Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Organization and Preparation Tips

a) Organization and Preparation:
1. What do you think are the author's three most important points?
-- Know your audience! Understand who you are presenting to, and what they are wanting from you. It is important to know the environment and how much people already know about the subject at hand.
-- Be prepared! Outline your presentation before you begin constructing a visual, like a power point. Organize your thoughts and practice before presenting. Anticipate the possibility of a time shortage. Make sure you are making a point with your presentation.
-- Keep it simple! The audience won't be able to keep up if all you give them is facts, and you don't have a purpose and direction. Tell short stories because then the audience can relate more, and you can keep their attention longer that way.

2. How might you apply his advice to your own presentation?
He gives me a lot of great advice. In the past, I have started my preparation with a power point, instead of outlining my thoughts first. I will definitely do that this time. I will think of the audience I am presenting to, and take into account what they already know. I am going to try and keep it simple and relatable, because I know I have a time limit. I should be prepared for a technological malfunction, or any other circumstance that could shorten my allotted time for presenting. For each point I make, I will make sure that it has a purpose and that my direction is clear.

3. What do you think presentation preparation has in common with product design?
It is important for designers to know who their audience is, so they can target their product to their audience's likes and emotions. No matter how beautiful or sleek a product is, if the "content is not solid" or it doesn't function properly, than the outward appearance doesn't matter. Functionality is a priority. It is essential and smart for a designer to plan and outline the design before actually starting to design a product. Their ideas will be clearer, and they will have a better understanding of what they are about to execute.

b) Areas of design I am most interested in:
Clothes- the psychological tactics in retail stores
Mac products- ipod, iPhone, computers etc.
Everyday items.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Emotional Design (2)

1. Select a brief passage and explain why it was interesting.

(pg 71) Before they were introduced, who would have thought we needed typewriters, personal computers, copying machines, or cell phones? Answer: nobody. Today it is hard to imagine life without these items, but before they existed almost no one but an inventor could imagine what purpose they would serve, and quite often the inventors were wrong. Predicting the popularity of a new product is almost impossible before the fact.

I thought this passage brought up a very interesting point. It makes me wonder what the next technological phenomenon will be, or what the next everyday item like the phone will be. These next useful products are probably already thought of. What will be the next item that we can't live without? I can't imagine the next step after the iPhone, but it is most certainly already in the process of being made.

2. Norman uses the terms Visceral Design, Behavioral Design, Reflective Design. Do these categories seem useful to you? Would other names or phrases make the categories clearer?

These categories seem very useful to me. The breakdown of each type of design has made me think differently about each object I touch, and every product I use. I think the names of the designs themselves are accurate, but Visceral and Reflective are sometimes difficult to differentiate. The design that I can clearly distinguish from the other two is Behavioral Design. On the other hand, products can often be both viscerally and reflectively designed. For me, behavioral design is simple. It does what it was made to do and is practical. I feel that Reflective is what attracts most people, especially our generation. This topic definitely dominated our conversation in last class.

3. How could a designer decide if Visceral Design, Behavioral Design, or Reflective Design is more important for a particular product? Are some types of products more visceral, behavioral, or reflective?

It depends on what the function of the product is, and who the target audience is. Clothes are definitely a Reflective Design. The media and our culture tells us what is "hot" to wear. Although they may be expensive or uncomfortable, people still buy certain clothes for the approval of others and to feel more confident. I think Visceral Designs can be used to target younger children. For example, shiny and colorful toys on the shelf will immediately attract them. It also helps that children that age want a lot of things, so they have even more of an immediate "I want that" mindset. My dad is really into sleek new technological products, but I think his parents and that generation would be more interested in Behavioral Design. We just bought my grandma a new Mac laptop so that she can get an email address and keep in contact with her grandchildren. She wasn't really interested in the appearance of the computer but more in the function of email. It causes her a lot of frustration but she is getting used to it. I think since that generation is old and slowing down, they are more interested in simple and inexpensive products that are easy to use.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Emotional Design

1. In this reading Norman touched on the three important types of Design that influence people's emotions, the "tricks" that designers use to reel people in. These three types are Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective. Visceral gets the immediate "I want it" reaction. It physically attracts the viewer to the product. Behavioral is about the function of the product. The most important thing is that it serves it's purpose. A product can look sleek and shiny, but if it doesn't perform how it was designed to perform, then it is worthless. Reflective Design is about the looks of a product, and how sometimes although it may cause frustration, a person will still buy the product to support their self image and to feel confident.

2. In the first reading, Norman talked about the basics of design- what made a successful one and a failure. In this reading he went into further detail of what goes on in the mind of the designer, and the relationship between the customer and the product. In this reading, Norman discussed about how designers create their products to trigger certain feelings and emotions to get people interested in their products. This reading was more scientific as well.

3. a) I think the ipod nanos are a good example of a Visceral design. They are bright and colorful and well advertised on TV. When they are advertised they are shown with the rest of the color options which makes them seem even more colorful and fun.
b) To carry around my money, ID, and credit card, I either use my pocket or a simple wallet. I don't use a big flashy purse or even a decorative wallet. The wallet I use does its job, it holds the different objects that I will be soon using. They are readily accessible.
c) I think there are some clothes that I buy that aren't very comfortable and I can get annoyed with them, but I still buy them and wear them because it makes me feel more confident when I get approval from others. These clothes can also be expensive.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Design Of Everday Things (2)

1. Select a passage and explain why you thought it was interesting.
"Each detail was added by some person, a designer, carefully thinking through the uses of the device, the ways that people abuse things, the kinds of errors that can get made, and the functions that people wish to have performed. Then why is it that so many good design ideas don't find their way into products in the marketplace? Or something good shows up for a short time, only to fall into oblivion?"
This concept is covered throughout the chapter that we read. Designers obviously think through and test out the product they are going to release. Norman then goes on to say that it takes five or six attempts to get the product right. Still the question remains with visibility, affordance, and mapping in the designer's mind, why are difficult designs still made? The author also wrote earlier in the chapter that it is necessary for the designer to understand the psychology of people when designing, which I think is also very important. People are comfortable when they know that their actions actually carry out how they thought they would when they created a mental image of them using the object.

2. Why do you think Norman's book (1988) still influences designers today?
This book is still influential to designers today because it explicitly explains what makes a design successful or unsuccessful. Obviously today, with the technology boom, there is a lot of competition to make the newest and coolest product. Designers today must still evaluate their product before releasing it, and from Norman's book can learn the qualities of a sound design.

3. What factors would you include on a checklist for evaluating the design of a product?
The visibility(or lack of), mapping, affordance, and constraints. It should be clear to the user how to operate the product. If there are instructions, they should be pictures with few words.
The mapping should be natural. There should be an equal amount of functions as controls. There can be a few more controls than functions but too many functions is confusing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Design Of Everyday Things

1. What do you feel were the author's key points in this chapter?
The designer of the product should provide visual clues on their product so that the user can easily understand how the object functions. These clues should make it clear to the viewer how each part operates. Without this visibility, the products will be difficult to operate and the user will be frustrated. When affordances are "fully taken advantage of", the user doesn't need signs or labels to figure out the function. If there are more functions than controls, there will probably be some difficulty. The designer should also understand psychology when designing their products because people like to feel comfortable in what they are doing.

2. Think of a specific object that you have had difficulty using. how did design contribute to making it difficult to use? Does the usability problem arise from one of the principles that Norman discusses in this chapter?
I had difficulty learning how to use my T-83 graphing calculator, and I still have problems with certain functions. There IS a manual that comes with the calculator, but it is very lengthy and looks like a book. Each button is labeled, but with abbreviations and some I still don't know what they mean, I just know that I must press them for certain functions. When you click certain buttons there is often a list generated with many options that I still don't understand. I feel there are more functions than buttons which is a design failure.

3. How did the designers of the iPod address the principles that Norman discusses here.
I think at first, anyone new to the iPod will have a little trouble figuring out how to work it, but it is pretty straight forward. It is easy to learn that when you scroll the wheel clockwise, that it navigates down the lists on the screen which visibly shows songs, artists etc. in language that is understandable. When you click the button, it plays or pauses. The iPod is easy to turn off and on. The mapping is good and the visual clues are all there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Perfect Thing

1. What elements of the design process does this article illustrate?
The process for designing a product is a very long one. There is a continuous trial and error, and different versions are made until the final version is decided on. Many parties are involved with this process, and there are different organizations involved.
Products are continuously changing. For example with the iPod, there is always a new version being released that is faster, more reliable, and sleeker looking. Creating the next best thing is a continuous process.

2. What factors would you use to evaluate a "perfect thing"?
I like products that are simple and compact and aesthetically pleasing. They should be easy to learn to use. The product should work fast and fluidly. There should be little to no problems with the functioning. It can be really frustrating when a product freezes or shuts down when you don't want it to. The product should also be durable and long lasting.

3. Whether you own an iPod or not, you probably have some opinions of this product. What do you feel are its strengths and weaknesses?
I have a 3rd generation mini iPod and a 1st generation iPhone. What I love about the iPod is how it holds thousands of songs in a small and portable device. The battery life is pretty long, and I can navigate through artists and songs with ease because of the wheel feature. I love the iPhone because it has everything I want in one device. It holds all of my music, my email accounts, networking applications, internet, and other cool and random applications. I love being able to look up a movie time at movie theatres near me just by touching an image on the iPhone screen. It's really helpful when I get lost driving and I can click on the map icon and get directions home.
The downfall of these products is that sometimes they freeze or shut down when I don't expect it. Sometimes the internet connection via 3G on the iPhone isn't always fast.
Another frustration is the process of transferring songs from my iPod to iTunes. I bought a new laptop for college, and had a lot of trouble doing this. I still haven't figured out how to transfer all of my songs to my new iTunes library, which also effects my ability to sync songs onto my iPhone so I can't update it with new songs.

First Blog

A little bit about myself.. My name is Katrina Carlsen. I am from Seattle. I love to play basketball and lacrosse. What made me choose K is that I love the size of the school and the sense of community. I came from a small high school. I was also attracted to the study abroad program since I have done some service learning trips abroad during high school.

What interested me about Design Intelligence was that it seemed very modern, not that any of the other Seminar classes don't.. I'm a very visual learner and I love making presentations. I spend a lot of time on the computer, probably more than I should. I've done some work with photo shop but not much. I am also thinking about majoring in Business. I haven't taken a course like this before so I'm interested to see where it takes me.