What can I say, this whole experience has been a whirlwind this semester and I’ve loved it, but it will be nice to have a small mental break. New job + new grad program has been tough, especially to work in an exercise regimen in there! 🙂 Because I realized there are so many great resources, I went back and made sure I saved various links for reference. I’d just used them for the week we worked on that area and never saved them.
Personas were a difficult one for me again this week. I’ve always taken that area a bit for granted and it’s an area I need to focus on with regards to the fundamentals.
Now on to the next class…UXD 60002. Have to figure that out how that works since it looks like I got dropped from the class and didn’t realize it. Thanks again for a great intro class to the area that someday I will work in… maybe as a UX Designer and/or Researcher for World of Warcraft!!!!!! Who knows. What I love about schooling, there are so many opportunities/possibilities. Cheers!
Typography was a completely new subject. Good but again, out of my comfort zone. The only time I ever approached typography was through a calligraphy class in an afterschool program in 2nd grade. I know many of the different lettering types and how to write them. =) So this assignment to create a type system was yet another new topic. But over the week, I paid more attention to the signs and texts and fonts and choice/application of fonts around me. It’s been a new discovery and not something that I can “un-see” or “un-notice” now that I know the basics.
Pins are as interesting as ever. Probably one of the best parts about this class. Although it’s risky because it depends on how much involvement your students want to make towards these pins. I’m somewhat sad this class is drawing to an end…
This week was again had a challenging assignment. Evaluating a website from a design perspective on whether or not it is an effective or ineffective design. Tough to break it down like that but a good challenge.
Was re-inspired by IDEO (from a student’s pin) and loved this resource of the 100 Best Web Design Tools Ever. This pin was also one that humbled me as it kept me in check to do a mental checklist of what NOT to do: Prototyping in Design Thinking: How to avoid 6 common pitfalls.
I read this week and while I enjoyed the reading, in retrospect, I can’t say I recall much of it. Hate how it feels like the older I get, the less read information I retain and more of the hands on information is what I actually retain. In any case, I enjoyed the Pinterest exercise and really do love the plethora of new resources that other students pins give me. They are almost like a “support/advice” group where if I am exposed to more than I ever could be via a report or lecture from a professor.
This week’s exercise was tough for me because I started creating a system and annotating a workflow without showing a lo-res wireframe was challenging. I sketched out a hybrid of workflow and page requirements/functionality. 🙂 It would be easier/cleaner to read if I could just use tooling. Anyway, still a good process. I was surprised at the number of assumptions and requirements that I kept coming up with even when I thought I was done.
This week I got caught up in the hands on redesign exercise. That was fun and somewhat challenging to state what we were changing and justifying those changes.
There was a lot of reading this week. However, I really liked the resource of “Designing with the Mind in Mind.” That was really interesting how it broke down the hows of our limited attention span, our imperfect memory, and the way we learn. It segued in nicely to the two pins that caught my attention:
- Cut through the information overload with effective story-telling
- How to design words from a writer who hates to read
Those pages are bookmarked and I know that I will continue to reference them as they are chock full of good advice.
Of note, 2 things stuck out from this week.
Again, I found the pins of users/persona/generations interesting because essentially, this is who we are gearing most of our usability towards. So if we understand at a high level, what motivates each generation, we can better design our sites. I followed the infographic to the USC site that really explained it more. (The Psychology of Successfully Marketing to Millennials and how they compare to other generations). For example, we wouldn’t design an AARP site from the perspective of the iGeneration or a Millennial. While on a surface level, that sounds obvious, I’ve not really seen a comparison of a breakdown of generations.
The other topic came from the reading:
- Feedforward (information that helps answer questions of execution/doing; accomplished through appropriate use of signifiers, constraints, and mappings) vs Feedback (information that aids in understand what has happened)
- I’ve never heard of “feedforward”.
- the idea of Prospective Memory/Memory for the Future (Phase 1: task of remembering to do some activity at a future time; Phase 2: planning abilities of imagining future scenarios)
Also noting here random knowledge because if I post/write it, I’ll remember it. I learned from another person’s post on +/- design that the next generation past Millennials are called the iGeneration. Also, an example in chapter 3 (Memory is Knowledge in the Head) of Design of Everyday Things, Simsim means “sesame” in Persian. So the secret phrase in Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” was “Open Simsim”. I thought that was cool.
Looking into this first week had me a bit nervous on what to expect. While I had taken online courses in the past, this was different as this course is beginning a course of study that I actually “want” to study as opposed to a course of study because it is expected of me (aka. engineering). In addition, just the week before, I had started a new job. New studies – New job.
I really like how the course is set up in that deadlines and expectations are clearly laid out for me. The material is a great general overview of material and the exercises are designed to have us get to know our classmates. I like that. My new job is one in which there are many remote employees and I am having to “connect” and work together without ever having met them in person. So the online introductions is an example of a very much real-world situation for me.
I like Ted Talks having been a part of the learning material. I listened to about 3 other similar talks because I found Tony Fadell’s talk so interesting. I also liked the Pinterest exercise. While I confess that initially I had thought it a silly exercise, I soon realized how valuable it was. Pinterest is not a resource I would ever have thought of for UX. There is so much interesting information out there. This week I got caught up in Color Theory (color psychology in logo designs and color meaning/psychology by different cultures & religions around the world). There were also different infographics that were good, particularly the one detailing the roles of UX Designer vs Web Designer. I struggled at the differentiation and now I do not. Good thing because work can take advantage of your skillset and set expectations on your role and if you don’t know what your role definition is, you can easily be taken advantage of.