Week 2 Lecture: Process & Context

This week’s lecture introduces the idea of context both for and of use.

Part 1: Design Process Overview

First is a diagram by Bill Verplank. This shows the 8 phases of interaction design.

Next is the point that  project ideas rough pencil and paper sketches. This helps to: determine good next directions, identify missing  information and the problem and decide project goals. Such sketches and processes are vital and should take up much of the development time. But eventually a point is reached where ideas need to be validated as interactive prototypes.

The next step is putting your prototype in context by letting other people use it. This helps to gauge the effectiveness of the prototype in real situations. Another way of putting your product into context is through writing scenarios and creating personas. In both of these methods we ask questions to help understand what the user is going through and to design a better product for them.

When making interactives there are a vast amount of tools available making it important to choose ones most suited for your project. There are also many techniques to help with research including: studying existing products, observing others and asking questions based on observations.

Part 2:Context

Context is an important concept throughout interactive design. There first are a few things we need to know when designing being:

  • What people are trying to do
  • How they may try to do it
  • What gets in the way or helps
  • Where they might be doing it

To help understand such things we create context scenarios. These are stories about the use of your product which help you understand people’s needs. A few questions help us write these:

  • What is the situation?
  • Who will be using the device or interface?
  • How long will the interface be used?
  • Does the experience need to be extremely simple?
  • What are the person’s needs and goals?


What I consider the most important point is the one about sketches. This is because I believe that it is important to have a clear sense of concept and project direction before proper development. This applies to interactive design and any other type of creative work.


Process [Image]. Retrieved 01/03/17 from http://www.billverplank.com/Lecture/



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