Crowdsourcing System Design
Step #1 – Determine Project Parameters & Use Case
This project was conceived by one group member, Gaurav Paruthi, a PhD candidate. He explained the basic concept: design a system that would allow an entity to efficiently manage a project or business that relied on crowdsourcing. After discussing several possible uses for such a system, we decided to sharpen our focus by choosing one use case: that of a researcher using crowdsourcing to conduct a study. We then determined group member roles and drafted a project plan.
Step #2 – Review Existing Marketplace
Next, we reviewed existing crowdsourcing platforms available online and read academic papers about those that weren’t available. We noted what these platforms weren’t offering, and where we saw room for improvement.
Step #3 – Conduct User Research
We then spoke with 5 researchers who had used crowdsourcing in their research in some way. We did this through a combination of formal interviews and informal conversations conducted via Skype, email and face-to-face. We then combed through our interview notes and pulled out themes. We combined these themes with the holes we had noted in the existing marketplace and created a list of user needs.
Step #4 – Draft System Architecture
Our next step was to sketch out the system architecture, and answer some of the technical questions about how the system would work.
Step #5 – Build & Test Functional Prototype
After building a very basic functional prototype of the mobile part of the system, we tested it using our classmates as the ‘crowd’.
Step #6 – Wireframe Key UI Screens
First I created a concept map to aid in the user interface design process.
Then we talked through the user interface of the website as a team, and I drew a few rough wireframes on the whiteboard.
Time constraints made wireframing the whole system impossible, so, based on our whiteboarding session, I wireframed the four key screens of the website’s user interface.
Step #7 – Deliver Final Paper & Presentation
This project had no external client, so we delivered our findings to our professor in both a final paper and presentation format. Our intention was that it would be further developed by one group member, Gaurav, during his PhD studies.