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
There are many different types of interaction models, relating to all sorts of domains of human endeavor. General classes of interaction models that have significant impact on user experience include models for
business interactions—Such models represent the ways in which organizations conduct their business—internally, working in partnership with other businesses, or serving their end customers. Business interaction models may be specific to a particular business or represent standard practices in particular industry domains. They define the business context for design solutions and, thus, help ensure that they create business value.
social interactions—These models represent the ways in which people interact with one another in specific social contexts—whether in real-world, virtual, or digital environments or on social networks. Social interaction models may either represent common patterns of human interaction or define patterns for specific products or services.
user interactions—Such interaction models represent the ways in which people interact with technologies of various kinds, which are often specific to particular platforms or types of devices. However, in today’s cross-channel / omni-channel world, it is becoming evermore desirable to design solutions that are consistent across all relevant channels.
In this column, I’ll focus on interaction models for software and the impact of consistency—or the lack thereof—on users’ ability to learn and interact with software user interfaces. Read More