Reading Reflection 7

Cooper. (2007). About Face 3.
Chapter 7

In Chapter 7 of his book, Cooper talks about taking the requirements from scenarios and using them to design. The designer needs to decide on what form the design will take, how it will be used, the input methods of the users, and elements and functions that are to be included. This is done by using information from previous stages and applying design principles to create low-fidelity models. It makes sense that detailed designs are to be avoided at this time, and I liked Cooper’s suggestion of using whiteboards to sketch and cameras to capture ideas for reference.

In general, the Framework phase is about defining the tone and types of interactions that will be in the design. The line between what you should focus on and the detail you should not include was different from what I had guessed, but Cooper does a decent job of defining it. I had thought something such as “visual language studies” would be saved for the refinement phase, but if this phase is focusing on the overall tone, then I suppose it would be included.

Sharp, Rogers, & Preece. (2007). Interaction Design.
Chapter 11: Design, prototyping, and construction

Other than the overall topic, this reading was similar to Coopers in various ways. They both discussed speaking with stakeholders about your ideas, understanding the interactions and functions you will include before designing, and considering interfaces to set the tone and suggest possible behaviors. One similarity that really stood out to me was the advantage of using low-fidelity prototypes – it not only is cost efficient and quick, but causes the designer to focus more on functions and user goals than pixels and widget design.

The chapter described low-fidelity prototypes as representations that doesn’t use any of the actual materials that would be on the final product. This reminded me of the Art and Design course I took last year where my partner and I made a prototype washing machine built from cardboard, Styrofoam, paper, tape, and a yoga ball. It was not at all what we intended the product to be, but it allowed us to test the dimensions of our design with actual people and target problems with it.

Thoughts 2: Accessibility Is Not A Checklist

“The principle behind all design is human dignity.”
~ Richard Buchanan, Keynote presentation at Interaction ’11

After last week’s presentations in class, I’d like to share a great video to supplement Quincy and my presentation on Accessibility:

Learn more about Jimmy Chandler:

In this video, Jimmy Chandler discusses accessibility problems and solutions in a fun and interesting way. He brings up concepts we’ve discussed in class, but also provides 10 quick tips on how to improve your product’s accessibility. Chandler even suggests a solution for the mean-error-message issue on forms that the class discussed last week. He really does put things into perspective, and his talk is pretty inspiring while still being entertaining, so I would be sure to check it out.

Personally, I find accessibility very important. My interest stems from my grandmother living with my family for most of my life, and I really can’t imagine her not being able to do something. She’s the most talkative and friendly person I’ve ever met; everyone (including guests) at the new health care center she stays at knows her by name. She’s also the reason I wanted to focus my thesis on the elderly.