Week 2 – UXD Principles and Concepts

By sethmsparks

This week has been pretty fascinating, examining the eyes and the mind. As people, we get habituated to our vision and take for granted how it works both for and against us. Understanding how the eye receives light, and then how the brain interprets it to serve both survival and cognitive purposes now seem obvious as critical knowledge for designers. Especially when we are trying to account how Gestalt Principles impact our ability to perceive the world around us. Some Gestalt Principles seem basic, like proximity and symmetry, but others like figure-ground and common feet still leave me a bit curoius.

It’s just as interesting to me how our memory dances with design. Norman’s Seven Stages of Action seem silly to lay out at first, but if you’re helping design the means of facilitating that action, it’s clear how imperative it is to consider the Gulfs and each step that crosses them. Some stages are likely behavioral, while some may be reflective, depending on the action taking place. I’d also never considered Prospective Memory or Memory of the Future, and how “feedforward” enables you to prepare the user with foreshadowing.

I also dipped into the supplemental material a bit, reading Section 4: The Game of Seduction in Stephen Anderson’s Seductive Interaction Design. I’ve previously read a few books that covered similar material, so I wanted to compare his work to what I already knew. He does a good job of covering a lot of ground in a few short chapters, but I really should go back and read the first ¾ of the text to see his approach to interaction design, beyond the gamification basics. The O’reily resource seems like a place where I’ll spend some of my… free… time. If I can find some.

My colleagues shared a lot of great examples this week of good and bad designs according to Norman and Johnson’s books. The examples were fun to read about and provided thoughtful critiques that cemented some of the learnings in a more practical way. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the subjects of critique, and I think that was helpful because I didn’t have my own biases influencing my opinion.

Notes are here.