Last year was a momentous year as my parents got their very first smart phones. This of course meant that my sister and I who had already had them for a year could do face time, snap chat, play games like trivia crack, and that my dad no longer had to have me google the answer to every question he thought of during the course of a television show,more than one might think. Well all but the last one are true, but now we’ve run into a new issue since my parents are now using the data plan too; how do they know when they are using data from the plan?
The most direct answer was to ask me; this got tiresome after the first few times. So, I have used this as my topic for analysis. As I am a genius(self-proclaimed) with technology, I thought I should use the AEIOU method to help me get into the mindset of the beginner.
After thoroughly getting into the position I brainstormed ideas to prevent accidental use of data. These are the results:
The first Idea I had was an alert system of some kind letting the user know when they were using data. The second idea was rejected because turning off the data altogether would be too restrictive. The third idea of a post-it note with answers to if the situation meant they were using data had too many possibilities. So, I went with the first idea, alerts.
Then came expanding upon an alert system. I asked what form would the alert take? Pop-up, a tone, vibrations, email, text message? I decided that a tone/vibration to alert the user and a pop-up that persisted until dismissed would be the best.
Then I drew up story board of a likely scenario in which a user using the phone would suddenly have to switch to using their data plan.
In the first panel all is well the access point is providing access to the user who is listening to a music streaming service. Then in the second panel the access point loses power or has to undergo maintenance or something, and it gets taken down. This prompts the phone to alert the user with a tone. The user has heard the alert and is now looking at the pop-up to decide if they want to continue to use data or stop using it. If yes then everything continues uninterrupted, if no the phone is isolated from the internet and the user can’t listen to music anymore.
There is of course the issue where they didn’t want to use data but then change their mind. To address this the solution would put a widget on the phone that would be a button that when pressed would turn data on/off.