Lecture | Week 3
Today’s lecture stemmed from user experience when engaging with interactive design and how designers combat the necessary hurdles when designing for interaction. Many methods were discussed as well as how to successfully plan and execute the design.
Elements of user experience are key when designing for interaction. There are two sides – Web as software interface and Web as hypertext system. These have become increasingly complex as internet interaction expands exponentially. Web as software interface begins as a task-oriented system and gradually develops into concrete systems of visual design. However, Web as hypertext system begins as an information-oriented which goes through a series of changes to become a completed and successful system.
Also discussed was how scenarios, paper prototyping and card sorting work and how they can assist the production of interactive design.
Scenarios, a major planning technique for interactive design, is utilised to allow the designer understand a person’s interaction with a system. It focuses and narrows the design efforts based on user requirements. To write a scenario, the information can be guess work but for a more accurate and correct end product, information should be derived from data gathered during activities with the user.
Paper prototyping enables draft interaction designs and screen designs to be simulated and tested before any coding or any major design work has been achieved. There are 4 methods to paper prototyping which are defined as 1. Concept Design, 2. Interaction Design, 3. Screen Design, and 4. Screen Testing. These all allow the designer to appropriately test their product through quick and inexpensive methods on the user for a definitive solution to any problems that arise.
Card sorting is another quick method of exploring how people group items so the the designer can develop maximising structures that expand the probability of users finding certain places. This is a common technique when defining web structures.
I found this lecture quite invaluable because of the easy methods it provided when making weighty decisions about a design process, especially around user experience. The upcoming project I will be undertaking will be needing much of these techniques to be a successfully and appropriately designed interactive medium. Personally, I work on paper before beginning to design a lot so these processes will allow me to convey what I want and how I want to my target audience. I will be able to gather their insight about my product without having to design anything to complicated. User experience is a key aspect when designing for interactive mediums so my target audience is a major factor I must consider for my project to be a success.
Interaction design is all about creating a coherent bond between man and machine to assist the daily lives of everyday people. It is about shaping digital tools for people’s use. The main focus when designing for interactive media are the questions as defined by Bill Verplank in his video. (from the lecture) These questions are ‘how do you do? how do you feel? how do you know?’. These are the basic platforms on which interaction has been designing. By asking these questions to either the target audience or yourself as the designer, it allows for the best possible design work for interaction. Interaction can come in many different forms such as reading a novel or a book, engaging in conversation, through the use of a mobile phone including apps, watching a movie etc. However, all these have varying degrees of interaction based on their interactivity and engagement with the audience.
An example of an interactive website is Mercedes Benz The Forgotten Road Trip – http://gla-class.mercedes-benz.com/com/en/#!/roadtrip. As you scroll down this website it includes pictures, videos, text, voice overs and music to give the story of The Forgotten Road Trip. The videos start automatically and will not let you progress down, until it has finished. You cannot pause the video or skip ahead, requiring the audience to watch and make a judgement on the video and the way it has been presented. There are also more interactive elements where the user is required to make the character complete an action by clicking and sliding along the line provided. This image is the home page which from here you scroll down to reveal the story. This image also moves.
Another example of an interactive website is Jonathan Yuen’s which can be viewed http://www.jonathanyuen.com/_main.html. His website displays his work as a designer. It is extremely interactive by only responding by mouse overs to certain spots on the page. These dots have been coloured red with a + to signify that there is more content once it has been scrolled over. The only way to progress is to continue to scroll over the red dots. Included is a lot of animation done in Flash which move in different ways whenever something is scrolled over. This allows the audience to feel engaged.
The last example of a type of designed interaction is the mobile phone. Phones, especially the iPhone and related products have become the forefront of interactive design, relying solely on the user and the interaction with it. Only content that is wanted by the user is on there, including apps, music and more. Consumers are able to use their phone in any way they wish which is most likely a reason for their popularity. http://www.apple.com/au/iphone-5s/
This is a flowchart on how to make toast and relates to the previous post ‘Step by Step | Making Toast”.
Lecture | week 2
This week’s lecture was based on interactive design and interaction. There are 5 key design elements that contribute to the design of interactive products which include
- information architecture
- time and motion
Interaction design is defined as “designing interactive products to support people in their everyday and working lives” (Sharp, Rogers and Preece (2002)). Interactive design is all about engaging users through site interaction just as it was defined in the above definition from Sharp, Rogers and Preece (2002). There are many disciplines and practices that contribute to interaction design. These include academic disciplines such as ergonomics, engineering and computer science. The practices include graphic design, information architecture, interface design and information systems. There are also some interdisciplinary fields that contribute such as human factors, human and computer interaction, and cognitive engineering. Human factors are important because it relates to how we interact with the site which is in close relation to ergonomics. However it is also about how humans and machines fit together.
From this lecture I now understand interactivity and interaction design and the amount of expertise goes into the design to arrive at a successful and fully engaging product that assists the humans working and daily lives. I found it interesting how so many disciplinary fields and academic studies are applied to create a fully functioning product that is easy to use and facilitates our lives. I also know understand that interactivity and interaction design is not just based on one key element but is instead the result of 5 major design principles that were mentioned above. Interaction and interactive design is all about how users engage with the products and the bonding or forging together of man and machine.