Posts Tagged ‘user experience’

inspireUX

December 15, 2008

InspireUX  is a really great blog that post quotes related to user experience design. It is a great reference to have. Each quote posted  focuses on the impact that user experience can have on the people living in our world today. I highly recommend you have a look at it if you haven’t already.

www.inspireux.com

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This is one quote i really love…..It links back to a lot of what we have been talking about at CIID. You must not be precious about your ideas……at the end of the day our biggest aim is create the best possible solution and experience for the end user . The power of working in teams with people from diverse backgrounds is so immense…..we must take advantage of this amazing opportunity we have given!!! and do good with it!!!

GUI applications for the elderly

November 18, 2008

Yesterday at CIID we started our new GUI (Graphical User Interfaces) block. During the next two weeks the main foucs will be a hands on approach through a user centered development process for a GUI concept. The course is being taught by Alex Wiethoff (CIID) and Neils Clausen-Stuck. Neils worked as a senior interaction designer at IDEO for 7 years up intill joining Kontrapunkt in 2008.

The course will be broken into two, with Half being a series of short exercises and lectures that will look into key aspects, contexts, history, applications and limiting factors that influence the design of GUI and the other half will be developing a concept with an application specific GUI that offers value in the elderly care space. The ideas that we develop will be based on the insights we gained last week whilst doing user research in elderly homes around Copenhagen.

Why are we designing for elderly care?

“Creating a concept with an application specific GUI for an elderlycare context with multiple user groups (patients, doctors, nurses, visitors) with their respective information needs represents an interesting basis for the students to create highly tailored and relevant interfaces for a demanding target group.  The students will have to develop, design, prototype tools and experiences that have impact and show empathy towards the different user groups needs and contexts” Course Syllabus

Yesterday we kicked of this GUI block with a very informative lecture of the history of GUI. One area that really stood out for me were the core aspects to consider when you want to create a GUI that will provide value to the end user,  these were….

Accessibility and Usability

Functionality

Visual design

The learning Curve for the user

The Interaction paradigm, the metaphor that will create the mental model

Brilliant points to always remember!

After a little history we were given an overview of typology of GUIs, i especially loved this example..

Over the course of yesterday afternoon and today we have gone back to our user insights from last week and found the real opportunity areas, created brainstorming topics in the form of “how might we” statements, (“how might we support the staff to help them create the best possible care experience”) had several huge brainstorming sessions, and have now decided on 10 ideas to develop further…..and of course we could not have done it without the trusty post-its!

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voting for our opportunity areas

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our “how might we” statements

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brainstorming, brainstorming, brainstorming

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10 ideas to develop

For the next two days we will be developing and prototyping our initial ideas and then on Friday we will take them back to the elderly homes to gain feedback from the residents and staff for further development!

some lovely theory….and a lot of post-its!

November 4, 2008

This week were are doing an intensive design theory week taught by Gillian Crampton Smith, Phillip Tabor and Bill Verplank. When i first heard we were doing a theory i presumed it would be a week of lectures and written exercises. However i have been proven wrong!! For the last two days we have had very insightful presentations from Gillian and Phillip talking about different models of interaction design, using notation within interaction design and metaphors in interaction design…All every fascinating. These talks were then reiterated by a series of rapid exercises to teach us how to put the theory into practice. Some of the exercises included; using flow diagrams, storyboards and state diagrams to map out user experiences, interactions from physical objects and different processes, creating mental models of systems and creating metaphors for different environments. These were very quick exercises that involved a lot of post-its and some quick thinking!

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flow diagrams for making a recipe

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state diagram of a coffee machine

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playing with metaphors

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‘riding a bike it like balancing your finances’

Using design in Healthcare

October 20, 2008

image via thinkpublic website

I have just read a fantastic article via the thinkpublic website. Deborah Szebeko founder and director of thinkpublic (public service design consultancy) has published an article in this week’s HSJ (health service journal) outlining the benifits of using design processes and thinking to enhance user experiences within health care. It is well worth a read! click here for the full article

Video prototyping overview….which ended up quite long!

October 20, 2008

Last week we were focusing on using video as a means of prototyping a concept. After our introductory exercises we were given a loose concept for a service called ‘Keyless’ This service was for people that often loose or forget there keys…over the course of 3 days we were to develop the idea considering aspects like how the service would work (back and front end) various situations and scenarios, security issues, authorization, logistics,convenience, and of course the user experience as a whole.

After developing our idea and knowing how we wanted to portray our service the next step was to storyboard it….the keys steps to follow were:

  1. write down what you want to do
  2. build a character sketch in 1t person
  3. write a story from a 3rd person perspective
  4. create a breakdown of your shots
  5. make a rough storyboard
  6. rehearse and time storyboard
  7. make final storyboard and  FOLLOW IT!

The first concept video we filmed and edited for our ‘keyless’ service was low fidelity and low resolution. We used paper based props which were quick and dirty, this provided the right blend on knowing what was going on, yet eager to learn more about the service…

paper based mobile phone interface

‘KeyLess’ welcome pack prop

card swipe prop

When we had created our first low Fidelity/resolution video we were then able to see where there were holes in our service concept, as well as seeing where unnecessary frames could be cut out and better shots could be used. We used this learning to cut our story boards down to a maximum of 12 key frames and set about creating a high fidelity/resolution version of our video prototypes. For this we created far more realistic touchpoints, using existing products and hacking old ones to create an experience that would be as close to the real one as possible. Unfortunately i can’t upload my video at the moment as the file is too big but i will make a note to compress it or upload it somewhere else on the web. Some shots form the film though…..

Emergence scene-hearing about keyless through a friend

registering with keyless online

Keyless welcome pack prop

mobile phone interface-message from ‘keyless’

At the end of our week we finished with open crits to discuss our work. It was great to get positive feedback as well as constructive criticism. Some of the key point to emerge form these discussions were;

  • When you are video prototyping don’t try to do too much, create something within in your time frame, focus on one area.
  • outdoor shots are better due to the natural source of light-so where possible shoot outside!
  • make it feel as real as possible, remember the little details that make an experience special
  • lets the props tell the story
  • make good touchpoints
  • focus on one aspect of your service for a specific audience and make it super good and convincing!
  • video prototypes are always good for finding wholes in your service
  • be as prepared as possible for showing your video in different environments it can often look very different in different lights or projections to what it does on screen.
  • don’t use music that over powers the video and takes away form the concept
  • use as little text as possible
  • always use a context shot then a close up for important scenes.

Also while i am here…..2 great papers really worth reading:

“Experience Prototyping” by Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri

“What do prototypes prototype” by Stephanie Houde and Charles Hill

All in all a great week!!A really brilliant course taught by Vinay and Alex!