Milestone 5: Scenarios

(or my future father-in-law's chili)

Brainstorming in our favorite place -- DL1!In milestone 5, Good Measure takes scenarios to another level. The class critiques helped us to better understand how we are communicating information to people who are not accustomed to projects relating to science. Because our project involves an understanding of chemistry and lab culture, it was difficult to portray something to a class that in some cases never even seen the inside of a chemical lab. This caused a breakdown in our communication.

After some brainstorming, we developed a way to both meet the understanding of our client as well as the 682 class. We redid our personas in order to show a less complex arrangement (download PDF of the updated personas now). We also deliberated about the class critiques and decided to present our application design in a more familiar context.

The scenario flow as drawn by our clientIn the brain storming session, we met at the design lab, pulled out some white boards and wrote out some ideas for scenarios. We thought about situations that had the likeness of a chemistry lab. There the birth of a kitchen analogy was born. The scenarios are our chance to increase understanding of the process (graduate level and above scientific research) amongst our colleagues and to receive valuable feedback. The kitchen example helped us translate chemistry into a language that anyone could relate to. It also helped spot holes that could potentially help us with the hi-fi prototype. This transfer allows us to understand the process better and communicate to others more effectively.

Our client stopped by after our brainstorm session and gave us some critiques about our lo-fi sketches. We knew that there problems with certain parts of our prototype. We had not thoroughly design our revision history so the client came up with some ideas. Our client also proposed some solutions to help clarify our model. We refined our focus and design scope, and decided to spotlight the recipe component of our lo-fi, rather than on the toolbar and protocols.

During our final stage, we broke down our storyboards to easy to understand steps. We developed two different scenarios — initiating a new recipe and revising, or tweaking, an existing recipe — and wrote out the steps for each as they could happen in the lab or in the kitchen.

A new person has decided to test out our digital assistant - the Swedish Chef

Finding and Initiating a Recipe

In the Lab:

  1. As Paul begins to prepare for his second phase of research, he checks to see if other qualified researchers in his lab have already established recipes that he needs for his base cocktail.
  2. He searches the database archive for his lab and finds 3 different recipes for the type of pipes that he will use for his cocktail. He glances at the overview for each one that shows its history: who created it, when it was created, how others have modified it, and how often it has been used. Paul pays particular attention to the authors of the recipes; the names that he sees do not impress him. Leery of the work of these inexperienced researchers, he decides to create a new recipe based off of a publication he has from a tenured colleague.
  3. Paul logs into his workbench space. He starts a new recipe, giving it a name. As he builds the recipe, he drags and drops the ingredients he needs directly from the lab’s inventory.
  4. Paul needs to add a new base that hasn’t been entered into the lab’s inventory yet. Without exiting his newly created recipe, he creates a new chemical entry and enters its name and its molecular weight. He knows that he can come back later to add more details, like its state of matter (solid or liquid) and the product number for ordering.
  5. As Paul continues to add the last of his ingredients, he can see a visual representation of everything in his new recipe. The quick view shows him that there are hazardous chemicals being used and that the cost of this recipe is relatively low. In a quick glance, he can see that everything is about ready; he just needs to add one more ingredient.
  6. Now that he has all of the ingredients added, Paul adds a few comments about mixing the recipe and its storage requirements. He also starts a checklist to list basic steps and tools that he will need while working at the bench.
  7. Before saving the recipe, Paul toggles to the print view to make sure that he has everything recorded that he will need to know while at the bench. Everything looks good – he has all of the ingredients, the time required for preparation and extra space on the page to jot down his notes.
  8. When he saves the recipe, Paul is asked whether he wants to share it with his colleagues or not. He chooses to keep the recipe private for now. Once the recipe is saved, Paul is directed to its print view so that he can take a copy directly into lab with him to get started.

In the Kitchen:

  1. Mary Jane is getting ready for her county fair bake-off. She’s planning to continue her 3-year streak of winning the sheet cake category and needs to find a starting point to make the best red velvet cake ever. She scopes out potential recipes to use as her starting point by searching her church’s recipe repository.
  2. The results return 3 different red velvet cake recipes. As she glances at each of them, she notices that 2 of the 3 have not been used since 1979. The last version that someone commented on got very poor reviews. Mary Jane makes a note of the recipe authors, and doesn’t recognize any of them. She digs through her grandmother’s recipe book ca. 1941, and decides to start a new recipe using her obscure notes as a starting point.
  3. Mary Jane logs into her recipe book. She starts a new recipe, optimistically giving it the name “Grand Prize Red Velvet Cake.” She drags her ingredients – eggs, flour, sugar, etc. into the recipe space.
  4. Mary Jane recalls that her grandmother used a special type of cocoa as a secret ingredient in her cake. Since MJ doesn’t have that cocoa in her inventory list, she adds its basic information into her ingredient inventory with the intent of adding more information from her grandmother later.
  5. Mary Jane switches over to the quick view of her new recipe and sees that all of her ingredients are relatively inexpensive. She is not surprised when she sees a warning symbol signifying that the sugar level of the cake exceeds the recommended daily allowance. Ignoring the hazard symbol, she pauses to add just one more ingredient.
  6. Mary Jane enters a few notes about the recipe procedure, including the baking time and temperature. She creates a checklist of the items that need to be completed ahead of time like preheating the oven and sifting the dry ingredients.
  7. Mary Jane takes a quick look at the print view of her new recipe – everything’s there; she’s excited to start baking!
  8. When Mary Jane finally saves her recipe, she sets its shared status to private – there is no way that she’s going to let her competitors have access to her soon-to-be famous red velvet cake secrets! She prints a copy of the recipe and heads off to her pantry to get started.

Revising a Recipe

In the Lab:

  1. Prasad's boss Paul tells Prasad about a buffer recipe he wants made up. Because the buffer is to be used in sensitive experimentation, the buffer must be made precisely as indicated. Paul shares the recipe using the lab's recipe management tool.
  2. Prasad stops the experiment he's working on and starts to work on the buffer immediately. Its very important to him that Paul thinks he is doing good work.
  3. Prasad pulls up the recipe in the system and looks at the ingredient list. Paul has asked him to double the concentration of KBr (Potassium Bromide).
  4. Prasad adjusts the recipe, and the system asks him for a new name. He enters a name, and it's automatically saved as a new version, as he has branched from the master version.
  5. The recipe calls for a 30mM (milli molar) concentration of MgCl2 (Magnesium Chloride), but the lab only has it as it comes from the chemical manufacturer as 700mg/ml. Before Prasad reaches for the scratch paper to figure out what dilution he needs, he notices that the system allows him to select the units of chemicals he has on hand. When he selects the units for MgCl2, he notices that 700mg/ml is an option – someone in the lab has already entered it. Prasad selects it and does the same chemicals the lab has on hand.
  6. He makes the recipe but upon experimentation, Paul tells him that it has far too high a sodium concentration. The system allows Prasad to alter the recipe and create a new version.
  7. In so doing, the system shows that Prasad can’t possibly make the amount he desires – the ingredients are too concentrated to get the proper dilution. The system automatically adjusts the volume and asks Prasad to enter storage instructions for the leftover solution. He prints the label and recipe checksheet and goes to the bench to put his recipe together.
  8. After several more days of iterations, the buffer is correct and leads to a successful experiment. Paul congratulates Prasad on a job well done.

In the Kitchen:

  1. Billy’s fiancée Jennifer tells him that her that her dad is coming over for a surprise dinner in three days and he wants chili. He is very specific about his chili, and it must be made exactly as his mother made it. Jennifer has shared the recipe with Billy using this sophisticated recipe management site she’s been using.
  2. Billy calls his buds and cancels poker night – he knows that if he’s going to get the recipe right he’ll have to experiment with it, and if he doesn’t gain the favor of his Jennifer’s dad, he’ll never be his father-in-law.
  3. He pulls up the recipe management site and gets the recipe. To make matters worse, Jennifer’s dad likes his chili really spicy and has a cold. So in order for him to taste the spice, Billy reckons he’ll need to double the spiciness.
  4. Billy adjusts the recipe, and the system asks for a new name. He enters a name, and the chili recipe is automatically saved as a new version, as he has branched from the master recipe.
  5. Disaster! The recipe calls for Blazing Devil’s Hot Sauce™ but it’s no longer legal in the states, and he doesn’t have time to run to Mexico to get more! Before he has a breakdown, he notices that the system indicates that Blazing Devil’s Hot Sauce is 50% habanera extract and 50% water. He also sees that the system allows him to select alternate brands of hot sauce. He notices that another hot sauce which Billy has on hand in large quantity - Atomic Ridiculousness Hot Sauce ™, is 88% habanera extract and 12% water. He selects it and the system automatically calculates how much water to add to get the proper spiciness concentration. Disaster averted.
  6. He makes the recipe but upon taste testing it, Jennifer tells him that it has far too much salt. The system allows him to alter the recipe and create a new version.
  7. In so doing, the system shows that Billy can’t possibly make the amount he desires – Atomic Ridiculousness Hot Sauce™ is too concentrated to get the proper spiciness for that serving size. The system automatically adjusts the serving size and asks Billy to enter storage instructions (when to throw it out) for the leftover chili. He prints the label and recipe checksheet and goes to the kitchen to put his recipe together.
  8. After several more days of iterations, the recipe is finally ready. Jennifer's dad arrives and eats. In between compliments on the chili, Billy heard Jennifer's dad call him son. He also can't help but notice a gleam Jennifer's eyes when she looked at him, though it could just be her eyes watering from the chili.