Project Motivation
This project was a part of a bigger research project (Creative Convergence). The main project aims to enhance the impact in regional theatre for young people. The Circuit is a mapping tool that helps the researchers aggregate data from various sources such as ABS census socio-economic and the project's partners data. The data will then be shown as points to show the performances in a particular area, performed by a particular partner, and in a time-frame. This will help the researcher to gain an overview of the performance coverage and presence of theatre performances for young people.​​​​​​​
Steps 
Starting this project, I had no knowledge about Australian research environment nor performing arts experience. Therefore, here the steps that I took to create tool.
The steps are commonly used by a business analyst or UX designers as a design thinking method. 
I had particular specifications in the Empathise stage. I tailored this stage to enable me to understand the explicit and implicit needs of the researchers. Two interviews, one with the Lead Researcher and one with the Technical Researcher. The Lead Researcher helped me to understand the motivation of the mapping tool and the Technical Researcher assisted me with solution alternatives. This way, I aim to grasp the explicit expectation of the researchers. 
To gain the implicit needs, I shadowed one researcher. Doing this, I can understand their main pain points in using research tools. 
Below are the examples of my deliverables to made sense of all the information I have gathered:
Persona
​​​​​​​From the interviews and field research I summarised the user profile as follows:
Requirements & Task Specification Documents

The hurdle in this stage was when I tried to communicate these specification to the lead researcher, it is difficult to help them imagine the functional requirements. Therefore, the task specification was really helpful (or at least) made a rough image of the business aims of the tool and how we achieve it by using this tool.
Initial Design
Principles:
- The layout is inspired from the Gutenberg Diagram. Assuming that the filters are not used frequently and map is the main object. 
(A summary: https://medium.com/user-experience-3/the-gutenberg-diagram-in-web-design-e5347c172627)
- Groupings of the filters and general layout of every objects, are mostly based on Gestalt Principles. 
(A summary: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/gestalt-principles)
- Using colourblind-friendly colours to accomodate more wide various users, although it reduce the contrasts of each colour compared to other colours.
Lo-Fi Prototype (Sketch)
In this stage, it is difficult to communicate with the researchers, as their expectation was a full immersion of the tool. The feedback was focused on the appearance of the prototype, not its functionality which I was actually aiming for this prototype. 
Feedback (after several iterations of protoype and test stage):
- Categorise the filters as main, company data and socio-economic filter
- To enhance branding, use the university colours.
- The main filter field should convey what is searchable in that filter.
- All nodes in the map should be differentiated by its company.
- Add legend to show what each node means.
- Add population density layer to show the connection of  are population and number of performances.
Hi-Fi Prototype (HTML, JS, CSS)
Feedback:
- Add school data and a way to reset data.
- Colour gradation in the population layer should use logarithmic definition as it has high variability.
- Toggle legend, it sometimes covering the map.
- Automated top-bottom limit based on the data value.
The Circuit
projects.ritotombe.com/cc (compatible with Chrome and Safari)
Reflection
Working in a new area always has been challenging for me. I had no experience in arts or performing arts area or working with researchers. But, the good thing is, if it is challenging, then I can learn something new from it. 
The main constraint was communicating the needs of the researcher. For example, as they work in the public sector, there are various of stakeholders. Therefore, there is a lot of implicit requirements such as using colour-blind friendly, the level of detailed information should be provided for each sections, and compliance to the university standards. These analysis part took most of the time as in each meeting there were new constrains from a stakeholder and requires a massive amount of effort to modify. 
I believe this can be avoided or minimised in the future by sitting together with the project manager and the project owner to map the stakeholders, their concerns and special needs. Thus, these bits can be translated to the requirements document at the start of the project and minimise the new requirements (as I know this will be exist in every project).
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