design thoughts by rohan sandeep



Story of Apple

Category : Blog May 31st, 2011

Three types of companies

Category : Blog May 31st, 2011

I have often identified the software/ hardware companies through basically three types of companies. Microsoft/ Google and Apple.

These three companies display different of characteristics in terms of products they offer and the approach they have towards creating these products. All three companies are successful in their own right. Google in search engine business, Microsoft with the office suites and Apple with its own line of products.

While the products are different, the approach in creation of product also varies. While Google develops products that are functionally rich. Apple created products that are both aesthetically pleasing as well as functionally rich. While Microsoft succeeds in creating products that are  in between. Am i not taking something weird. All companies have quality and creativity in their mission statements.

The answer is, different organizations are composed of different types of people applying their capabilities. The End Result is the collective application of their efforts. Going back to the topic. We can learn a lot from these three companies. As we can choose the path towards defining an organization either as a Google, Microsoft or Apple. The products and their features help us a lot about what to include and what to avoid. While its not easy to be like any one of them, its easy to be Microsoft rather than Google. Its easier to be Google, than to be like Apple. And finally each of these companies do have their unique advantage product. Office in case of Microsoft, Search in case of Google and the brand name in case of Apple (since Apple has series of products liked by consumers).

GUI Design Techniques (Theo Mandel)

Category : UX Resources May 18th, 2011

Sourced from Stack exchange: GUI Design Techniques to enhance user experience

Place Users in Control

  • Use Modes Judiciously (modeless)
  • Allow Users to use either the Keyboard or Mouse (flexible)
  • Allow Users to Change Focus (interruptible)
  • Display Descriptive Messages and Text (helpful)
  • Provide Immediate and Reversible Actions, and Feedback (forgiving)
  • Provide meaningful Paths and Exits (navigable)
  • Accommodate Users with Different Skill Levels (accessible)
  • Make the User Interface Transparent (facilitative)
  • Allow Users to Customize the Interface (preferences)
  • Allow Users to Directly Manipulate Interface Objects (interactive)

Reduce Users’ Memory Load

  • Relieve Short-term Memory (remember)
  • Rely on Recognition, not Recall (recognition)
  • Provide Visual Cues (inform)
  • Provide Defaults, Undo, and Redo (forgiving)
  • Provide Interface Shortcuts (frequency)
  • Promote an Object-action Syntax (intuitive)
  • Use Real-world Metaphors (transfer)
  • User Progressive Disclosure (context)
  • Promote Visual Clarity (organize)

Make the Interface Consistent

  • Sustain the Context of Users’ Tasks (continuity)
  • Maintain Consistency within and across Products (experience)
  • Keep Interaction Results the Same (expectations)
  • Provide Aesthetic Appeal and Integrity (attitude)
  • Encourage Exploration (predictable)

Gamification

Category : Blog May 16th, 2011

Have you used Zynga’s games such as Cityville or Farmville. As you play the games you earn points for doing normal things like visiting your friends game view etc. This encourages you to do those more, at least more than you originally intended. So earning points becomes one of the goals. This is often done in message boards where you get points for answering questions and that pushes you to participate more often.

Wikipedia defined gamification as – “

Gamification is the use of game play mechanics[1] for non-game applications (also known as “funware“),[2] particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications.[3] Gamification works by making technology more engaging,[4] and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.[5] The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites.[4]

Building a portfolio site (links)

Category : UX Resources May 15th, 2011

I have been working on upgrading my portfolio website. I was wondering what features would be essential for an interaction/ user experience designer portfolio. Here am not trying to make an eye candy web designer type of portfolio rather a portfolio thats more heavy on describing what was done and how it was done.

Here are some of the portfolios i came across,

Human action cycle

Category : UX Resources May 1st, 2011

Whats a Human Action Cycle? Hows does it help in interface design?

As per book – user interface design and evaluation – ‘The human action cycle is a psychological model that describes the steps users take when they interact with computer systems.’ This concept was introduced by Don Norman.

There are three important steps in the cycle, Goal formation, Execution and Evaluation. In the order Goal formation is when the user plans the action, execution is conversion of the goal into smaller steps and execution of the steps. Evaluation is looking at the final result and comparing it with the original goals.

Further broken down the steps in any activity can be broken down into,

  • Formation of a goal
  • Breakdown of goals into tasks
  • Development of an action sequence
  • Execution of the action sequence
  • Perceiving what happened
  • Interpretation of the outcome
  • Evaluation of what happened against what was planned

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