Reconnecting forestry machine operators with nature and their machines.

What if automation could be implemented into the crane of forestry machines in such a way that it satisfies the operators?

Project Info

10 Weeks Execution Time
Future Interfaces Course
Umeå Institute of Design

Teammates

Anton – Interaction Design
Aylin – Interaction Design

Reconnecting forestry machine operators with nature and their machines.

Machine operators love the power of the machines and the peacefulness of nature. However developments towards more automation, information and comfort further weaken the connection of the operator with his machine and with nature. We envisioned a solution that strengthens the connection of the driver to the machine and to nature, while considering future developments towards more automation. This is achieved by redesigning the transition from a manual to automated interaction.

.: 5 November 2015, Umea Institute of Design :.

The Process of Forestry 2020

The design process was iterative and human-centered. Field research led to a thorough understanding of the context. This helped us to define a guiding vision on the user’s role. The exploration stage was very open and hands-on.

2 We started with contextual inquiry where we got the opportunity to talk to machine operators and we even got behind the steering wheels ourselves.

The information collected during the context research was processed in various forms, such as a task analysis. The information collected during the context research was processed in various forms, such as a task analysis.

3 Based on our learnings we defined a vision, mostly focused on the future role of the driver and the intended interaction with the forwarder.

We continued by exploring potential design opportunities through ideation and prototyping sessions. We continued by exploring potential design opportunities through ideation and prototyping sessions.

2 Further, we developed a “Wizard of Oz” prototype to explore different ways of expressing automation states.

5 Part of the user experience we envisioned was the redesign of the traditional joystick.

6 While looking for a way to present our final concept we stumbled upon a miniature forwarder machine to which we did some minor modifications.

7 Furthermore we built a real sized cabin and combined it with miniature shots.

In post production, we merged the layers of video to create the desired effect. In post production, we merged the layers of video to create the desired effect.

Design Challenges

Integrating automation while satisfying the driver’s needs was a challenge. The final concept aims to achieve this by connecting increased automation to more focus on nature.

Because of the openness of the exploration stage, the biggest challenge in the project was to converge towards one solution. Trying to combine all the work we had done seemed like an difficult puzzle. We decided to individually write down the “Why’, “How” and “What” of our design direction. This helped us to decided on the “Why”, “How” and “What” that matched best.

Role in Team

I tried to stimulate my team to combine more traditional ideation and prototyping phases into an exploration phase. This was expressed in more “thinking” combined with “making” activities earlier in the process. As a result we had a lot of openness and creative freedom in the beginning of our project. Sometimes it was hard to deal with the uncertainty which was a result, but we hold onto our common goal and vision.

The video below shows some of the exploration stage.

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