About – Brief introduction to the concept of context and the interactive design process.


The design process overview

The interaction design process has 8 distinct phases. Verplank identifies –

  1. Error – establishing a problem to be solved
  2. Idea – conceptualising solutions to thus problem
  3. Metaphor –  acting design solutions
  4. Scenario – creating situations to better a real response
  5. Task analysis – observing real user behaviour and responding accordingly to their needs
  6. Modeling – putting together the building blocks
  7. Representation – creating prototypes for users to interact
  8. Manipulation – improvements thereafter?

Where to start?

Often the process will begin as low tech (The good ol’ pen to paper). It is the starting point that helps us understand and frame the problem. Early visualisations will then take part as diagrams, models, flowcharts to identify general directions and help reveal missing information. As designs progress, details and fidelity increase and eventually form into interactive prototypes that ultimately validate the idea.

Involving users

Testing with users. Part of this process begins with theoretical personas and scenarios to better understand a user and their response. Additional input from real users will then further refine the design, its usefulness and usability.

Below is visual summary of whole processScreen Shot 2017-03-13 at 1.54.07 AM

Context

The concept of context as part of the design process is predominately looking into user intentions and their influential surroundings. They are-

  • Context for use – HOW WILL THEY USE IT
  • Context of use – THE SURROUNDINGS THAT INFLUENCE THEIR BEHAVIOURS

Contextual scenarios help us define situations that of people and their needs. Creating a better interaction that will facilitate to their behaviour.

Important questions to consider:

  • What people are trying to do
  • How may they try to do it
  • What gets in the way or helps
  • Where they might be doing it
  • Who will be using it
  • How long will they use it
  • What do they expect
  • How much complexity can be accepted

Reflection

Planning in the development of the design is just as crucial as the end-product. Without the building blocks, the design won’t succeed the goal or need, at least not properly. It allows you to see a direction and keeps you on path. Involving users as part of the process is also very important if intending to create for behaviours that are real. Thus looking about the contextual aspects and considering as many scenarios is a well in part of the process.

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