In a Human Computer Interaction course at the University of Calgary, I had the opportunity to transform low fidelity prototypes into a working high fidelity prototype for the very first time. Our group decided to design a digital menu through a Task Centred System Design process. Instead of using traditional paper menus, customers would have a tablet to browse and order items from the kitchen from the comfort of their table.

Each member of the group initially sketched their own rough prototypes for the menu. As my tool of choice, I used Pages to create early sketches of my two initial ideas. A black background was used throughout both designs to minimize the amount of bright light displayed in a low-light restaurant environment.

The first idea involved a tile interface, similar to the Windows 8 style start menu screen.

The second idea was more experimental using a card-like interface to drag menu items into their appropriate spaces.

After each group member presented their ideas to each other,  we provided specific feedback on each prototype and merged the best aspects of each sketch into one model. As a group we found it easier to sketch ideas on paper before translating our work into a digital copy. After many iterations and debates on features,  we came up with our first combined menu.

After we had our initial concept, I created a digital version of the prototype in Adobe Illustrator. Some of the assets and icons created were imported into our final prototype.

Once the initial design work was done and a heuristic evaluation was performed, the group got to work on creating a horizontal prototype in code. We used WPF and C# in Microsoft Visual Studio and Blend. One notable difference between the final prototype and earlier versions is the lack of a start screen. This page was determined to be redundant and was removed. After each screen was created we connected the pages through the top navigation bar and ended up with a fully functional vertical prototype. The prototype is filled with menu items from one of our favourite restaurants in Calgary, JOEY.

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