorming session I put the ideas into rough sketches to illustrate the intended scenarios and initial thoughts on screen design. From the initial sketches we were able to refine the scenarios. I then reiterated the initial scenarios into a more concise display to be easily shared with prospective sponsors.

3. Interaction Flow
An interaction flow was created which outlined an overview of the basic system decision making, screens, and interaction pattern that would be used.


4. Interactive Mock-Up (Illustrator)
Focusing on the screen and interaction details, I created an interactive prototype in Illustrator. Because much of the interaction would be displayed through drop-down menus, I simulated this interaction by turning layers on and off.


5. Evaluation and Testing
I performed a series of tests (a few quantitative, most qualitative) at different stages of the prototype's development.

Paper Prototype Testing. Paper prototype testing was performed on the screen mock-up above. I created a foamcore model of the phone and used paper screens to test the interaction with users. The Illustrator file above was iterated after this testing.

UI Testing. I ran a series of tests on the hi-fi prototype to gauge user performance in order for future iterations to be made. I asked users to perform a series of tasks and watched them perform it, videotaping their actions for later evaluation.

Interviews. During the UI Testing sessions I interviewed users about their use of the system. I focused on interaction problems and general motivation for performing these tasks via a mobile device.

Focus Groups. Based on the response of the interviews we determined that we needed to better understand user motivations. We conducted a pair of focus groups (myself leading one) where users discussed their motivations for this system, along with, image taking behavior and image annotation in general.

Photo Annotation on a Camera Phone (CHI2004)
Metadata Creation System for Mobile Images

6. Presentation
Part of being able to create a successful interaction, is also being able to articulate and share the work clearly with others. I created diagrams and papers which explain the work performed and summarize the findings. These documents were shared with other academics, sponsors, and future researchers for this system. One paper summarizes the interaction difficulties I faced, including user interface issues and user motivation findings. The other is mainly concerned with system architecture and implementation details.

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