User Interface Design in Practice

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A presentation I gave in 2007 to Business School students at the University of Auckland - focusing mostly on the value of sketching, prototyping and iterating in software design & development.

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User Interface Design in Practice

  1. 1. Usability in Practice User Interface Design in Practice Justine Sanderson| Userfaction Ltd | 3 May 2007 © 2007 Justine Sanderson
  2. 2. Today 1. You are not the user 2. Design for the user model 3. Involve users – not just stakeholders 4. Prototype 5. Learn about good design principles 6. Know your Usability Heuristics 7. Read some books 8. Remember these axioms
  3. 3. You are not the user
  4. 4. architect cleaner waitress policeman teacher gardener farmer midwife receptionist musician builder marine biologist nurse florist photographer sales assistant nanny plumber sharetrader banana ripener accountant journalist coach politician student machine operator
  5. 5. hang out with Hang out withwho don’t people people use a computer 8 hours a day
  6. 6. Design for the user model
  7. 7. System Model
  8. 8. User’s Mental Model The internet is a series of tubes
  9. 9. Involve Users
  10. 10. Create Personas • Archetypal representation of your target audience • Based on user research (ideally) • Aggregation of your users’ goals, attitudes, and behaviours • Presented as a vivid, narrative description of a single “person” who represents a user segment
  11. 11. Create Personas
  12. 12. Prototype
  13. 13. Test Early & Often
  14. 14. The cost of changes
  15. 15. Prototyping Redux
  16. 16. Never be satisfied with the first idea Most developers tend to adopt a "satisficing" strategy that focuses on initial, satisfactory, but less than optimal, solutions. Never be satisfied with a single opinion or the first idea. It is best to "saturate the design space" with ideas before making decisions and to consider alternatives (i.e., better design solutions, throughout the design process). Ball, L.J., Evans, J.B.T. And Dennis, I. (1994), Cognitive processes in engineering design: A longitudinal study, Ergonomics, 37(11), 1753-1786.
  17. 17. Screen Description Diagram
  18. 18. 1. ‘Bits’ for an account page 2. Company info 3. Insurance info for company 4. My (current user) info 5. Other users on this account 6. My sales rep contact info 7. Current account plan 8. Link to change search preferences 9. Date account was created 10.People rarely view or change insurance info 11.Any user can edit anything except other users' info 12.Changing password is the most likely action 13.People might come here to change search preferences (which are on a separate page) http://37signals.com/papers/introtopatterns/
  19. 19. 2. Group related bits together A 1. Company info 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info 2. Insurance info for company B 9. People rarely view or change insurance info 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info 3. My (current user) info C 11. Changing password is the most likely action 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info 4. Other users on this account D 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info E 5. My sales rep contact info 6. Current account plan F 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info
  20. 20. 3. Prioritize Most important: 3. My (current user) info C 11. Changing password is the most likely action 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info A 1. Company info 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info G 8. Date account was created E 5. My sales rep contact info Necessary: 2. Insurance info for company B 9. People rarely view or change insurance info 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info 4. Other users on this account D 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info 6. Current account plan F 10. Any user can edit anything except other users' info Nice to have: H 7. Link to change search preferences 12. People might come here to change search preferences (which are on a separate page)
  21. 21. 4. Design each bit individually A B C E G
  22. 22. 5. Put the chunks together
  23. 23. 6. Build in software of choice
  24. 24. Create Scenarios/Storyboards
  25. 25. Prototype with Powerpoint Login e-asTTle Welcome, username Log Out News e-asTTle 8-Feb- 2006: e-asTTle will be unavailable on Saturday 8th February due to maintenance. logo 6-Feb-2006: New resources have been added to What’s Next Sign-In Please sign in to your e -asTTle account: Username: ex.myname@myschool.co.nz Password: Forgot Password? Remember me on this computer Sign-In Footer
  26. 26. Learn about design principles
  27. 27. 8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design
  28. 28. 8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design
  29. 29. 8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design http://dev.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000015.php
  30. 30. 8. Aesthetics & Minimalist Design
  31. 31. Patterns
  32. 32. Doing Heuristics Evaluations
  33. 33. Jacob Nielsen’s Heuristics 1. Visibility of system status 2. Match between system and the real world 3. User control and freedom 4. Consistency and standards 5. Error prevention 6. Recognition rather than recall 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors 10. Help and documentation
  34. 34. Match between the system and the real world
  35. 35. 2. Match the system and real world
  36. 36. 2. Match the system and the real world
  37. 37. Be Consistent
  38. 38. 2. Match the system and the real world
  39. 39. Prevent Errors
  40. 40. 5. Error Prevention
  41. 41. Encourage recognition rather than recall
  42. 42. 6. Recognition rather than recall
  43. 43. Provide Help
  44. 44. 10. Help & Documentation
  45. 45. Other Guidelines • Bruce Tognazzini’s First Principles of Interaction Design http://www.asktog.com/basics/firstPrinciples.html • A good introductory summary from a fellow student http://www.charlieguo.com/web_design_readings.php
  46. 46. Recommended Books
  47. 47. Donald Norman
  48. 48. Steve Krug
  49. 49. Alan Cooper
  50. 50. Alan Cooper
  51. 51. Jenifer Tidwell
  52. 52. Axioms • Interaction Design is not guesswork • Imagine users as very intelligent but very busy • No matter how cool your interface is, less would be better • Software should behave like a considerate human

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