The first and the most important phase of the redesign process was the background research. Gathering information about the user, the device, frequent tasks performed by the user and the environment (scene) was at the core of this phase. The objective of this phase was to build a 'Big picture' of the Neuralyzer story by gleaning data from various resources like the MIB movie, comics in order to understand the overall composition. The outcome of the research was information about the user (Agent J), the tasks performed with the Neuralyzer (erase memory, download/upload memory) and the environment's characteristics (NY streets, busy day).
Environmental Analysis is collecting data about the background where the user performs his task. This helps in identifying factors that affect the user which might not be captured in user and task analysis. Below is the environment where the user carries out the above mentioned tasks:
Scene: Look Right Here (Men In Black 3)
In this scene, an alien is apparently identified as hitting the ground resulting into lot of people gathering around. The user (Agent J) then takes out his secret weapon (the Neuralyzer) and tells them to ‘Look right at him’ and then Bang! Memories of all the witnesses are erased.
Weather: Pleasant, windy; Time: Daytime; Place: New York city; No of people present around: ~60
So what next? What to do with the huge pile of data gathered from the Research phase? The answer was to solve problems and find opportunities which could make the Neuralyzer suit today's needs and make his life easier. But how? Ideation or brainstorming on how can we make it better was answer. I decided to replace the existing tangible interface of the device with an easy to use touch screen. The primary reason was to bring the power and ease of use of smart phones into the arcane Neuralyzer.
To visualize how the interface would look like, a quick and efficient brainstorming method was used called Paper prototyping. Here, I sketched different ideas on paper and got them tested by various users. An iterative approach was followed to further refine the prototypes.
Tools used: Pen and paper.