You are previewing User-Centered Design.

User-Centered Design

Cover of User-Centered Design by Travis Lowdermilk Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Dedication
  2. Special Upgrade Offer
  3. Preface
    1. Is This Book Right for Me?
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Using Code Examples
    4. Safari® Books Online
    5. How to Contact Us
    6. Acknowledgments
      1. People Who Helped Me Write This Book
      2. People Who Helped Me with Life
  4. 1. Our World Has Changed
  5. 2. What Is User-Centered Design?
    1. UCD Is Not Usability
    2. UCD Is Not Subjective
    3. UCD Is Not Just Design
    4. UCD Is Not a Waste of Time or Money
    5. UCD Is Not a Bug Report
    6. UCD Is Not a Distraction
  6. 3. Working with Users
    1. What If I Don’t Have Access to Users?
      1. Knowing When to Listen to Users and When to Not
    2. Dealing with Different Types of Users
      1. The Information Overloader
      2. The Control Freak
      3. The Devil’s Advocate
    3. Dealing with Negativity
  7. 4. Having a Plan
    1. How Do I Know Which Plan Is Right for Me?
    2. Creating a Team Mission Statement
    3. Defining Your Project
    4. Collecting User Requirements
    5. Creating Functional Requirements
    6. Documenting Data and Workflow Models
    7. Documenting Prototypes
    8. Reviewing Your Documentation
  8. 5. Creating a Personal Manifesto
    1. Exercising Restraint
    2. Building a Narrative
    3. Creating Personas
    4. Creating Scenarios
  9. 6. Creativity and User Experience
    1. Having User-Experience Goals
    2. Creativity Requires Courage and Hard Work
      1. Pick Up a Pencil
      2. Creative Freedom
      3. Understanding Your Goal
      4. Steal (I Mean Borrow) from Others
    3. Creativity Requires Questioning
  10. 7. Design Principles
    1. Principle of Proximity (Gestalt Principle)
    2. Visibility, Visual Feedback, and Visual Prominence
    3. Hierarchy
    4. Mental Models and Metaphors
      1. Progressive Disclosure
      2. Consistency
      3. Affordance and Constraints
      4. Confirmation
      5. Hick’s Law
      6. Fitt’s Law
  11. 8. Gathering Feedback
    1. How Many Users Will I Need?
    2. Surveys
    3. Conducting Interviews
    4. Task Analysis
    5. Heuristic Evaluation
    6. Storyboarding
    7. Using Prototypes
    8. A/B Testing
  12. 9. Usability Studies
    1. What Are Usability Studies?
    2. Creating a Testing Plan
      1. Introduction
      2. Reassurance
      3. Testing Guidelines
      4. Tasks
      5. Conclusion
      6. Thanks
    3. What You’ll Need
      1. Stopwatch
      2. Notepad
      3. Environment
      4. Spreadsheet or Database
      5. Cameras or Audio Recording
    4. Conducting the Study
    5. Don’t Hesitate to Practice
    6. Compiling Your Findings
  13. 10. You’re Never Finished
    1. It’s Impossible to Get It Right the First Time
    2. Be Prepared to Reboot
    3. Final Thoughts
  14. 11. Other Resources
    1. Twitter
    2. Tools for Prototyping
    3. Websites
  15. A. Sample Project Template
    1. Template
    2. Project Title
      1. Software Development Life Cycle Project Template
      2. Software Development Life Cycle Summary
      3. Project Details
      4. User Requirements
      5. Specifications Sheet (Functional Requirements)
      6. Data and Workflow Models
      7. Data Processes
      8. Prototypes
      9. Maintenance Notes
    3. Example Persona
      1. Dan Welks
    4. Sample Script for a Usability Study
      1. Introduction to Study
  16. B. References
    1.  
      1.  
  17. Index
  18. About the Author
  19. Colophon
  20. Special Upgrade Offer
  21. Copyright
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Chapter 6. Creativity and User Experience

“Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

Pablo Picasso

At this point, it’s worth noting that FiftyThree’s artistic sensibilities can be a bit intimidating. I have no problem admitting that part of Paper’s success is attributed to their team’s natural design intuitions.

The example of FiftyThree isn’t, “Look! If you’re using user-centered design you can build amazingly beautiful applications, too!” The point is that we should admire FiftyThree’s execution of their vision. In the iPad marketplace, there are plenty of applications that let users draw and paint. FiftyThree could have created an uninspired application with all the same feature sets and complexity.

Instead, they decided to re-examine how their competitors’ applications might be stifling creativity and came up with a unique vision for Paper. More importantly, they used this vision to create a narrative that helped them stay focused on their mission. That is the lesson we learn from them.

How would your application (and, frankly, anything else you might be working on) be different if you enforced this same level of dedication?

The previous chapter is an example of focus, not creativity. Creativity cannot help you if you don’t have a vision or narrative for your application. We see this in applications that are full of creative intentions but miss their core functionality and purpose. These applications may be beautiful to look at, but they are virtually useless to us.

Are there people ...

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