(Written by Zach)
Tien and I decided on 3rd and Washington Street for our food cart data collection spot. Wanting to focus on more than just the carts themselves, we thought it might be interesting to investigate the scene with the food cart customer as our main focus. So, formulating a plan and a quick survey form for our participants, we headed down to 3rd and Washington several times over the course of a few days.
When we felt we had collected enough data to draw from, we retired from the area and logged our data. We created a database to house the data and make it more accessible visually.
After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at organization, we devised a scheme to display our data in a way that would hopefully help to bring our viewers a little closer to understanding the food cart customers. We wanted to give a good idea of just how the customers might be broken down and separated into groups based on the many different criteria made available to us by our customer survey. So we designed a visual display of steps that began with the customers represented, then categorized based on a given criteria in each of the following steps. Eventually, these steps concluded with what may be seen as the most important customer categorization of all: the food cart they chose. So, through a series of examinations based on various criteria, we provide a complete breakdown of our customers, starting with very general criteria, and ending with that which is specific to the food cart experience.
Devising an icon scheme, we created a hierarchical means of displaying this information. Because the information is segmented and the steps are paced vertically, we gave our design a very vertical format. We also found this worked great for aesthetic reasons.
Next, we refined our design and corrected errors.
And at long last, we arrived at our end result. Throughout the process we were able to push ourselves in many new ways, learning through trial and error how to best collect data, and design in a collaborative way. Creating a design scheme to house our information took some time, but in the end we were able to find a format that represents our vision of the project quite well :)