User Experience design principles used to design Windows 7
- Reduce concepts to increase confidence
- Small things matter, good and bad
- Be great at ‘look’ and ‘do’
- Solve distractions not discoverability
- UX before knobs and questions
- Personalization, not customization
- Value the life cycle of the experience
- Time matters, so build for people on the go
Source: Microsoft UX Guide
Job interviews are designed to obtain information of the suitability of a candidate for a job. What could be the components of a UX job interview in general.
- Knowledge and understanding of User Experience concepts.
- Skill (Interaction design, Information architecture, Visual design, Usability Engineering).
- Presentation and communication skills.
Card sorting is technique used to design the navigation structure of a website. The method involves asking representative users to group information into categories. Card sorting is a valuable tool while designing a new navigational structure or while validating an existing navigational structure as it is cheap, includes direct contact with the users, easily implementable.
There are two types of card sorting methods – open card sort and closed card sort. In open card sort the categories are kept open, the user can come up with their own categories. While in closed card sort the user has to use categorizes information within the categories provided.
I dropped a close relative of mine to the airport in Bengaluru yesterday. We faced a lot of issues – the flight got delayed; the display system provided inaccurate details of departure; the airline did not have a representative or help desk.
Lack of correct information had us all worried. Is the flight on time? Is it delayed?
This made me think about the different avenues through which the airline could have done better in providing us information.
- Provide flight updates to the passenger through SMS, even when the flight is on time
- Provide clear information about the customer help line on the ticket
- Provide a common staff in the airport who can clear queries
what could be other ways for airlines to improve communication with its customers.
In the competitive world, every touch point between the corporate world and the customer is important. The better experience goes a long way in ensuring long term relationships.
Mega Drop downs are a new trend emerging across many websites. Mega drop downs can be characterized by use of categorization for display of navigational links, use of two or more columns for display of data, display of data without scroll etc.
Having worked for a product development company with an enterprise audience, I have come across thousands of forms. So much so that I often think of putting together a ‘checklist’ process for designing forms.
Using a pattern library for development of the forms, seems to be a holistic method. But what do we do with forms that are long and boring with little possibility of any innovation. Do we break it down into chunks and provide categorization, work on a possible sequence etc.
Here are interesting links to form usability,
Design is an inbuilt process that all human being possess. We evaluate alternatives everyday to choose a possible solution to the challenges faced by us. The same is done by Accountants, Engineers, Household workers and the Heads of states everywhere.
For Interaction designers and Usability engineers design rationale is an important element that help us not only choose the correct solution but also justify the choice to stakeholders.
- In large teams it’s often difficult to moderate the solution by mere presentation. The designer has to often present the rationale for the solution including the options presented by other participants in the design
- Solutions made in this order become effective entrants for patterns. Thereby reducing your effort next time looking for a similar solution
- Transparency – there is a lot more transparency in the design decision
- Documentation is lot simpler since a lot of data is collected in content friendly format
“A Design Rationale is a framework of the reasons behind decisions made when designing a system or artifact. An understanding of the design rationale, or the justification for design decisions made throughout the design process, is necessary in order to understand, recreate, or modify a design” – Wikipedia
Looking at Design rationale, how would an interaction designer build a design rationale justifying the proposed solution?
- Constraints – State constraints that impact selection of the option. These could be technical, functional, usability related, visual design related etc.
- The alternatives – describe the alternative. For instance if you solution is about providing a choice box, describe technically the choice box. This should include the physical properties of the solution and not what the alternative does.
- Benefits of using the alternative
- Drawbacsk of using the alternative
- The selected solution and the reason for final decisioning