Final Project

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 by kbrodinterface

The following is the presentation for my Final Project on Service redesign.

InterfaceFinal

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Log 7b: Interface In Real Life.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2009 by kbrodinterface

From: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/starbucks-turns-an-iphone-screen-into-a-gift-card/?scp=3&sq=Interface%20design&st=cse

Starbucks has an app on the iPhone known as myStarbucks. It has multiple convenient feautures, like a calorie counter, a search feature for Starbucks with certain amenities like changing tables, a feature that allows you to remember your friends’ favorite drinks, and the one revolutionary feature that allows you to pay for your coffee using a barcode on the screen of your iPhone. When the screen is scanned, it takes the dollar amount from your previously purchased credit.

Currently it is only a test on certain West Coast stores.

I currently have mixed feelings on this. If I had an iPhone I would not like to keep holding it out for people to touch and scan. I don’t know if it’s living in Philadelphia that’s given me that paranoia, but it’s just a feeling. Paying to replace a stolen iPod, or repairing a cracked screen or a spilled drink on it isn’t worth the price of an iPhone.

But ignoreing my neuroses, if this si successful, this could be a huge step in the way purchases are made. It’s convenient in many ways. People always carry their phone, and it’s an interface they already recognize and know how to use. It could become the newest, quickest, and most efficient way to make a transaction.

Example of the barcode screen on the myStarbucks ad.

Log 7a: Reading Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2009 by kbrodinterface

Reading: Chapter 9 of Designing for Interaction

This is the chapter that begins to scare me. It goes into just how dependent everyone is on technology and just how accessible it always is. Some people live of the internet and for technology, and it’s the job of the designer to make sure it doesn’t go completely crazy.

The Internet has never been more prominent or necessary. And from this point, it is only going to evolve further. As we get more dependent, technology is going to have to start fulfilling our needs and we have more and more to learn about and learn how to use (it still takes a lot for me to hook up a VCR).

In the upcoming years, many types of products and services are going to be around.

There’s going to be more traditional set ups such as blogs, homepages, search engines, etc. The form and the content are mainly provided by the designers and the creators of the sites. As long as the Internet is around, no matter how tradition and boring they may seem, I think these kind of pages will always remain a staple, but they may not be as fun for the user as the next group of products,

There are the less structured desktop like sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Yahoo Groups, that are based on content given by the user. The machine collects the data that you give it. Honestly, most people enjoy that more, at least in our demographic . There’s more satisfaction in supplying the Internet with information, considering how often peopple my age are on Facebook and Twitter.

There’s also going to be applications and data that aren’t attached to a site; they are the loose bits that have to be found by tools on our browsers. This is where the Interaction designer comes in.

I know I would never be online if there weren’t any browsers. I’d be bored staring at constant HTML code, and I have absolutely no idea what any of it means. I may be able to pick out some words, but with a designed browser, the visibility factor is taken care of, and I’ll be able to truly use the affordances of the Internet.

More tools like this are going to have to be made to accomodate all the information and data that will keep arising. The tools determine what we can or can’t do on the Internet, so having them well-crafted is very important.

One kind of tool that becomes an important help are called Intelligent Agents. They reside in devices to do things for the user. It takes away the steps that would either be too difficult or tedious. The agents filter and find information, and monitor the user’s behavior, so that it can customize itself to the person’s needs. While that is cool, this starts going a little into the Robot Revolution, technology is watching me fear that appears so often in this chapter.

Another advanced tool is the Semantic Web. This makes it so that machines can also read the site and make each visit more effective. One example they gave was th ability to find a restaurant based on your current location and make a reservation based on your schedule. It’s pretty impressive. technology like that is already in Apps on the iPhone.

This chapter also talks about robots, pieces of machinery that perform physical tasks. There are cleaning robots like the Roomba, and toy robots to entertain children, and maybe a few adults. Designers need to design robots keeping autonomy (the ability to act on the user’s behalf), and interaction.

However, the issues that often arise are form function and manner of behavior. You could have one that makes a simple beep, or on that could come right out of the Disney Imagineer Lab, memory full of cheerful songs. It is important to keep in mind what the robot needs to do, and who the target audience is, otherwise we’d have a world of pretty useless robots.

Essentially what this chapter is telling us is that designers are very musch needed in designing for the future. People are working with multiple computers these days if you include their laptops, MP3’s, cell phones, etc. Each thing is going to get more advanced, and in this rushed environment people are going to need to know how to use it, and how to use it right now.

Log 6b: Interface in Real Life

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 by kbrodinterface

I know you probably can’t stand me complaining about my dorm anymore, but it really has terrible interfaces.

These are my awesome lightswitches.

Lightswitch A

Lightswitch B

What the lights in the kitchen and hallway look like.

These two always confuse the Hell out of me. Lightswitch A is supposed to control the hallway. Lightswitch B is supposed to control the kitchen. Yet sometimes, I find that both the lights are on but only lightswitch B is on. I haven’t been able to document it when I find it but I have no idea how it works.

Lightswitch C

This is lightswitch C, the one in my bedroom. I haven’t figured out what this is for. You would assume it would work like A and B, however, when you look at the cieling, there aren’t any lights to be turned on!

No lights in this room!

So, my next thought was that it controlled the outlets, but that still isn’t true. My lamp still turned on while the switch was turned off. So I currently have no idea why lightswitch C even exists. Even Norman would be confused. I don’t think he could find it’s affordance. There is no visibility of any use. It is just terrible.

This post was also inspired by watching this video of someone who also had lighting issues.

It can be seen here: http://blip.tv/file/71891

This guys also starts off with a Norman reference. Awesome.

Log 6a: Reading Response.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2009 by kbrodinterface

This week, the two articles that were read were from Malcom McCullough about situated types and a chapter on Service Design from Dan Saffer’s Designing for Interaction

The first talked about designing technologies for each place, and each person. Such as the needs or the work place, privacy in an office, digital tehnology and enough room for presentations in the conference room, etc. They also talk about what is needed at home, on the road, or on the town. With each location, we need to intereact with technology differently. We wouldn’t handle a business deal the same way we’d relax at home. However, technology and design shold be helpful and convenient at each point in the day.

As interesting as this chapter was, it was the Saffer article I connected with more and got more out of because it was a lot easier to make parallels to my own life.

Saffer talked about service design, and even though a service isn’t a tangible item to design, it is important to keep this in mind for most companies and brands. Each point reminded me of my job at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Before I get into that, though, I should probably go over the definition of Service. A service is  “a chain of activities that form a process and have value for the end user” The account fr a great portion of the economy and can greatly effect our quality of life.

The chain of activities led to a process of checking out a customer at the register and their value for the end user was wonderful products at BB&B (Bed Bath & Beyond). They are a business in our economy and the magaers drill into our minds to make sure the customer has a great time and a good quality of life when leaving.

Characteristics of a service are as follows:

Intangible: Can’t touch or see it, but you can see the physical embodiments. AT BB&B, you can’t see the service, but you can see your helpful employee, their nametag and their register.

Provider Ownership: They can’t own the service, but they can take something away with it, whether in my example, it’s a blender, a sheet set, or even money from a return.

Co-Creation: Services require the interaction with the customer, I can’t just charge the customer for something. They have to give me what they want to check out and with that, each service for each customer is going to be different, depending on their needs and their temperament, which leads to the next characteristic, FLEXIBILITY.

Time-base: If time is lost, it can’t be made up. Time is money.
At Bed Bath and Beyond, if we aren’t checking anyone out, we have to stand at our docks and talk to anyone that walks by. Not only are we not making money for the company, but you really don’t have any idea how boring that is until you’re standing there for a long… long… time.

Active: Services are produced mostly by human labor. The customer services determines whether that particular service was a success or a failure.   Customer service is the biggest deal at BB&B. They make you be the friendliest most helpful people around. No matter how many times you may see a customer, you have to greet them.  Even if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they will still come back in the future. Granted we were never perfect, and some customers are just EVIL, but it stil is a huge factor in make it a successful store.

Fluctuating demand: Depending on the season, demands and business will either be higher and lower.  BB&B is always in higher demand in the summer. At least, our store is. Of the stores in Jersey, we are considered to be the Shore store, so we get more of the beach and outdoor items to sell.

Elements to keep in mind when designing a service is the environment (where the service takes place), objects that populate the environment (Cash registers, check out counters, etc.), processes (how the service is acted out), and the people to make it alive.

At Bed Bath and Beyond, the environment is the store, the objects are the counter, registers, items for sale and the customer service desk, the process is finding what they want, bringing it to the register and checking it out (as well as returns, bridal registries, job applications, and exchanges) , and the people to make it happen are the fine employees and customers of BB&B.

Services are all around us, and in this age, they are just going to keep increasing. Designers need to be able to interact with both the tangible and intangible in order to fully enrich the quality of life around us.

 

PROJECT 1

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2009 by kbrodinterface

Option 2: Redesign a Website.

Redesign a home page and sub pages for a web site of your choosing.

Specific requirements:

o    Choose a web site that you believe needs a re-design (poor design) and…
o    Choose a second web site from another competing (if possible) company or organization (i.e. Netflix vs. Blockbuster; Myspace vs. Facebook, etc.) that has at least one interface feature worth emulating in your redesign (ie, and good design).
o    Redesign a home page and one other page of the poorly designed site and incorporate the interface feature of the good one in your redesign, using the interface principles from the excerpts from Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug and DOET.
o    Note: You don’t have to build the redesign in HTML. Consider taking screenshots and manipulating them in Photoshop
o    The presentation materials should contain annotated screenshots of:
•    Poor design
•    Good design
•    Your design

POOR DESIGN: The website for Manasquan High School

Bad1

Bad2

Why this is bad: It is full of technical and coding error. Norman values visibility over everything. With the white links being moved to the white background, no one can see what those links are. The hierarchy is off. After noticing the top image and the photo, the next thing I see is the blue bar going down the side of the web page. However, while that my be the case, there is no use for that. It’s just a space of color. Grouping is bad. You see the header for “Events,” but the events are all the way to the right of the page. The Principal’s Message header has no accompanying text, and you can’t see the header for Announcements easily at all. Considering the meaning of the word announcement, they should be higher on the visual hierarchy so people can actually see them. However, that is just another way Norman’s idea of visibility is just torn out of the window. You can’t see the white links to even see if they are clickable. This makes the viewer of this site take a longer time to navigate through the site. It isn’t the instant “billboard reading” that Krug argues should be the case in viewing a website. In that aspects and the others mentioned above, this home page is a failure.

Bad3

MHS' Subpage

This is just going to plain-out bother the viewer. Their eyes have been adjusted to one decorative style and then, a completely different font and stock photo was thrown in. This also needed adjustment.

GOOD DESIGN: The Website for Red Bank Regional High School.

Good1

Red Bank Regional's Home Page

Good2

RBR's Subpage.

Why this is good: Everything is visible, and there is a clear hierarchy. They have the articles and links that they want seen in the most prominent parts. The links appear clickable and they are grouped together in the red panel. There appear to be no technical errors. It is grouped wonderfully throught the page and is easy to read. Someone searching through could easily find the News, the Calendar, and any links they might need. This website is catered to fast navigation. The subpage is still cohesive with the theme of the home page and is easy to read. Overall, this is musch better than Manasquan’s website.

WHAT I DID:

Mine1

Mine2

What I did to this site was make it a lot easier to read. I made use of the prominent blue panel to house the links that peole could find easier, I also supplied a rollover so one would know they are clickable. I made the event links and the Announcement links look like traditional links that people recognize as clickable links. I also made the top toolbar clickable by making each section appear as a button or a tap instead of just trying to hover over the word. Everything is grouped together and easy to see. Everything belongs where it should be and the user’s eye clearly travels. The subpage is now coherent with the home page, having the same design and rollovers as the home page. Manasquan High School would benefit from using some of my improvements on their own website.

Log 5b: Interface in Real Life

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2009 by kbrodinterface

I’m a graphic design major. As terrible as it sounds, I am terrible with technology. The more things that are spoon-fed to me, the better things are. However, as my friends mock me for killing machines and breaking the Internet, there are some things that happen that should definitely be fixed in some way.

For some reason, on the UArts network, the instant messaging program, iChat, is kind of faulty. That’s okay with me though, I downloaded and use Adium.

Adium's Logo. It's cute. I still haven't figured out why the logo is a duck, though.

Adium's Logo. It's cute. I still haven't figured out why the logo is a duck, though.

The logo at the bottom of my toolbar will usually be helpful. It has different signals and alarms for when it’s loading, when I’m away, when I get a an Instant Message (including who I get it from and how many I’ve gotten). When I am signed off, the duck’s eyes are closed. However, there will be the occasional dip in service or something else, and I will get booted from the program (it signs me off). However, nothing changes. My buddy list doesn’t disappear, the logo stays unchanged, I can still technically send messages (granted, they don’t recieve them, but it looks like they do). The only sure-fire way I know I’ve been booted is when my friends text me telling me that I’m offline. The program gives me no feedback and therefore can be a faulty interface, since it isn’t fully designed to combat error. The program is just fine the rest of the time, but I would just change the program to let there be some kind of feedback. Otherwise this program would be perfect.