Mapping smiles and stumbles

By Gordon Rugg

In a previous article, I looked at ways of systematically recording indicators of problems and successes with a design. In that article, I focused on the indicators, with only a brief description of how you could record them.

Today’s article gives a more detailed description of ways of recording those indicators, using the worked example of a building entrance.

The worked example is, ironically, the Humanitarian Building. Here’s the Wikipedia image for its entrance.

MSU_III_Humanitarian_Building_Entrancehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MSU_III_Humanitarian_Building_Entrance.jpg

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Observation, stumbles and smiles

By Gordon Rugg

If you’re designing something that’s going to be used, as opposed to something decorative, then it’s a really good idea to make it fit for its purpose.

How can you do that? Observing the users is a good start.

“Observing” is a broad term that includes various specialised forms of observation and analysis. In this article, I’ll describe a simple way of doing basic observation of users, which involves watching out for four key alliteratively-named actions:

  • stumbles
  • scowls
  • swearwords
  • smiles

It’s simple, but it’s powerful, and it usually catches most of the main problems, and it gives you a good start towards designing something that the users will like.

Not great art, but useful: Four things to watch for in task analysisbannerv1

Sources of original images are given at the end of this article

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Making designs interesting with skeuomorphs: What’s in a shape?

By Gordon Rugg

In another post, I discussed ways of making a design interesting by making it difficult or impossible to parse.

This article looks at one way of achieving this, by using skeuomorphs – in other words, deliberately making part of the design look like something else. It’s a long-established design concept, though with variable results…

800px-Teapot_Dome_Service_Station https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Teapot_Dome_Service_Station.JPG

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Requirements, evaluation and measurement: How to tell if you’ve met a client’s goals

By Gordon Rugg

This article is part of a series about the problem of identifying and clarifying client requirements. In this article, we’ll look at the issues involved in measuring and evaluating a product, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

elephant scales

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Elephantidae-scale.svg

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