Through the designs we create, we have the ability to directly influence another person’s behavior. The ethical implications of this are important and not easily definable. I was interested in ethics before I ever considered becoming a designer, but the lessons I learned while studying philosophy impacts the way I view my designs. In nature, our goal is a good one. We strive to help others by improving the interactions that define their life. This drives us to create and innovate new ways of interacting with old concepts. The question remains, do we have the right to influence another person? Further, are there guiding principles we can follow that can keep us on the moral path? The answers to these questions rests on the shoulders of the whole community, not a single person or group.
When writing software, *please* don't give error messages that are only meaningful to developers of the software. Microsoft used to be awful for this: "System fault at DEAD:BEEF, please contact your system administrator". Which would've been cool, except that I *was* the system administrator.
Provides an overview of a product design process, then discusses some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design.
It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about the poor user experience of some B2B and enterprise applications. Read through these top tips to help you design enterprise applications that offer a better user experience and increase productivity.
Product experience is influenced by information from all the senses. Our experiments provide insight into how sounds contribute to the overall experience of a product's expression. We manipulated the sounds of dust busters and juicers so that they either did or did not fit the expressions of the products' appearances. In some, but not all cases, we found an inverse relationship between the degree-of-fit of a sound and the degree of surprise evoked. Furthermore, we found in some cases that the expression of a product's sound influenced the overall expression of that product.
As an Interaction Designer, I’m perpetually impressed with the continual design success inherent in most video games. We are taught to know our users by understanding their goals, leveraging mental models, and taking ourselves out of the equation in order to design useful and appropriate interfaces. And although a user-centered design approach is invaluable, I can’t help but wonder how game designers just seem to nail it time and again for what are large and diverse audiences.
In my column, On Good Behavior, I’ll explore the essentials of good interaction design. This first column provides a brief introduction to interaction design—defining the scope this column will cover—then explores some key design principles. What is interaction design?
The use of digital products and services has expanded from largely instrumental, work-oriented settings to include entertainment, leisure, personal communication, and other classes of hedonistic use. The development of foundational concepts in the interaction design community to succeed usability and utility has lagged behind considerably. I argue that interaction design would benefit from attempts to articulate experiential qualities of digital products and services, and illustrate the approach by presenting the concept of fluency. It refers to the degree of gracefulness with which the user deals with multiple demands for her attention and action, particularly in augmented spaces where the user moves through shifting ecologies of people, physical objects, and digital media. I develop the concept of fluency by analyzing a range of digital artifacts in use situations, addressing the main themes of (1) social norms and practices and (2) peripheral interaction and calm technology. In terms of research methodology, this paper illustrates how design and criticism can be merged to construct elements of transferable knowledge for communication with design-research communities.
You can add variable rewards into your website and app design in the form of surprises that elicit joy, inspiration, or enlightenment. By eliciting these positive emotions in your audience, you will make your app more enjoyable to use. In turn, this will better engage your users and help build positive perceptions of your brand.
An interview with Dan Saffer, 2008 Conference Chair and IxDA Director. Dan discusses the context of the organization, how the conference emerged and formed, what the conference will be like, and how one might get a flavor even if attendance is not an option.
I live and breathe user experience design, and yet it took me two years to get myself the device referenced by almost every single presentation about user experience since 2007… Apple’s iPhone. My reasons were very specific and perhaps boring, but what is interesting is the perspective this wait has afforded me. Since it was released, the iPhone has grabbed an astonishing share of mobile Web traffic, been regarded as a “game-changer” in both the design and business worlds, and has even been referred to as the “Jesus Phone.” Now that I’ve owned one for two weeks I’ve developed a different perspective. The iPhone is surprisingly difficult to use, but it sure is fun! And that is why it’s a game-changer.
What can the User Experience field learn from the world of museums? Peter Samis and Tana Johnson of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Interactive Technologies Team can help answer the question. The issues that they grapple with (and solve through inventive design) are firmly grounded in the goal of providing exceptional and inspiring museum experiences.
Examines new developments in interactivity for online authors and developers. Suggests the metaphor of procedural architecture for authoring strongly interactive technical documents. Considers rich internet applications and gaming as emerging forms of interactive technical communication.
The Indian community of Interaction Designers and Usability Professionals is growing by rate of 20% annually which is far too less. Around 6 to 8 new design institutes have suddenly opened up in past couple of years (to name a few- Symbiosis Institute of Design, MAEER MIT’s Institute of Design and Creative-I College, Pune, Raffles Design International, Mumbai, IILM School of Design, Gurgaon, Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi) But all these are indirect contributors to interaction design, as they do not offer education in that area.
I was recently asked about the apparent confusion in the digital design community about who does what. I mainly talk about usability and user experience as I believe these best encapsulate what matters to users – the total experience with a product, system or service.
The role of the interaction designer is to specify the interface’s behaviors and elements, so that engineers know what to build and how the product should operate. This documentation is commonly known as a UI specification or UI spec. There are several applications for authoring a UI spec, with wikis being a relatively new tool. However, designers should be aware of a wiki’s benefits and drawbacks for documentation, since UI specs uniquely reflect a project and its context. The documentation needs are often based on the size of the project, launch date, team dynamics, audience, technology, and the product development process. The development process usually plays a major role in how teams interact and how work is completed or delivered, thus, there is a direct relationship between the UI spec and the process the team is using.
Think of Web 2.0 as more of a concept than a person, place or thing and you'll find firmer ground. Even better, spend some quality time with O'Reilly's lengthy essay. Finally, keep in mind that the lion's share of Web 2.0 discussion is from a technological perspective; it hasn't yet filtered down to the information architecture, interaction design and similar discussion lists.
If we simply look at what's already working well, and why, we can give ourselves two things we desperately need: a starting point for the design, and insight into to how to create better-stronger-faster interactions that are just as easy to use as the old classics.
Interaction design lies at the junction of several design disciplines. The resulting crossover between various specialties and issues is often muddled, understandably. There is no doubt that interaction design, as a design discipline, differs from applied human-computer interaction and cognitive psychology. These distinctions are omnipresent in the current literature.
The watchclock is another kind of interaction design, one whose function corrals the user into a single, linear, constrained sort of behavior. The night watchman has a fundamental social constraint — the desire to not get fired from their job. This constraint allows the watchclock patrol system to work so effectively (some would say insidiously) as an interaction design instrument of control.
Digital interfaces are full of motion. In fact, the UX application of UI motion design has become so important, it’s taking on new terminology of its own—UX choreography. It includes interaction design, motion-based transitions, micro-interactions, and motion that supports the overall brand personality.