IXD301- Portfolio Website Sketches/Wireframing

Sketches

Before creating my portfolio site, I starting off making some original rough sketches of how I wanted my site to looked. I wanted to be as creative and innovated as possible. Below you can see different examples of were I wanted the content to be placed on each individual section and webpage on my site. Sketching is important as it’s good to jot down ideas before  creating my website as I can define or change my drawing. Once I drew a few sketches I a rough idea how I wanted the site to be structured and what content to include. This sketches will set me up when creating my design.

I must admit I really enjoyed doing this.

User flow- Research

User Flow

What is a user flow?

User diagram is commonly used in UX/UL design. User flows is essentially the path taken by a specific user on an app or website to complete a task. The user flow starts from the beginning through following multiple steps to come to desired out outcome e.g., purchasing a product.

Role of user flow

The user flow is the basis for content requirements on webpages or app screens. It important to first understand the users’ needs to try meet them.

The answers to following questions will help you decide what content or links to include and how to design the layout in each webpage, etc.

  • What is the user trying to accomplish?
  • What is important to the user and what will give them confidence to continue?
  • What additional information will the user need to accomplish the task?
  • What are the user’s hesitations or barriers to accomplishing the task?

This will help make your app or website user friendly.

Example of a typical user flow may look like the following:

  • Start off with the home screen
  • From the homepage the user clicks onto the next page
  • From that they will access another feature this could be a game
  • From games click on the specific game of their choice

User flows can be simple or complicated. They are like flow charts as they follow a specific path to get the required outcome. The purpose of analysis your user flow is to identify the main user flows through my application or website and identify areas for improvements.

Benefits of User flows:

  • They are fast- quick way of visually the process
  • Better Process Visualization
  • They are more than Mockups
  • More than prototypes
  • Process before UI
  • Easy to understand

Disadvantages

  • They can be difficult to manage or use
  • Complicated logic
  • Hard to edit
  • Can be a costly process

Reflection

I think it will be important to do a user flow test so I can identity the path my users take when using my application/website and identify any potential areas for improvements. User flows are very important in UL/UX design specifically when working on website or app projects. This in favour allows people know what content they could include for the users in their website.

Elements Branding Guidelines

As well as designing my elements prototype, I was asked to design a brand guidelines which is basically a set of standards how I want my brand to look like. I wanted something that well with my project. I experimented with different colours, typeface, etc. I took time to carefully choose the appropriate colour, wordmark, typeface and text weight to make up this simple brand.

Below is my brand guideline. I created this using Figma.

Brand

Colour

Text Weight and Typeface Choice

The Wordmark

Overall, I am happy with how my brand guidelines look. I felt it looked well and ensured that it represented my final app.

IXD301-Presentation

On Tuesday I was asked to present my coursework to Kyle in the form of a PowerPoint. This were I spoke about the two projects I completed in this 1st semester. I started off talking about my portfolio site then finally the elements project. I had to roughly speak for 5 minutes on each project. Mine was slightly too short I only spoke 5 minutes all together. In my presentation I spoke about sketches, research, colour, typeface and reason for choice in each project. I felt I down alright to be honest. At the end Kyle give me some criterial feedback on my work as well as the presentation itself which was great and I will take on board for next time in order to make improvements. Lastly I really enjoyed this semester being on campus it’s hard to believe its over now. Roll on next semester.

Week 11-Group Cirtique- Elements Project

Today in class we had a Group Critique. This is were had an opportunity to showcase our work for the elements project as well as viewing everyone in classes work for the element project. Below is screenshots of my 1st and 2nd page of my elements page. As you can tell I focused mainly on Typography. I wanted to make mine clear and appealing to young children so I added in colour and appropriate images to represent each element.

     

There was a Miro board created for us to leave comments under each others work. For example what worked well, what we felt needed changed, ideas or any questions they may had. I give each class member some feedback on their project which was both positive and encouraging by trying to sound helpful. I really enjoyed viewing everyone’s work it was really interesting and  they looked amazing. They also left me some feedback in vice a versa. I hope by listening to their comments I could make improvements to my elements project. Kyle also spoke highly of my work and I think he was pleased with it. His advise was very useful and I could make further improvements. I liked todays session as it was fun and interesting.

Below is a screenshot of the feedback from my class.

I will make the necessary changes to my elements project before the final submission in January. But I’m happy with my process. Its hard to believe it was our last class for the semester. I really enjoyed 1st semester. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come.

Elements Project Research

I researched multiple sites/apps to gather some inspiration specifically on my target audience. I looked at different competitors already out there that had interactive games and features for kids on the elements. I looked at BBC bitesize as it is good resource for children. I wanted to see what type of games they have for primary school children to help them learn. There was a whole range of games which was encouraging. There was nothing specifically on the elements but there were other games which were fun and educational.

I wanted to investigate other sites and different games that are fun and educational. I found another website called “Top marks” and seen their range of games especially for my age group. There is a game which is called hit the button which I thought was interesting. The interaction in this game was simple but effective. I had been thinking of possibly having some similarities to my own game/app.

Twinkl and News desk are other online resources that primary school teachers may use in Northern Ireland to teach their pupils. It will also allows the pupil to access games and fun information.

I was told by my mum that Children in primary school don’t cover criteria on elements or the periodic table. I got p6/p7 children in my mum’s school to complete a questionnaire which will provide me with more accurate feedback, so I know what they know and what they learn in school particularly. I could use their answers particularly to tailor my app to suit their needs and teach them simple things.

Reflection

I felt that I found a wild range of inspiration online. I was able to see especially what type of content and colours they used in their games to make it fun and engaging for kids. The aim was to make the games fun and educational which I try to do with my own game. I think by researching it helps me to come with own ideas as well as knowing how well laid out my app should me and basically how I should approach this project when it comes to the design.

Research- How to design for Children

When designing my Product or Application, its important I consider my target audience as these will be the main users in my project. It’s necessary to understand that my audience my have a range of abilities which I cater for. I will make my design as user friendly and clear as possible,

I done some research and found an article guide on the BBC Website called “How to design for children” guide which I feel will be useful when designing my elements project for IXD301 and pitching my product idea in IXD302.

In this section it specially covers their 7 basic principles to help create a great digital experience for children according to their own research. As designer I will try considering these 7 points to make my product successful.

  1. Give Positive Feedback and create moments of Joy- Basically, try make their experience using the app as fun as possible and encourage achievements.
  2. Be Visual, reduce text– Keep the design simple, less text more images and Icons.
  3. Make the goal immediately clear- I will make it clear for them to understand the aim
  4. Be heard– example being audio which improves the user experience and adds accessibility feature
  5. Animate with personality– Bring the animation to life. this will be entertaining for the kids
  6. Craft a character led experience– Kids love characters. If possible, include one in my design.
  7. Forgiving design– make the interactions simple but efficient, don’t let the child to become frustrated.

Reflection

I enjoyed looking at this article as give me a better understanding of what I need to consider when designing for young children. These principles on BBC site may be updated overtime as children and technology evolve. I felt this article was very helpful and will hopefully help me to design good user experiences for children especially when creating my elements project.

Week 10- The Art of the pitch

Before todays lecture we were given an opportunity to work on our projects. At 1 we had a lecture from Kyle on the Art of pitching which was similar to the previous one we got the Week before. So it was a good refresher and new and different insight to pitching. In today’s   class we covered all the important points needed to help pitch.

When presenting it’s important to plan our work. We must:

  • be prepared what we will say.
  • As well as this have a good story starting with a Beginning, middle and End
  • This presentation must be: Coherent, Simple and memorable.
  • use clear languages which is easy to understand.

Famous examples of famous speakers who give good pitches are:

  • JFK
  • Whiston Churchill
  • Obama
  • Make sure your speech you make is tweetable
  • Consider the key points in Speech
  • Plan the Narrative- Sketch and write out content on paper. This will help structure your work.
  • Rough cut your work
  • You want to know your audience and what you want to talk about. Tip: know your material.

Give you story form:

Slides and Alternative- Slides divert gaze from the audience and shows your work visually.

Applications we could use for our slideshow are keynote, PowerPoint or Google Slides.

  • When presenting Less is more. Don’t overload our slides with Information.
  • Don’t have too much text throughout
  • Make sure you use images as it makes it more engaging and creates a visual effect
  • Don’t include too many slides
  • Importantly practice makes perfect and check for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Make sure your content lineup

As well as this when doing a presentation its good to use supporting material which you can give out at end. For example print out slides as a backup.

Some Rhetorical Techniques I can use is: Repetition, Rhetorical Questions, Metaphor and Humour

To help with confidence its good to practice what you are saying. A good exercise to do is breathe the room.

Delivery is important slowing and clearly

  • Try to deal with nerves
  • Show enthusiasm and try engage with the audience.
  • Own the stage-command the room
  • Organize your audience. Make sure they sit together
  • Consider personal appearance and keep yourself tidy this will also help with self-confidence
  • When presenting make sure to Introduce Yourself at the presentation.
  • Use a Script or Not?
  • Use hand gestures
  • use your eyes
  • use some humour
  • use quotes or Images
  • lets end with a story

Today we see bad slide Decks.

Follow these points above to ensure the slide decks are efficient.  Its a method not a tool.

Kyle told us we’ll be pitching our work to him in Week 13 so we need to be well prepared for it. This presentation will be a 10 minute pitch.

I will try my best to follow all these guidelines and hopefully make my presentation and pitch a success. I want to do my very best. These tips will help me a lot for not only this presentation but future ones. I think today’s lecture give more confident and help me to remain calm in terms of my pitch as the closer it gets the more anxious I feel. I know what to do to help me breathe and what to do to give a great lecture.

After Kyle’s lecture we had a talk from Rosin and one of the placement students working from Core Systems who are based in Crumlin Road Belfast. There work is very interesting and different from sort of work that we are used to seeing. They work with the Criminal Justice Sector world wide and visit local prisons to get there own feedback so they know how to design the system for a certain audience. I thought this was very interesting. They have one job role going at the moment. It’s easy to apply just send the CV and portfolio to them. I will make sure to apply as I want to try apply for as many places as possible.

User Research

User Research is important so I know what things they’ve learnt in schools and what they knew and didn’t know. As part of my user research I designed a questionnaire, which I asked my mum to give to the primary 7 pupils in her school. I made sure the survey was child friendly and the questions were easy.

Reflection

The answers I receive will hopefully give me a better idea how I should create my porotype according to the feedback. This will help me to plan and design my app the way I want it to look.

What is Usability Testing?

Usability Testing

Usability Testing is the method of testing how users will use a specific product/service by carefully observing their interaction. This allows the designer to see if the users experience any problems/issues with the product. This will therefore allow the designer to improve the product upon these issues which have occurred multiple times during testing phase.

Usability testing is basically testing how user friendly it is to use a specific product.

There are different types of Usability testing:

  • Comparative- Comparing a usability of one site/product with another one to see which one provides users with the best experience.
  • Explorative- to determine what content and functionalities should be included in order to meet the users needs. The aim is highlight and fix any problems before launching the product.

The main advantages of usability testing are:

  • Direct feedback from the user/ target audience.
  • Detect any problems/issues the user may have with product so it can be fixed.
  • It increases the likelihood of repeat usage
  • it reduces the chance of the specific product failing to reach the expectations
  • Helps businesses to succeed

The Disadvantages of Usability testing are:

  • Testing may not be 100% accurate
  • You will not get much feedback from usability testing as you do with a survey
  • Only provides limited about of results

Reflection

For any project I complete, I think usability testing will be important to test how well the users interact with my product/service. It will let me know if the same issues occur with each user and gives me an opportunity to therefore improve the issue. I personality feel like usability testing seems like the best method for testing to ensure the product reaches the requirements of the users. If the product meets the users’ needs, then it will be more successful.