The Sungei Road Flea Market (SRFM), Singapore’s largest and oldest open-air flea market closed for good to allow for future residential development. It was known for being a free hawking zone and the best bazaar to buy and bargain for second-hand merchandise of all kind.
SR Makers is a mobile application that is used to facilitate the running of a Make-A-Thon event that takes place at the current, re-located SRFM. The idea behind the Make-A-Thon is to provide an interactive, engaging experience that conveys to visitors/individuals who have never been to the original SRFM at the Sungei Road location, the sense and experience of the place.
Field Research: Visited Sungei Road and the relocated SRFM to interview vendors, as well as, to gain perspective on the sense of place, participant research
Participant Interviews: Interviews with our target users (millennials) to find out what they know and don't know about SRFM (see sample interview and responses above)
Documentaries by organizations
Online reviews by citizens about the place
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
People who have and have not visited SRFM were most interested in learning more about where and how vendors got their abundance of goods to sell.
SRFM is unique from other flea markets in Singapore in that it plays as an up-cycling (creative reuse)/filtering role in Singapore society. Vendors at the market would steal or take various goods from rubbish dumps and use those goods to create “new” merchandise to sell.
Brainstorming and Ideation
DIGITAL-PHYSICAL HYBRID SOLUTION
Organize a Make-A-Thon at the Flea Market location (Physical)
Create a mobile application that facilitates the Make-A-Thon event (event registration, forming of groups, pre-event workshops, e-payment for buying goods, etc.) (Digital)
Idea merges the concept of Singapore’s maker culture and SRFM’s recycling history
FLOWCHARTS AND DIAGRAMS
This diagram shows the relationship of all possible stakeholders involved in the event.
Make-A-Thon and User Journey Flowchart:
The following flowcharts were created to break down the Make-A-Thon event step-by-step (pre-event, event day and post-event), as well as to describe the role and experience of the participants.
A storyboard for the experience and use case that we wanted to design for in our project was created. The goal of this visualization task was to clearly convey what we envisioned a user experience to consist of. The comic- book like sequence of drawings of key moments tell “the story” of a typical user experience.
App Design: Sketches and Wireframes
Drawing out sketches allowed me to start thinking about the user experience. I was able to figure out how the app will work alongside the Make-A-Thon to get the desired result. Further speaking, it allowed me to visualize the screen-to-screen interaction so that the idea is something that’s visible and clear in user interface form.
When wireframing, I was trying to refine the concept of how the app will work using pixelated grayscale widgets. The medium that I was working in forced me to think in a bit higher detail, where sizing, placement and order of elements are figured out.
Low, mid, and high-fi prototypes for the mobile application were created. Prototyping was a great way for our group to identify potential problem areas early on and often. Even in its low tech form (paper prototypes), we were able to predict whether or not a user will enjoy the experience.
To test out our ideas, better understand how real users interact with our application, and improve the design of the application based on the results, user tests on the prototypes were conducted. As each user test was carried out, observations were made and notes of problems in our test protocols were taken.
Following each usability test, questions were asked to the test subjects. These questions were with respect to:
Typical comments and problems identified by test users were summarized on sticky notes (see below image).
Based on user feedback, discussion on how to address the frustrations and challenges users experienced while testing our prototype was done. Final adjustments and touches were then made to the prototype.