My last column, “Specifying Behavior,” focused on the importance of interaction designers’ taking full responsibility for designing and clearly communicating the behavior of product user interfaces. At the conclusion of the Design Phase for a product release, interaction designers’ provide key design deliverables that play a crucial role in ensuring their solutions to design problems actually get built. These deliverables might take the form of high-fidelity, interactive prototypes; detailed storyboards that show every state of a user interface in sequence; detailed, comprehensive interaction design specifications; or some combination of these. Whatever form they take, producing these interaction design deliverables is a fundamental part of a successful product design process.
In this installment of On Good Behavior, I’ll provide an overview of a product design process, then discuss some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design. Read More
In differentiating an organization’s products from those of its competitors, design innovation is just as important as technology innovation. Both are vital to the continued success of an organization’s products in the marketplace. Successful innovation requires more than just generating a lot of creative ideas. It’s about execution—actually bringing products to market that embody innovative design solutions and deliver business impact.
What is the role of constraints in design innovation? In this article, I’ll discuss three types of constraints: technical constraints, business constraints, and design constraints. According to Charles Eames:
“Design depends largely on constraints. … Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem—the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible—his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints….” Read More
I’ve referred to the work I do as user experience design ever since Don Norman introduced the term at Apple in 1993—when I was a Human Interface Engineer there. But interaction design is absolutely central to the design of application user experiences—whether for the desktop, Web, mobile devices, or other handheld devices—and it is the core skill of application designers.
With this column, I’m introducing a multipart series on what I consider to be the essence of interaction design for application user experiences. First, I’ll lay the groundwork for this series by describing the role of interaction design, then I’ll embark on my exploration of the essence of interaction design by discussing the design of virtual contexts for interaction.
As I began thinking about this series, I realized I should describe the process of design first—or I’d end up constantly revisiting the same process issues—so I wrote my column “Design Is a Process, Not a Methodology.” Throughout this series, I’ll refer you to that column for details about steps of the design process that are especially important in solving particular types of design problems. Read More