Monday, 21 September 2015

Exercise: (b) Design a text-free search interface

This is the second part of the design exercise. The goal is to familiarise students with interface design approaches and tools. Use the Balsamiq tool to mock-up the design.

To practice creating design artifacts to display and test technology use/interaction ideas.

Sheets of A4 paper, post-it notes, pens and pencils of different colours.

1. In groups of 2 or 3 use paper/pencil sketch a mockup of a new kind of Internet ‘search page’ that doesn’t use text (at all)! (allocate 10")
2. Collect the sketches and display them to the class; allow the group to provide a brief commentary. (allocate 10" to display all mockups).
3. In the same groups use Balsamiq to create a digital version of the design. The new design may vary from the paper/pencil sketch. (allocate 15")
4. Discuss the following reflection points (in groups first followed by class discussion). (allocate 10")

How did the quality and level of design discussion differ from the earlier exercise?
Comment on how you conceptualised or simulated the 'user' of your design.

Snyder, C. (2003) Paper Prototyping: The fast and easy way to design and refine user interfaces, San Francisco, CA, Morgan Kaufmann, Elsevier Science.
The Balsamiq Mockups wireframing tool is accessed online at (accessed: 2010-2011)

Student Examples

Dilyan's example: Fast booking mock up: Fast booking mock up

Whole class examples in collage: