DARPA engaged frog to help them visualize a massive multiplayer cyber battlespace. We approached the problem as an experimental mapping project. Individual contributions included:

  • primary and secondary research including personas
  • alignment and ideation activities & facilitation
  • concepts, workflows, and scenarios
  • wireframes
  • final presentation and technical report

Role: Senior Interaction Designer

  • Led interaction design, user research, and made significant contributions to final presentation and technical report (Creative Director changed halfway through the project)
  • Mentored junior designer
  • Team included Creative Director, myself, Jr. IxD, Visual Designer, Design Technologist, and Program Manager
  • Project duration - 8 weeks

Research

Our research goal was to understand both the technological terrain and the potential users of Plan X. The team dove deep into the landscapes of technology, innovation, and gaming in addition to conducting qualitative research with target users. Activities included:

  1. Target User Interviews
  2. Landscape Comparison
  3. Gaming Immersion

Target User Interviews

We interviewed 15 people recruited by DARPA. We learned about their attitudes towards a range of video games and interfaces through card sort and word association activities. We also talked about how they approach mission planning in the field. I was responsible for the research plan and script. I also led the activity planning, synthesis of our findings, and created the personas.

landscape comparison

We looked to different technologies in adjacent spaces to find trends that may help inspire our designs. I directed this work in terms of defining the deliverable, providing examples, and reviewing the output with the team's other Interaction Designer, but this was not my sole responsibility.

Gaming Immersion

Play all the games!

Ideation & Alignment Workshop

We ran and facilitated an ideation and alignment session with key stakeholders and other vendors participating in the Plan X project. Activities included rapid concept generation, designing games, and focused ideation with research insight and hardware constraints. The workshop planning and facilitation was a collaborative effort across the team. I led a large portion of the overall planning as well as producing all the print materials – worksheets, gameboards, plotter posters of personas, inspiration, etc. – for the workshop.

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Workflow and Scenarios

Working from client materials, research synthesis, and workshop output, I worked closely with the other two designers to create a framework for scenarios that we would present to the client. I provided the deliverable and a first example, then we collaborated on two more.

Wireframes

Using the workflow the client chose from our suggestions, I wrote a couple of scenarios that cover the brief's initial requirements as well as ideas we were interested in exposing in the prototype. I also led several ad-hoc whiteboarding sessions to get a sense of the overall screens we'd be working on before moving onto the computer.

I then took the overall outline and screen ideas and created higher-fidelity foundational wireframe flows.

 

Final Wires and Visual Design

While the visual design was not my deliverable, the visual designer, the design technologist, and I worked very closely throughout the process to make sure we all understood tradeoffs in the flows and designs. Basically, collaborating with smart people is awesome.

Final example wireframe

Final example visual design