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Supporting Student Learning in D&T

This blog is designed to encourage students to discuss key topics relating to teaching and learning in D&T.

UCD Unit

IB CurriculumPosted by Steven Daly Tue, March 31, 2015 17:23:35

Use the UCD booklet and answer the following questions. ALL students must participate by making a comment on each question.

Key questions

1. What is meant by user adaption?

2. What essential elements are required in a design to reduce user adaption?

3. Relating to design, what is meant by the word iteration?

4. What strategies can YOU use to bring the user closer to the design process?

5. The user centred design process is an iterative cycle where every step is evaluated against the initially identified requirements of the users and iterated until these requirements are met. Evaluation methods can include: Personas and scenarios, Usability testing, Observation: Interviews and focus groups, Questionnaires, Participatory design.

6. Explain what each evaluation method means. Which one could you use for your design project?

7. Peter Morville's user experience honeycomb describes a structured way to understand the components of user experience. Tell me about a product you own which you think meets these components and how.

8. Define Human Factors and explain one aspect you will incorporate into your design project.

9. Define product usefulness, effectiveness, learnability and attitude and describe how you could measure these.

10. Give an example of a product which has failed due to user error.

11. What are the key design variables which contribute to excellent user interface?

12. Describe a product you have used/tried to use which has lead to incomplete use of the product’s functionality causing frustration and eventually product rejection.

13. What is meant by the term, product feedback? For example, if you press a button should it click?

14. What is product interface mapping?

15. Define affordance and relate it to the controls of a cooker.

16. Give examples of population stereo types.




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Posted by Zobia Khan Wed, April 22, 2015 07:50:50

Evaluation Methods:

Personas and scenarios:

Visualizing, communicating and realizing user needs and requirements is a known problem in user-centered design. Often, the elicited user needs disappear during system development and do not appear to have been taken into account in the final system. Personas and scenarios are methods that attempt to bridge this gap and facilitate serious consideration of user needs and desires throughout the whole system development process.

Usability testing:

Usability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes. The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect qualitative and quantitative data and determine the participant's satisfaction with the product.

Observation: Interviews and focus groups:

Interviewing is a fundamental methodology for research and evaluation. Interviews are conversations between an investigator and a respondent in which questions are asked in order to obtain information. Interviews seek to collect data and narrative information in order to better understand the respondent’s unique perspectives, opinions, and world-views.

A focus group is typically 7-10 people who are unfamiliar with each other. These participants are selected because they have certain characteristics in common that relate to the topic of the focus group. The moderator or interviewer creates a permissive and nurturing environment that encourages different perceptions and points of view, without pressuring participants to vote, plan or reach consensus. The group discussion is conducted several times with similar types of participants to identify trends and patterns in perceptions. Careful and systematic analysis of the discussions provide clues and insights as to how a product, service, or opportunity is perceived by the group.

Questionnaires:

Questionnaires are one of the most common and popular tools to gather data from a large number of people. A good questionnaire can be a powerful tool to inform an evaluation.

Participatory design:

Participatory design is a process that involves developers, business representatives, and users working together to design a solution. It actively involves users in the design process to help ensure that the product designed meets their needs and is usable in the process.

For our design projects, we would instinctively make use of the Questionnaire method as this is generally a highly effective and simple form of gathering useful information from large groups of people however, a poorly designed questionnaire can make life difficult for both, those who have to fill it out and those who have to analyze the data, this also stands for the observation methods, where an interview or focus group can be very helpful in the case of gathering a fair amount of input to inform the design process and product unless its structure is poorly designed wherein the discussion can become irrelevant or repetitive in some cases and therefore become a waste of time. If we were to extend ourselves to put to use evaluation methods beyond this, we could the personas and scenarios method as well as the usability testing method. Participatory design could also prove to be extremely useful in the design process, however, the likelihood of accessing developers and business representatives is much too small to determine this evaluation method as realistic.


Posted by sdaly Wed, April 22, 2015 07:50:00

power supply to your alarm clock. Now ask why the model was not supplied with a range of power adapters or the ability to operate with a range of international power supplies? Why do you think this could be? Also, give me an example of product mapping for a product in your home. Perhaps a domestic products like a washing machine? Use dtresource.com UCD topic section there

Posted by Kelly Whitehouse Wed, April 22, 2015 07:46:20

A product map is a graphic representation of the ways in which people/consumers view a product, with regards to a products improved benefits and other factors which aid producers in understanding consumer references. If I am purchasing the alarm clock in England, the generalisation is that I will be using it in there as well. If this was the case the clock would likely have worked fine, for a period of time until the fuse box needed replacing (built in obsolesces) however because the product had served me well for that time frame, I would likely buy another. The producer made the assumption that since I was purchasing the product in England, that I lived there. Their misjudgement of what I wanted has caused me to be more careful about buying product from that company in the future.


Posted by Fiona Alfri Wed, April 22, 2015 07:44:10

What is product interface mapping?

Product interface mapping is related to the correspondence between the layout of the controls and their required action. The layout of the controls needs to be clear and organized enough so the user of the product will know which controls would do what actions. For example, the layout of the controls on a cooker hob needs to correspond with the right hotplate so it would be easier for the user to use and it will make sense. The location of the controls must have a logical relationship to the position of the relevant information or to the effect of those controls. The real function of interface mapping is to reduce the need for a user to remember information to perform a task which is why the arrangement of the controls must relate to the actions the controls do.


Posted by Test Wed, April 22, 2015 07:43:15

Test

Posted by Fiona Alfri Wed, April 22, 2015 07:42:44

What is meant by the term, product feedback? For example, if you press a button should it click?

Product feedback is the provision of information and there are different types of feedback. It is important that the product will provide feedback to the user. One feedback is an audible tone to a user, as a result of an action for example on a telephone touchpad; it gives feedback through a dial sound. Another feedback is to make sure that when a user hears a sound or see light, it will indicate that the action has been done by the machine. It is important that the products will give feedback to indicate that the action the user wants has been done; if it doesn’t give feedback, which is an area where the product can be improved.


Posted by Louise Jestin Wed, April 22, 2015 07:42:32

What is meant by user adaption?

How the user interacts with a product. Making a product appropriately for the target audience so the user does not have to adapt to the product.

What essential elements are required in a design to reduce user adaption?

Usability

Desirability

Accessibility

Credibility

Findability

Usability

Valuability

Relating to design, what is meant by the word iteration?

Where each step is evaluated against user requirements until the requirements are met

What strategies can YOU use to bring the user closer to the design process?

Usability testing

Questionnaires

User participation in the design process

Focus groups and interviews

5. The user centred design process is an iterative cycle where every step is evaluated against the initially identified requirements of the users and iterated until these requirements are met. Evaluation methods can include: Personas and scenarios, Usability testing,Observation: Interviews and focus groups, Questionnaires, Participatory design.

6. Explain what each evaluation method means. Which one could you use for your design project?

Personas and scenarios – thinking about the different kinds of people that will be interacting with a product and what situation they could be in and applying that knowledge to the usability of thr product

Usability testing – Use prototypes to see how the user will interact with the product

Interviews/Focus groups – Hear about the users feelings about the product to identify what they like and dislike about the product and what they feel could be improved or to see what types of products users react to more

Questionnaires – Simple way to get answers to base questions in the design process

Participatory design – Have the user participate in the design of the product to guarantee a good user experience

7. Peter Morville's user experience honeycomb describes a structured way to understand the components of user experience. Tell me about a product you own which you think meets these components and how.

My phone – Samsung Galaxy S5. This product meets all the components of the honeycomb as it is very useful to me as it has hundreds of apps available to download to increase the usability of the phone. It’s useable and accessible because it has a simple user interface as well as options to make the phone easy to use with one hand my making the screen display smaller. It’s an findable product because it is widely available and can be found in most mobile phone shops. I think the product is credible because it does exactly what it says it will in the marketing and I think that creates a trusting relationship between the manufacturer and the user.

8. Define Human Factors and explain one aspect you will incorporate into your design project.

Human factors is anything that can affect the user experience with a product for example size/mental capability/age/disability.

I will incorporate the size and age factors into my design as it will be designed for a young child.

9. Define product usefulness, effectiveness, learnability and attitude and describe how you could measure these.

10. Give an example of a product which has failed due to user error.

11. What are the key design variables which contribute to excellent user interface?

Simplicity

Easy to use

Colour scheme is important so it doesn’t strain the eyes

Structured

12. Describe a product you have used/tried to use which has lead to incomplete use of the product’s functionality causing frustration and eventually product rejection.

Adobe Photoshop. Many people can use this product but without training or tutorials figuring out the software is quite difficult. When trying to use photoshop to perform simple editing tasks I become frustrated because I don’t know what a lot of the tools do or how they are correctly meant to be used so eventually I gave up on the programme.

13. What is meant by the term, product feedback? For example, if you press a button should it click?

Depends if the clicking was part of the design. For example some trackpad buttons on laptops are designed to be soft clicking and almost totally silent where as others are meant to click.

Product feedback is how the product responds to user stimulation

14. What is product interface mapping?

?

15. Define affordance and relate it to the controls of a cooker.

Affordance is the relationship between an object and the environment e.g. knobs afford twisting/pushing.

Cookers often have knobs which afford twisting/pushing. These functions make it easy for the user to figure out how to interact with the product.

16. Give examples of population stereo types.

Population stereotypes are long-term habits or knowledge. E.g. when walking into a dark room with a toggle light switch do you switch it up or down. Many assume up is on and down is off for example in America majority of people assume up is on however in some countries it is the opposite. This is a population stereotype.


Posted by bill gates Tue, April 21, 2015 19:50:01

still working fine

Posted by Mr Daly Mon, April 13, 2015 15:25:39

Kelly, well done for getting on first! A great examples of poor product information regarding the power supply to your alarm clock. Now ask why the model was not supplied with a range of power adapters or the ability to operate with a range of international power supplies? Why do you think this could be? Also, give me an example of product mapping for a product in your home. Perhaps a domestic products like a washing machine? Use dtresource.com UCD topic section there is a website which will help you further understand user interface and mapping. Look forward to your reply.

Posted by Kelly Whitehouse Thu, April 09, 2015 09:44:42

Describe a product you have used/tried to use which has lead to incomplete use of the products functionality causing frustration and eventually product rejection.

5 months ago, I bought an digital alarm clock, in the UK, before bringing to Thailand. I had wanted a digital alarm clock for a while but hadn’t gotten round to getting one, needless to say i was bizarrely excited at the thought of being able to throw my old clock away (it is an old fashioned clock, with 2 bells on the top, when the time set is reached the little pin between the bells hammers back and forwards, making an insane amount of noise until I turn it off). When i got home, i went to set up my new clock. I didn’t get any further then plugging it in. Thailand’s electricity runs at a much higher frequency then the UK, triggering the fuse inside the clock almost immediately. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem, however as i opened the back of the product, i found that the fuse was contained in a sealed off compartment, preventing me from being able to change it. As such, a perfectly good alarm clock resides in the back of my wardrobe.


Posted by Kelly Whitehouse Thu, April 09, 2015 09:39:23

What are the key design variables which contribute to excellent user interface?

Variables, are also like characteristics of a process, they are a feature of that process and often describe its benefits. Contribution to a user interface, include;

Simplicity and ease of use – relates to consumers want for a product that has minimalistic controls and can be used with as little instruction as possible.

Intuitive logic and organisation and low memory burden – also relates to how easily a product can be used and how long it takes for a user to become competent in using the products basic operations without assistance (This should be within 1 – 2 hours). The factor is key as it will affect the consumers relate to the product, if the consumers level of satisfaction is harmed, the product is more likely to fail in the market place. When a product has been poorly designed it will take users longer to develop the skills necessary to use the product to its maximum effectiveness, this will limit the number of consumers willing to purchase the product, as industries will not wish to waste resources training new members of staff with detailed instructions.

Visibility – the ease at which the consumers can find the controls and the obviousness of what they do/how they work. An example of this are doors; for doors that need to be pulled, a handle extends from the center, for doors that need to be pushed there is often a plate, indicating where the user needs to apply force

Feedback- is the provision of information or the action of providing information. It tells the user an action is being undertaken, such as the tone of a phone being replaced onto its stand. As well as on an oven, a small light appears, indicating the action has been registered by the machine.

Mapping- much like the layout of controls for the product. It relates to location of the controls and their required action. In order for this to be effective, the location of the controls must bear logical relationship to the position of the controls and their subsequent effect.

Affordance – refers to the perceived and actual properties of an item, that refer to how it can be used. (buttons for pushing, knobs for turning). Actual affordance is the use of a portable handle on a item that is likely to be carried for long periods of time. Perceived affordance, is the consumers own believe that they need a product, most relevant in computerised products, which have more complex and dynamic means of interacting with the user.

Constraints – limit the ways a product can be used. A USB ensures that it can only be installed one way, the correct way. Reducing the possibility of the consumer making any serious errors.