FilmSite- Design by Contextual Inquiry


The goal of this project was to design a system that could augment filmmaking capabilities with the help of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Requirements Gathering:

Our Project involved observing the setup, production, and post-production activities that take place during filmmaking projects. This included observing all activities related to videography, light and sound, Computer Graphics, and the synchronization between all these various aspects of the filmmaking project.

We observed the behaviors of the various people involved in the activities, their routines, and the procedures that were involved. We conducted interviews to gather more information about the various issues encountered while conducting activities pertaining to filmmaking. The constraints they had to work within were of importance to us. The observed environments consisted of film sets, office spaces, and Post Production facilities that had computer workstations.

Conceptualization through contextual models

We took note of all the artifacts used, and the methods involved with using them. Contextual notes were taken, and diagrams were made, which were then consolidated. Based on the information gleaned from the aforementioned diagrams, we envisioned certain designs and a storyboard was created collaboratively.

Flow Model

Below is a representation of the coordination, communication, interaction, roles, and responsibilities of the film crew.




Sequence Model

The step by step process of film production is described below in the sequence model. Intent, triggers, activities and breakdowns are discussed.



Physical Model

Below is a model that represents the physical environment where the work tasks are accomplished within it.


Artifact Model

The artifact model gave us some insight into possible inefficiencies with using heavy equipment that requires power outlets and manpower in order to move. This gave us a little insight into how we could use drones in order to make some of these tasks less physically tedious and more efficient.



Cultural Model

The cultural model reflects the close interaction among the film crew.


Affinity Diagram


Visioning and Storyboards

FilmSite is envisioned as an on-the-go visualization and film production tool that would allow directors, film crews, and post-production VFX designers to plan film scenes from any location, at any time that inspiration hit using a combination of real-world imagery and simple mock-ups. FilmSite will allow for scene and camera planning and instantaneous ability to share work through the application or by lending a mobile smartphone to another to view completed work.


The following storyboards illustrate scenarios of envisioned use:




User Environment Design

User Environment Design


Low Fidelity Prototype







High Fidelity Prototype






Interactive Prototype


Key Strengths:

  • Users appreciated the high-level intentions of the design idea
  • The 3D perspective in the pre-visualization was considered helpful
  • Ability to restrict the view to specific camera choices was extremely useful for multiple shot planning
  • Mobile platform is convenient for use when ideas come to mind, or you want to show ideas to colleagues by handing your phone to them

Key areas of Improvement:

  • Improved definition between sections that cater to different subsets of production (pre-production, production, and post-production)
  • Filming section is considered ambiguous, as  the entire application is designed for the process of filming
  • The exportation of the 3D environment in pre-visualization needs more clarity as to what it does
  • Show different angles of the 3D environment so perspectives can be seen within the prototype for better expression of the prototype’s intentions

FULL REPORT: You can view the full report, which includes all of the detailed information here: Full Reportbox_expand-512

Usability Evaluation – Craigslist


An expert usability evaluation I conducted as a part of a team project, for a class titled “Usability Evaluative Methods”. We conducted heuristic analyses and cognitive walkthroughs as a part of the formative evaluation, after which we conducted a usability test.

The test was a comparative study of Craigslist and a competing website called There were 5 tasks per website. Half of the participants started with Craigslist, and the other half started with Oodle, so practice effects were taken care of. The participants were asked questions in the form of a semi-structured interview at the beginning of the test, and were asked to fill out a post-test questionnaire consisting of a modified System Usability Scale (SUS), and a unique card-sorting session which helped us glean information about the participants’ thought process.

Formative Study- Heuristic Analysis and Cognitive Walkthrough

We conducted heuristic analyses and cognitive walkthroughs individually and combined our findings. Some of them were:

Craigslist Home page

  • The lack of categories order, Boring design.
  • Difficulties in changing location.
  • The search filters are not working.

Account page

  • Difficulty in finding the “create a post” option once logged in to account.
  • Difficulty in navigating away from the accounts page.

Search Results

  • Search filters do not work.
  • Search alert function not clearly explained.

Summative Study- Usability Testing

In order to diagnose areas of improvements, we tested against a similar site, We compared these findings with the usability issues we identified in our expert review. Some of our expert review findings were confirmed by the user testing and new issues were revealed as well. There were two evaluators present during each user testing session. One would facilitate the test. The other would observe. A total of 8 user testing sessions were conducted.

Task Descriptions

Each session included the following tasks for

  • Logging in to User Account
  • Post a Listing
  • Add an Image to a Posting
  • Search for an Apartment to Rent
  • Save a Search

Each session included the following tasks for

  • Logging in to User Account
  • Post a Listing
  • Add an Image to a Posting
  • Search for an Apartment to Rent
  • Mark a Listings as Favorite


Summary of Findings

Here are a few graphs showing a summary of our findings:





General Recommendations:

Here are some recommendations that we found as a result of our card sorting exercise:

  • Adding the text box where user can “Search by Location” that is used on several other classifieds websites
  • Adding notification about waiting time for processing new listing after the users had posted their new products. Currently website doesn’t notify its users that the new postings take about 20 minutes before they can be viewed by other customers.
  • Adding product location distance that shows users how far they will have to travel in order to pick up their purchase. Few websites, together with Google maps, are already using this feature.

Other Recommendations:

  • Restrained social media integration
  • Clearly labeled icons

FULL REPORT: You can view the full report, which includes all of the detailed information here: Full Reportbox_expand-512