2. Discovery + exploratory research

Week 3

Wed. Jan 20 – Fri. Jan 29

Coming into the Discovery and Exploratory phase after our Project Definition phase, we knew that our territory area of autonomous vehicles was still fairly broad.

Working territory map
Working territory map

Interviewing Stakeholders

However, we decided to proceed forward with interviews with stakeholders from the previously identified areas of industry, academia, and users. Below is a running list of our interviews.

Running list of Interviews:
  • 1/26: Raj Rajkumar (EE/CS prof working on driverless cars
  • 1/27: Molly (design prof, all things AI)
  • 1/29: Eric Spaulding (ex-IDEO worked on car design)
  • 1/29: Simon King (ex-IDEO worked on car design)
  • 1/30: Chiyu (PhD working on software system)
  • 1/31: Mark and Shuping (representing recycled vehicles and carpools)
  • 2/2: Jodi (HCI Professor worked on auto product-service ecosystem with students)
Notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FbLURirPVXz4B9MAWNt_IuHTojXKdo21cckXg5YoCYA/edit?usp=sharing

Immersive Research

  • We also conducted immersive research with observations of experiences in different modes of transport by riding along in buses and ubers

Week 4

Mon. Feb 1 – Fri. Feb 5

Where we’re at…

2/1: Need to scope down; scoping parameter needs to answer: where is symbiosis a clear win?

Coming into the fourth week, we realized we had to scope down. We decided to ask each team member to come up with at least different personas/scenarios related to driving to help us narrow our focus.


2/3: We came in with various scenarios and then deconstructed them to get to a focus area of ambulances. We reached out to people to schedule additional user research.



2/5: Bill. Interviewed Bill, paramedic and EMT trainer with 20+ years of experience


IMG_20160205_155234860 (1)

2/6-2/7: David, Sejal, Katie. Interviewed Doctors with experience in emergency transport

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Week 5

Mon. Feb 8 – Wed. Feb 10

During this week, we were pulling together our research findings and attempting to synthesize it.

From our interviews last week, we put together a stakeholder diagram:


Which was translated for our presentation:



We also started brainstorming design opportunity areas based on our shift in focus to autonomous ambulances and our user research.

Presentation 2

PDF of presentation summarizing discovery and exploratory phase research and findings


Debriefing from Presentation 2

  • This problem: either choosing what “problem” to solve is or the complete future state. But how to make this convincing? Why do we need either driverless? Or why do we need CUI?
  • How to get the audience into a future state of mind? Reframe the problem…setting up the problem … is it first driverless and then CUI… or is it CUI 1 and CUI 2, or is it it’s all one CUI?

The tail end of our exploratory phase extended a little past the official end date. Following the feedback we received from the exploratory research presentation, we realized that our next step was to narrow down our various opportunity areas.

After much discussion, we decided that we wanted to stay in the area of transport as per our initial territory scoping. We mapped out the different opportunity areas as “front-of-the-ambulance” and “back-of-the-ambulance” where the focus on the front was more regarding the transport, and the back was more focused on the provision of medical services.

By focusing on the issue of transport in an environment with unique constraints, we felt that we could discover design implications for more general applications as well.