INFO 3300 - Interaction Brainstorm Activity


Your group will brainstorm interactive data tools that *people in search of specific products* on an e-commerce startup site will use to find the best item for them. Here are the rules:

Please follow this procedure:

Step 1 - 11:25AM to 11:33AM - [GROUP] Identify Key Goals
  1. As a group, read the instructions and Brief included below.
  2. Together, take a look at the Example use cases. Choose one existing example or invent a new use case that you want to support through your visualization tool.
  3. Rank those tasks in order of importance using any method you'd like (e.g. voting, by consensus)
  4. In any remaining time, check out some of the visualizations posted to Ed Discussion and your favorite existing e-commerce sites for inspiration.

Step 2 - 11:33AM to 11:43AM - [INDIVIDUAL] Two sketches
  1. Now, working individually, begin making two very rough visualization sketches that best satisfy those tasks. Keep them low fidelity. You can use any medium you like (e.g.pen and paper, tablets, UI prototyping software, presentation tools, a whiteboard).
  2. Refer back to the dataset and think about what you want to show.
  3. Keep polishing your ideas until your group reconvenes.

Step 3 - 11:43AM to 12:00PM - [GROUP] Final design
  1. As a group, go around and discuss each person's sketches. Keep it to 1 minute per sketch.
  2. Working together, create a consensus sketch.
  3. We will reconvene at the end to check out everyone's ideas.

Your brief:

Your group is an elite team of UX designers at an up-and-coming Internet commerce firm, Nile. Nile sells a variety of products globally through a hugely popular online platform. One major challenge for Nile's continuing growth is another competitor, Rhine, which also markets consumer products through a popular online platform. You have been tasked with revising the Nile interface so that it is more user friendly to the tech-savvy customers who spend the most money on the site. The C-suite of the company sees improving the buying experience as the best chance they have to beat their competitor. You are to create a new, highly interactive tool for exploring these data. While you will have a couple of years to complete a full tool, you must deliver a proposal outlining your visual and interactive elements as soon as possible.

As is the case with many rapidly growing technology companies, Nile's infrastructure has not kept pace with their growth. The current site, developed in 2003 and only updated in a minor way, uses hyperlinks and requires users to click on filter criteria one at a time before the page reloads. Search is rudimentary at best. Reviews are included on the site, but they just show as a big list at the bottom of a long product details page.

Here are some example use cases to consider (but feel free to make up your own):

Nile Product Data

** The "raw" data you can access are a table of individual products available on Nile. Assume that the company has somehow resolved any internationalization / language issues and has the ability to accurately categorize all items.

Name of item Descriptive title of item
Item categories Tags/categories describing item (e.g. "camera", "housewares", "60w lightbulb")
Price Current and past price of item
Sales and promotions Current and past discounts
Product details Descriptive details about the product
Average product rating Review rating of product at time of purchase
Buyer reviews If buyer reviewed, score and review
Location of sales Lat/lng coordinates of buyers
Geo-info for sale City, State, Country for past buyers
Similar products Items similar to this product
"Also purchased" Items also purchased by buyers
Buyer demographics Hyper-detailed demographics of buyers (e.g. gender identity, age, relationship status, region of birth, interests, possessions, bad habits)

** Your database team at Nile is very smart, and they are happy to put together some aggregated data to make your life easier. Here are a few examples:

Total monthly sales for specific products by demographics - Do all cat owners buy litter online?
Highest rated product bought by at least 10 people in Florida every March
(Feel free to invent additional plausible pieces of data)

**You've also got access to an internal AI platform that tries to predict future trends. Here are a few examples of what it can provide:

Expected items of interest for a specific client/time/region
The likelihood that a specific buyer demographic will buy a specific product
(Feel free to invent additional plausible data predictions)

Remember: Do not try to visualize all of these attributes.