While preparing for the fall 2012 semester, Dr. Rosa Arriaga started assembling her syllabus for a new crop of students. As a professor of user interface design for undergrad students at Georgia Tech, Dr. Arriaga seeks real-world projects that introduce students to human-centered computing. The Atlanta BeltLine piqued her interest. What opportunities does the Atlanta BeltLine offer for human-computer interaction? What data can be learned or what tasks accomplished through technology? How would that technology be accessible and not daunting for all users of the Atlanta BeltLine?
When Dr. Arriaga reached out to us came into our offices, we brainstormed these questions and settled on two main themes:
- Community engagement and safety
- Community engagement and Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
Students kicked off the semester with an intro to design principles and the idea of creating for the user before the technology. Dr. Arriaga divided the students up into teams and invited staff from the Atlanta BeltLine to come into the classroom and speak about the project. Walking tours got students out on the trail itself to get a full understanding of the opportunities and limitations offered by such a vast project that is ever-evolving.
As the class cultivated their concepts for conveying art and safety along the Atlanta BeltLine, they evaluated different methods of relaying information. Almost every team came up with three consistent prototypes: a website, a smart phone app, or an on-trail kiosk. Their assignment included surveying potential Atlanta BeltLine users (their fellow students), evaluating all of the pros and cons of each approach, and presenting their research in a board presentation.
Staff from the Atlanta BeltLine attended the board presentations in October, listened to each group’s pitch, and gave feedback on feasibility and factual info. What an inspiring experience to see a whole class of some of the country’s brightest minds interpreting the Atlanta BeltLine and bringing new ideas to the table!
Below, you can see each group’s presentation board:
This blog series, titled Community Love, is all about how people have incorporated the Atlanta BeltLine into their every day lives, whether it’s through their classroom, their daily commute, or supporting the project through educational outreach. Read our other Community Love stories here and please share with us any amazing stories you know of where individuals or groups are embracing the Atlanta BeltLine!