Design, Develop, Create

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Exercise: Analysing a design

Establish and understanding of the interplay between implicit and explicit aspects of high tech designs. To reveal hidden assumptions, expectations and prior knowledge that are necessary conditions of successful technology use. This exercise is adapted from Sharp et al. (2007).

Analyse a TV remote control (5 minutes).
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What do I recognise when I inspect the device initially?
  • Do I perceive feedback when I use the device (sound, clicks, weight, surface texture etc)?
  • What is the device's context for use?
  • Is anything missing?
  • What goals does the device addresses?
  • I have a goal; does the device facilitate or get in the way?
  • Consider other modalities for achieving the same goal (e.g. talking, old phone, mobile phone, Skype). 
  • What is explicit and what is implicit?
  • What is usable (or conversely unusable)?
  • Do I need further explanation to understand some aspect?
  • How can I learn about what something does?
  • How do I know where I am (in the system)?
  • Where am I in the process?
  • What do I feel about using this device?
  • What are my impressions about this device?
  • Who can work with this device? Easily?
  • Is it easy to make a mistake?
  • What are the consequences of making a mistake?
  • Can I recover from the mistake easily?
  • Do I feel comfortable experimenting with the device?
  • What happens if it breaks?

For example refer to 'Adopting Technology' (Chapter 4 - Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge) (Moggridge, 2006).

Open the floor to discussion of the group's analysis of the devices (15 minutes).
From the discussion make sketches of user experience(s) on the white board.
Is user experience a goal in itself?
What are the dimensions of user experience?
  • Features
  • Aesthetics
  • Feelings
  • Affection
  • Desire
  • Love
  • Frustration
  • Functionality
  • Speed
  • Risk
  • Feedback
  • Certainty
  • Invisibility
  • ...
  • ...

Consider water taps:

  • Explicit and implicit knowledge
  • Learnt conventions
  • High risk versus low risk
  • Safe versus playful

What is a learnt property of the object and what is a learnt convention or social? e.g. red versus blue, left versus right hand side.

Moggridge, B. (2006) Designing Interactions, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press.
Sharp, H., Rogers, Y. & Preece, J. (2007) Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, Wiley.