Lecture Pod 7

UI is not how the website looks, but rather about presenting the user with the right tools too achieve their goals. User interfaces are more than buttons, menus and forms. It’s a connection between user and experience.

Good UI is a balance between good design and effortless usability.

Great UX (user experience) is the look, feel and usability of a website and the user interface or UI is the interactivity within the site that generates this experience.

Design patterns are standard reference points for experienced user design. It is the common navigational tools, layouts, type and overall design that is known to generate positive feedback.

Common navigational patterns include hamburger menus, navigation tabs, article lists, drop down menus, and hierarchies.


Lecture Pod 6

User scenarios are the stories that a user acts out. It is an exercise that is presented visually to put a persona into a real life situation, and demonstrates how a particular demographic may respond to the product. It allows you to understand what future users will do, use and dislike when using a website.

They should at least outline the WHO, WHAT WHEN, WHERE AND HOW

Scenarios are not predictions or forecasts, but attempts to reflect on or portray the way in which a system is used in the context of daily activity. Once the functions are identified as feasible, the developer can then move onto details in the product.

Process + Context Lecture 2

This pod discusses the process in planning for an interactive design, and also explains what context is, and how it can help you achieve a successful design.

The first half of the pod lecture discusses the advantages of project planning via pen to paper mediums, and the advantage of then putting these ideas in context – to the people who will potentially be influenced or affected by the outcome. Sarah discusses that project ideas start very low tech, to help understand, define and frame the problem. These early sketches also help identify what the problem is in the design, and what goals we are trying to achieve.

Part 2 of the pod discusses the concept of context


  • What people are trying to do
  • How they may try to do it
  • What gets in the way or what helps
  • Where they might be doing it

An example given includes checking if a payment went through via a laptop at home, compared to checking the balance of an account in order to purchase an item at the store. Both these examples have different urgencies, locations, times and devices. Thus, different context for use and of use.

Context helps define a situation, people and their needs to create interaction design that facilitate their behaviours. To help create context scenarios, you need to ask what is the situation?

  • What’s the setting or environment which the device or interface will be used?
  • Is it public or private? Is it conducive?
  • Who will be using the device or interface? Will it be shared?
  • How long will it be used for?
  • Does it need to be complex or simple?
  • What are the persons needs or goals?
  • Whats the urgency?

By understanding what a user needs, and using proper methods of problem solving, you can create successful interactions.

Introduction to Interactive Design – Lecture Pod

Interactive design is a multi faceted skill that a graphic designer is expected to understand and re create. A book, a mobile phone and a conversation are three examples of interactions that occur in everyday life. These interactions can draw upon a persons wants, needs, or desires and in turn generate a multi-sensory response, i.e touch, taste, sight.

The screen grab below shows a diagram mapping four different interactions, and a users engagements (Y-Axis) comparing that to its ability to react back to the user (X-Axis).


The graph shows that whilst a book may be more engaging than a vending machine, it is less reactive as it does not respond to the users engagement.

Bill Verplank

Bill  defines Interaction Design to be made of 3 questions:

How do you do? How do you feel? How do you know? (1)

How do you do:
How do you do is a question relating to how do you affect the world around you? What does the user need to do to create an interaction? Verplank explains it as two choices, a handle or a button. Handles will allow continuous control, for example a car steering wheel. Whilst a button remains a discreet control tool used to activate a program or object, such as a push to start car.

How do you feel:
How do we get feedback from the world? How does a product communicate with its user?
Verplank now describes media to be in two forms; Hot and Cool.

*Mcluhan defined the difference between these hot and cool medias to be that hot media allows less involvement than cool media. For example, a lecture is made for less participation than a seminar, and a book enables less participation than a dialogue. (2)

How do you know?
Design interactions are not easy to follow without the help of a map, or path which the user can follow. As a designer, you need to decided what the user needs. Does a user need a map to see an overview of what they are to do? Or does a user just need a direction or path that allows for interpretation.

(1) Verplank, Bill. “Verplank’s sketch-lecture to CCRMA HCI Technology Course.” billverplank.com <http://www.billverplank.com/Lecture/>
(2) McLuhan, M. (1964) Understanding Media, McGraw-Hill.