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About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by David Cronin, Robert Reimann, Alan Cooper

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Chapter 7. From Requirements to Design: The Framework and Refinement

In the previous chapter, we talked about the first part of the design process: developing scenarios to imagine ideal user interactions, and then defining requirements from these scenarios and other sources. Now we’re ready to design.

The Design Framework

Rather than jump into the nuts and bolts right away, we want to stay at a high level and concern ourselves with the overall structure of the user interface and associated behaviors. We call this phase of the Goal-Directed process the Design Framework. If we were designing a house, at this point, we’d be concerned with what rooms the house should have, how they should be positioned with respect to each other, and roughly how big they should be. We would not be worried about the precise measurements of each room, or things like the doorknobs, faucets, and countertops.

The Design Framework defines the overall structure of the users’ experience, from the arrangement of functional elements on the screen, to interactive behaviors and underlying organizing principles, to the visual and form language used to express data, concepts, functionality, and brand identity. In our experience, form and behavior must be designed in concert with each other; the Design Framework is made up of an interaction framework, a visual design framework, and sometimes an industrial design framework. At this phase in a project, interaction designers use scenarios and requirements to create rough ...

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