Spring’15 class notes Day 2: Intro to UCD

15 Jan

Here’s what I would hope you remember from today’s class:

  • user-centered design as a new way of thinking:
    • moving from “meh, it works” to user delight ♥︎
    • moving from “user is stupid” to user error = poor design
    • moving from “slap an interface on it” to designing from the ground up in a user-centered fashion – not only “what it looks like“, but also “how it works“.
  • goals of user-centered design: product should work, no errors, no complaints, even be fun and delightful; it should be easy to learn – INTUITIVE
  • we can make INTUITIVE happen with the help of affordances/constraints and mental models. Please see the slides used in class (some new slides added after class to clarify this last point):

Another thing I’d like you to remember about affordances is that, at least in the physical world, they depend upon the size and shape of one’s body. The same object can communicate different affordances to people vs cats, for example. The slides below illustrate this point:

Please do make sure you understand the concepts of affordance/constraints and mental models and how they can help us create designs that are so easy to learn that they seem intuitive. Ask as many questions as you need until you feel very comfortable with these concepts.


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