Blog‎ > ‎

Interactive Design Week 1 and Week 2

posted Sep 6, 2011, 7:30 AM by David Soutar   [ updated Sep 6, 2011, 12:15 PM ]
First of all just to confirm class will now begin at 8AM and end at 11AM (for everyone except Ikem.... sorry dude)

Week 1 Assignment: User Experience Redesign - The Coffee Machine
Coffee vending machines were traditionally big, plain machines with a series of push-buttons for selecting coffee (regular or decaf), cream (none, some, lots) and sugar (none, some, lots.) Poor quality but hot coffee (or brown flavored water) was delivered (unceremoniously) in a paper cup through a compartment in the front of the machine. Payment was only coins or maybe dollar bills. The experience and interaction with the machine was less than engaging, did not communicate quality, and did not inspire trust or brand loyalty.
Using the criteria for the assignment (listed below), create concept sketches for your new coffee vending machine. What is the shape and size of the machine? Where will it be located? How will people approach it? How will it attract attention and invite interaction? How will customers select their coffee preferences? How will they pay? How will the coffee be distributed? Do not design the coffee selection interface (e.g., touchscreen) - focus on the form of the physical machine and show only the initial or default state of the coffee selection interface.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Audience for the device and interface
  • Physical device itself
  • Service(s) and function(s) the device provides and the needs or goals it helps users achieve
  • Existing devices in the same space
  • Opportunities and plans for improving, varying, and/or extending the service(s) and function(s) of the new device

Reading Assignments:
About Face 3.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Cooper & Reimann, 2007):
Chapter 1: Goal-Directed Design
Chapter 2: Implementation Models and Mental Models
Chapter 3: Beginners, Experts, and Intermediates

Week 2 Assignment: 
Design a mobile telephone for illiterate users in poor countries. Text-based interfaces and menu systems of current phones are useless and do not convey information to people who cannot read. Address books in phones are based on names and numbers (which cannot be read) and addresses (that may not exist.) Iconography is only meaningful when the icon has abstract, metaphorical meaning to the user - most phone icons are based on western experiences (e.g., phone book icons) and may not be meaningful in poor countries. Design a mobile phone interface for people who cannot read, which does not rely on icons based on sociocultural experiences they may not share, and which allows the user to place calls without the help of others.

Reading Assignments:
About Face 3.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Cooper & Reimann, 2007):
Chapter 6: The Foundations of Design: Scenarios and Requirements
Chapter 8: Synthesizing Good Design: Principles and Patterns

The Web Beyond the Desktop (Digital Magazine)

Adapted from  Information and Interaction Syllabus by David M. Hogue, Ph.D