IxD session 3

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Prep for tonight

Read Cooper (3rd edition), Ch 1, Ch 3, Ch 5, Ch 6.
Read Information Architecture (UsabilityFirst) and How Information Architecture Works (HowStuffWorks)

Reading prompt: How is persona development different from traditional market research/profiles? How might personas help you with your project? Post to class WP site before 5 pm on Monday.

  • Andrew // Jackson // KatieC // KatieJ // Nicole
  • Read and comment (asking questions is good!) on everyone’s post.

Design post:  Observe yourself interacting with a man-made object, preferably something computerized (does not have to be a computer, per se). What was the object? What were you trying to accomplish (goal)? What did you do? What happened? How did you feel about the interaction? Post to class WP site before 5 pm on Monday.

  • Andrew // Jackson // KatieC // KatieJ // Nicole
  • Read and comment (asking questions is good!) on everyone’s post.


Tonight’s discussion: From Requirements to Design

Revisiting last week’s American Airlines exercise

Read one another’s posts and provide comment/feedback. [Y’all took different approaches in presenting the data – so I’d like you see everyone else’s posts and think about how theirs differ from yours.]

Questions for us to talk about:

  • What things made the decision making process easy?
  • What things made it difficult?
  • How was this task structured differently than how you would normally search for a flight (other than my giving you the date)?
  • What recommendations do you have for the websites?
  • How might this exercise help you think about your projects?
  • Reverse engineering: If you were writing a requirements document for a flight registration application, what would it need to include?

Notes on user frustration, from Ch 5, “Understanding how interfaces affect users,” Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction (2002)

  1. When an application doesn’t work properly or crashes
  2. When a system doesn’t do what the user wants it to do
  3. When a user’s expectations are not met
  4. When a system does not provide sufficient information to let the user know what to do
  5. When error messages pop up that are vague, obtuse, or condemning
  6. When the appearance of an interface is too noisy, garish, gimmicky, or patronizing
  7. When a system requires users to carry out many steps to perform a task, only to discover a mistake was made somewhere along the line and they have to start all over again

Mini-Lecture (pdf on DropBox)

Thinking about an online voter registration system … what should we include in a requirements document?

  • Hint: first we have to have an idea of who our users are!

Exercise: start here and try to get started registering to vote online. It’s OK if you’re already registered! How might your experience have changed if you had started here?

  • Take notes; we’re going to talk about this as a group.
  • We’ll develop recommendations – but they have to be tied to a persona! Are these beginners / intermediates / experts (justify your judgment)?
  • Sometime, watch this screencast


Check this out:



In-class assignment (second journal post – do ONE of these)

1. Provide specific examples for at least five (5) of the seven (7) types of frustration, based on your own experience with a digital device or application or website. Write down any other types of frustration that comes to mind and then prioritize them in terms of how annoying they are to you. Which are the worst? How might good personas and a well-written requirements document have anticipated and prevented these frustrations?

2. Observe yourself interacting with a web site (either: Adobe.com / Microsoft.com / Apple.com) and focus on your perceptions (what actions you think are possible, what you expect to happen if you execute a specific action) and then the reality (what happens? was your perception “accurate”?).

  • Write down what you think you can do here (just looking at the home page). Identify goals and tasks involved in each scenario. Identify what you think might be business objectives.
    • Example : goal – stay informed about current events; task – read The Financial Times online version to get a foreign viewpoint on American politics; sub-task – read specific article; sub-task2 – share article on Facebook; objective – convert reader to paid subscriber.

Post to class WP site before leaving class (tag journal).

For next session (Wednesday)

Read  Cooper (4th ed): Ch  7, Ch 8, Ch 17
Read Garrett: Ch 2
Read Whose profession is design; First principles of interaction design.
Reading prompt:  What does it mean to you for a site or application to be well-behaved? Of the visual/interaction design principles which resonate the most with you and why? Post to class WP site (reading) before 5 pm on Wednesday.

Research post: find four “competitors” for your project; why did you pick them? . Post to class WP site (research) before 5 pm on Wednesday.

Set up free account at InVision before class.

In-class assignment: short-term memory test (moving to session 5)


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