Pothole Report System

Project Info

Oct, 2014
Homework of the Core Course HCI

My Role

Individual Work

  • Wireframing
  • Prototying



Potholes seem to pop up by magic almost overnight and could cause serious consequences. They can cause vibration of the tires over the cracks, cause the asphalt to fail and movement of the subsurface. Once there is a weak spot, every car that travels over it makes the problem worse. Therefore, the pothole reporting needs to be efficient and accurate.

This prototype aims at combining the basic smart phone tools – cameras and the global positioning system (GPS), to report a pothole. Also, user can track their reports and check the requests around them.

Prototype Walkthrough

By using the following screenshots, I’d like to present a few benchmarks in my prototype.

Usability Principles for UI Design

There are ten general principles for interaction design. They are called “heuristics” because they are broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines. In this prototype, I intentionally followed three of them.

1. Match between system and the real world

The prototype should speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.

In this prototype, after the user submits the request, there is a feedback saying as a real assistant in life.

2. Consistency and standards

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.

My consistency in this prototype lies in the theme color I chose. I used the iOS 7 template, so the icons are all blue in default. Thus in the display of the pothole requests, I chose blue color as the half-transparent bar color for consistency.

3. Recognition rather than recall

Minimize the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.

In the prototype, I use a few grey-colored indication words in the blanks to guide users to do correct information input. This can minimize the user’s memory load and reduce error.


1. Readable texts

In consideration of usability, I was trying to make the interface look modern and visually appealing, so I chose a few blurred night city images as background. However, it is not guaranteed that the white texts are always readable, due to there are some bright colors in the images.

If I would do it next time, I would pick more carefully about the background images.

2. Constraints in design environment

In the Justinmind software environment, there are iOS 7 default elements ready to use. For me, the first constraint is the theme color choices. As using the default icons, there are only blue and grey icons in the system. This somehow constrained my choices in the theme color. In order not to conflict with them (because I couldn’t change the icon color), I had to use light blue as my headings and informative bars, which didn’t really match the blurred background images.

3. Extended functions

Besides pothole reporting, there are many more maintenance requests to be made, including graffiti removal, illegal dumping, parking issues, sidewalk and sign problems. So for the next steps in developing the system functions, if possible, there could be more functions to be realized.

4. If I had more time and skills…

I am not from a design background, so in this prototype, the color matching and background picking are mostly based on my feelings. If I had more time, I’d like to learn some color matching theory so to make it more visually appealing and learn to use Illustrator and Photoshop to do better customized visual design. Also, more time could result in more detailed interfaces and more functions implemented.

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