Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 7

For this week I wanted to share that I loved being able to view the designs of my fellow classmates.  I found the ability to view the designs of other people very inspiring.  It would have taken a lot more time for me to see and understand different specific academic explanations.  It was great to see some of the different ideas people had to arrange information on the screen.  I was able to leverage their ideas and change them in my own way.  This really goes to show the value of collaboration among designers to create something better than going it alone.  Everyone sees the world in a different way and there is no way to better see the world as it is than to work with other designers to understand different perspectives.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 6

This week I wanted an important book that has come up again and again with our recent interactive proto-type.  The book published by O'Reilly is called UX Strategy.  The title could be misleading because Jamie Levy in the book describes elements that are important but not traditionally found within the scope of typical User Experience.  Her four tenets include Business Strategy, Value Innovation, Killer UX, and Validated User Research.  Business Strategy is probably the element that is often missing but is often the most important in this case.  As in my current project there are several requirements and business rules that the User Experience must follow.  Her 2nd tenet is around providing value through innovation.  This is important and one of those elements is to constantly look at how other people have designed through web sites or apps.  I have come across at least 2-3 ideas that can help me after looking at several designs from my classmates.  Her third tenet around Killer design is that a great design can attract a lot of people to your site or app.  This means to continue to iterate your design until you are sure the design is looks great.  The last tenet is one that means to validate what you think are some great design ideas.  There is a balance in approach here.  Surveys can work but often the best experience is to try and view how people work with a current product and understand what is valuable and what is frustrating.  Her book is an excellent resource for ensuring your own strategy balances each of these different but intertwingled topics.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 5

I have been reading an interesting book by the Author Dan Pink called 
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.  The book can be found here

The book partly describes the science behind the part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus.  Science has recently this part of the brain helps drive our body's internal clock.  If this science continues to show promise think now that your web site or App may have to function differently at certain times of the day.  So far the science says about a certain number of hours after you wake up you sort of hit a lag.  The lag is essentially your body's internal clock showing its performance slowdown.  In last weeks post I shared a lot of user experience design is about time and space.  In this case we are talking about the space we use to perform and the time that sometimes indicate that we are not at our best at certain times of the day.   

One of the UX applications of this new found science is how many bad searches at certain times of the day.  If people are not performing at their best then its likely to propose that those doing the searching may be at fault not because of the design but because they are hitting the performance lag I indicated.

It is a fascinating book that if shown to be really true will completely change the way we think of designing for our audiences.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 4

As a computer scientist, who turned into an instructional designer who then has turned into aspiring user experience designer there are two important concepts that have remained consistent throughout, time and space.  In particular both an instructional designer and an experience designer both care deeply about time because in both cases they want to design a space that is functional but also matches the style of the intended audience.  Both roles care deeply about creating something that marks a distinct difference in some performance metric.  A key difference is that the skills of a user experience designer always has to stretch across space and time where a instructional designer is always asked to confine their solution into a space.  This is why I've been drawn to the field of UXD. The field compels us to stretch across space and time, always looking to visualize how technology can improve the experience while remembering all of those important concepts that got us here.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 3

I have seen first hand through my professional experience and my most recent academic experience (through exercises and assignments) that it is important to make clear of the business logic or understand the business strategy.

A good example was the exercise we are doing now for my class for a lunch buddy program.  This is proposed app that allows parents to add new funds for a child's lunch account.  There was a concept of an account, a child, and a primary payment method.  Is the account the same as the child?  Do you want to allow parents to select a different payment method for each of their children?  For the purposes I assumed a child essentially represented an account.  This would allow a parent to choose two different payment methods for both of their children.   But doing so makes you make decisions about the navigation.  As a designer you have to take into account the interface has to be easy to create different payments for multiple children.  But it also has to take into account there are many families with just one child.  My solution was to use a home screen friendly to multiple child families but to have the navigation include a simple 'Add funds' icon to allow those families with one child a simple way to add funds.  In this case the since there would be only one child the App would make it easy for those families to just add some funds without looking at too much information.

The business logic and business strategy can have an effect on the design of your App or web site.  Its important to always remember this otherwise it will cause frustration from your audience.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 2

My wife and I were watching the fascinating PBS special on how good the National Weather Service is able to predict the weather due the massive amount of data they collect and the use of different algorithms.  I know, it doesn't seem like are sometimes very good at it but given the number of changes that happen over hours it is pretty clear it is not easy to predict something that is constantly changing.  The takeaway I did come away with the importance of starting with a good point of origin.  Statistically, they found that when certain points of data were collected incorrectly at their origin it had a massive effect on their algorithms ability to predict the weather.  In User Experience Design, sometimes it can be an awful experience when there is not enough meaning to start your path.  It is true that some designs leave people lost as they navigate a digital experience but often those designs at least start off well.  But the most frustrating experiences for me have been when web sites or mobile applications didn't do enough to show me where to get started.  When that happens you are likely to think how good can this experience be if this organization can't get that right.  The result was often me never coming back or deleting the App.  I would also add that even when designs are done well, its important to keep learning from your users to understand if your main screen should evolve past its original design into something else.  This means understanding not just their digital habits through site metrics but also general trends in spending and other external metrics. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kent State UXD Program- Interaction Design Journaling Week 1

In this week's class I agree with some of the content I watched from a Lynda course on Scenarios and Storyboards.  I liked the part where the instructor said you need to run through scenarios before you start proto-typing.  My only comment is that I didn't see specific mentions of how to build accurate personas.  I know from reading a lot of case studies many times the designer has to experience the pain of who they designing for first hand to truly appreciate the specific situation.  I know that is a slippery slope because you could have lots of customer experiences but its certainly worth a designer trying to place themselves in their customer's shoes by actually doing and experiencing the pain.