January - March 2016 - Screen Interaction design & usability testing


This Project was ideated & submitted as part of the coursework for IMT 540 - Design Methods for Interactive Systems taught by Prof. Batya Friedman. 

Farmers’ markets are an integral part of any community, but, the concept is older than we can imagine and they are falling behind in keeping up with the latest technological trends. As part of the project, we analyzed the major issues haunting Pike Place Farmers’ market in Seattle, WA, using different design methods. We identified that due to lack of widespread digital technology at the marketplace which is heavily crowded on typical business days, there is a growing disconnect between the buyers and vendors. Additionally, navigating the crowded multi level market place is no easy feat. After considering the various design aspects and the visitors frequenting the place, we envisioned a solution that would materialize in the form of a Kiosk Screen helping visitors navigate the place as well as helping buyers find the right product saving them time and eliminating the need of downloading another mobile App. We incorporated various design principles including value scenarios, empathic design, contextual models,  heuristic evaluation, task analysis and finally usability evaluation based on some of the role model principles provided by Don Norman & Jakob Nielsen. 


Team members for IMT 540 - Pike Place Information Buddy


  • Observation : Conducted the initial observation of visitors & vendors at the Pike Place Market setting, took pictures & recorded my observations.
  • Ideation: Ideated with the team and came up with a solution to solve the current problems at Pike Place in the form of Kiosk Screen to connect vendors & visitors/buyers.
  • Low Fidelity Prototype: Created low fidelity wireframes using - Balsamiq for the screen design & interaction.
  • Additionally: Coordinated with team in Task Analysis & Usability Research for final project submission.


Farmers’ Markets have always been an important part of Seattle community. They serve not only to provide fresh, organic, seasonal and locally grown foods but also to provide opportunities for people to know their community and its people. But, unfortunately, with the advent of high profile grocery stores on every corner, gone are the days when shopping for groceries included not only buying produce, but also meeting friends and new people, chatting with producers and farmers to learn interesting details about their produce and enjoying the seasonal and local events. Every day, vendors from the Pike Place Farmers’ Market arrive to their shops with delicious fresh products to sell. Once their booths open in the morning, variety of people – shoppers to visitors and tourists start traversing through the market searching for different items and attractions that might satisfy their needs. In this context, comparing prices, locating shops and getting information about the availability of particular products is a process that takes a long time and requires them to navigate through the place, waiting in lines whenever necessary in order to directly communicate with each supplier. In this project we intend to solve the lack of channels for the vendors to communicate with the people in order to enhance their sales based on sharing information about fresh products for the day, promotions and easier navigation through the shops


In order to gather research data, the entire market setting along with the people and structure of market was observed and field notes were taken.

Pike Place Vendors 1
Pike Place Produce 2
Pike Place Products 2
Pike Place Products

We came up with various models based on the inquiry and observations. 

 Physical Model of Pike Place Market

Physical Model of Pike Place Market

The models help us determine the various key features to include in the solution: for example, the physical model helped us improve the design by including the map feature (as talked later in the report) and the context model actually helped us determine the target audience and users of the system and also decide what the system might primarily be used for – in this case to facilitate communication and maintain transparency between the sellers and their produce and the buyers.

 Contextual Model 

Contextual Model 


  • Crowded or not, the entire market could prove to be very overwhelming especially to first timers. Navigation is always an issue.
  • No proper signage indicating information about their goods or services. 
  • Vendor’s background or history and reputation information isn’t readily available or displayed either.
  • No modern day digital technology (touch screens, internet, etc.) involved in selling the produce. Even the name of foods and price were handwritten in most of the cases as shown above.
  • No means for encouraging communication (other than verbal at times) between farmers and people buying the produce.



It is a Saturday and Monica is driving fast to the Pike Place Farmer’s market to search for some fresh vegetables and rare spices to cook a nice dinner because she will be receiving some coworkers tonight. Both of her children are alone in the house and they were instructed to keep quiet, but yet she knows they are both active kids that will soon start making a mess if she does not hurry up.

Monica parks the car and walks straight into the market, searching for her items. She walks directly to the shop where she normally buys fresh produce and meat and asks her trusted vendor to supply her with those products. The vendor has some of those but unfortunately he cannot get some of the spices so Monica continues searching for the products throughout the market. Time is running out, she has to go back soon and she is not quite sure in which shops she may find what she is looking for. After walking around the market for some minutes and talking to some of the vendors, she finally finds a shop that sells the products she was searching for. She finishes her purchase and runs back to the car because it is very late. She realizes that the first shop she visited was quite much more expensive. It would have definitely been very useful to have a channel to communicate with the vendors and search for availability of her products and compare prices. That would have saved her time and money.


Fernando is a Peruvian young student who is visiting his girlfriend studying at the University of Washington. While she is away, he tries to prepare a surprise for her, so he decides to go to the market and get some products that may allow him to cook something similar to Peruvian traditional dishes.

He arrives at the market and sees a sign at the entrance inviting him to download an application for the market, but he decides not to do so, he is in a hurry because he has to prepare everything before his girlfriend, Alejandra, goes back home. He walks through the market and tries to find everything but he is simply not familiar with it, so he walks with no direction asking everyone where to find all that he is looking for. It is too crowded, he hates having to wait so much time to speak with the vendors and wander without a clue considering that he just wants to buy a couple of specific ingredients and go back to cook. Although the market is nice and fun, he realizes that if people could quickly get there and buy their products, perhaps there would be more space to walk around thus allowing the real tourists to enjoy the place and get the opportunity to speak with the vendors and buy more products. Fernando continues searching for his products and finally finds almost everything he was searching for. A couple of ingredients are missing but he can do something with what he has and so he decides to go back.

When Alejandra gets back home, Fernando is expecting her with a nice Peruvian dinner and she is very happy. Nevertheless, Fernando apologizes for not being able to find everything that he was searching for. Alejandra starts laughing and explains to him that what he was searching for was available in a hidden shop that is located in the right entrance of the market. That could have been very easy to know if he had some kind of map or a way to search which vendors offered the products he was looking for.



  • The interface must be friendly and easy to use despite the age or occupation of the user.
  • The design must show clear directions to explain the users how to move in the market and find different shops based on the type of products they look for.
  • The design must show available seasonal products on the market and should do it in a user friendly way.
  • The designed solution must be able to save users time while they are at farmers’ market.
  • Vendors must be able to share information about seasonal and temporary products with the customers.

brainstorming : divergence & convergence


The website that was considered was supposed to have all the information about the market place. But going back to the requirements and scenarios, this solution would not be able to provide information on the fly.


The next possible design solution was building an app to provide on the go information about the products as well as to assist in navigating the market. But, again, going back to the scenarios, we found that very few people might consider downloading the app of the Pike Place if they are in a hurry or visiting only once as a tourist. 


This idea entails creating a kiosk at different locations in the market itself that would provide information about the availability of products, location of the vendors, maps of the market place, etc. 

Affinity Diagramming Pics & Brainstorming Phase
Brainstorming Pics
Kiosk Brainstorming Phase
Brainstorming Pics 2

From the different initial ideas, the one with Pike Place Market Kiosk was considered best considering all the requirements and constraints like loading an app before reaching the market, easy navigation directions, etc. But to consider the mobility function of an app, we decided to include QR code functionality where people can scan the code and get any information they like from the kiosk on their mobile phones. 

Prompting the design: Use of Envisioning Cards

As the core of our design revolved around Value Scenarios, we considered the Envisioning cards at every point of the design. These cards helped us with design prompts enriching and refining our design further. We chose two cards.

CONSIDER CHILDREN : "How might this system influence a child’s social and moral behavior?”


Considering this card, we changed the design to include more attractive, fun and interactive features that children might find interesting to use. Also, we considered adding beautiful images of the products along with their names to make understanding easy. The height of the kiosk was also chosen so that only the children who would be able to understand the kiosk could use them and toddlers and little kids could not get hurt because of this. The colorful images of different fruits and vegetables as well as the variety of products will help children to enhance their learning. So the interaction with the kiosk can be used as a learning experience for children where they can relate the name of fruits, fish and vegetables they see back in their kitchen.

This system can influence a child’s moral behavior because it will help educate kids on the importance of small communities like farmer's markets. When searching for a product, the kiosk provides the farmer's name where the product can be found and a brief description of the place where the product is grown. This will educate the child that not all foods are ready to eat and processed in factories like their daily cereal – Fruit Loops. Many of them are naturally grown too. This interaction with the kiosk coupled with a visit to the farmers’ market may encourage a child to like natural foods like fruits and vegetables more.

VARIATION IN HUMAN ABILITY: SIGHT, HEARING, TOUCH, SPEECH : “How might the system account for and accommodate variation in physical abilities?”

Although the kiosk may not include all of the desired features for achieving universal accessibility due to the general limitations of the setting and the functionalities of the technology, there is a set of considerations that were made in order to generate a more inclusive solution. For example, the kiosk will enable wheelchair access and audio cues, the size of the screen will be big enough to enable all sorts of users to get information. Another important feature that was implemented was the use of high contrast signage and labeling that would be complemented with clear signifiers to provide hints to people on how to use the technology in order to decrease the probability of finding digital literacy barriers. People with mild or moderate cognitive impairments should be able to use the system based on clear indications on the screen.






It is Sunday and Monica decides to take her family to the Pike Place Farmer’s Market to buy some food for the weekend and enjoy a sunny day in Seattle. She takes the car. Her husband and two kids get up and they all drive together. Once arrived, Monica wants to know what products are there at the market and wants to find some seasonal products, so she walks into the market and directly to the information kiosk.

Her kids love the kiosk, it is so colorful and animated. She clicks on the screen and chooses to search for seasonal products. A menu expands showing different categories and products so that she can get more information about what different shops offer. She finds some interesting seasonal fruits and checks where they are on the map. As well, she seeks some additional information about certain new products she had never heard of, so she scans a QR code to check more information later from her smartphone.

Once she has learned about the products she wants to buy, she decides to leave the kiosk. However, something catches her attention. She clicks on the screen and the camera opens up. She takes a selfie of her family with a Pike Place Market frame. Nice faces everyone. An email is sent to her with the nice souvenir and some information about the vendors and donation opportunities.

Monica finally decides to continue walking with her family knowing where to go. They all turn around and go away. The screen from the kiosk closes and starts showing attractive special deals and events slides. The screen saver shows beautiful pictures of the Pike Place Market. 



The main components involved in the Pike Place Market IT guiding system are the Information Kiosk and personal Smartphones. The physical Kiosks would be located at important locations of the market at different levels, allowing users to get the information they require at the beginning of their buying experience. The screens would be big enough for comfortable interaction and operation as well as have enough screen real estate to show all the features. The whole process happens in a fun way with interactive design that fits the creative culture of the market thus offering an additional experience feature for all the visitors.

The importance of the Kiosk format is to enhance the experience by using technology and providing users with information about the vendors without requiring them to download an application and continuously using their phones. They can check the information at the entrance, getting to know the market, current offered products and other additional facts. However, there is the possibility of scanning codes with a phone in order to avoid the long time usage of kiosks that may stop other customers from being able to access them.


Product Page and use of Phone - Pike Place Kiosk



The goals of usability testing include identifying and evaluating design concerns while using Pike Place Kiosk. The goal of the study is to:

  • Determine the usability problem while using the user interface on Kiosk.
  • Evaluate the content areas and ability of the participants to locate the desired content on the kiosk.


Participants were recruited in order to include people of diverse backgrounds and locations. The participants were aged between 20-35 years. Groups were divided to include two testers who will interview two subjects each in order to achieve 4 tested users. The usability study was carried out with paper prototypes in classrooms and iSchool lab. During the test one person acted as Moderator giving the task to the participants while the other acted as an observer and note-taker. Each participants were given were given predefined set of tasks to perform on Kiosk.

Usability Test 1
usability test 2


1.     How can you use the kiosk to find a store that sells brie cheese?
2.     Using the kiosk, please take a selfie at Pike Place Market and send it to your email.
3.     Can you find events happening today at the market?
4.     Find the list of vendors selling King Crab.
5.     Using the list, find a specific vendor of King Crab.
6.     Find out in which level you are, and then find a vendor in that level.
7.     Find information about seasonal flowers currently available at the market.
8.     Find current deals.
9.     Find the current weather and news.