User-Centered Design

“User Centered-Design  is a philosophy and a process. It is a philosophy that places the person at the center; it is a process that focuses on cognitive factors as they come into play during peoples’ interactions with things.”  In this article they talk about some very important questions you need to ask yourself when designing.

  • Who are the users of this ‘thing’?
  •  What are the users’ tasks and goals?
  •  What are the users’ experience levels with this thing, and things like it?
  •  What functions do the users need from this thing?
  •  What information might the users need, and in what form do they need it?
  •  How do users think this ‘thing’ should work?
  •  How can the design of this ‘thing’ facilitate users’ cognitive processes?
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Its interesting to think how the internet has changed and how it keeps evolving with time.  This article is interesting because it talks about how the internet will move on to portals instead of websites.  With a home page, every user sees exactly the same page. With a portal, every user sees a web page customized to him or her.  I think this is an excellent way to let the user dictate how they want to explore information.  They can customize their software to their own personal needs.

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User Interface Design For Web Apps

I thought this article was very interesting.  It talks about how your designs should change depending on “what ” your designing.  Just because you know all the latest html code and you know how to design websites like no other you can’t design that same way for everything.  For example in websites, you are trying to get the user to browse around your site by throwing pretty pictures at them and making all your design decisions on keeping them around.  For  web-based apps the designing needs to be dictated by the focus of the project.

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10 Most Influentual Interactive Products

10. Google Maps

9.  VisiCale

8.  Amazon

7.  WordStar

6.  Mosaic Browser

5.  Newton

4.  Pong

3.  Atm

2.  Xerox Alto

1.  oNLine System

You might ask what these all have in common….Well I believe that in their creation mass amounts of research was done in figuring who the users were and how they would interact with it!  The idea alone  is huge… but make that good idea great by doing research!!

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The Mouse And The Desktop

In reading the article “The Mouse And The Desktop” I not only learned quite a bit about the two, but why they were called that and what it took to become a major staple in computers.  When I was 5 if you would have asked what a mouse was I would have told you it was a little creature that came out at night and eat scraps of food.  Its interesting that now if you were to google mouse you would get pages and pages of the computer mouse.  By taking something that already exists and using it as a metaphor with a new product,  it gives the consumer a head start on what that product can do and sometimes how to use it.  It really is a genius way to create new products and make it easier on the user.  The desktop for example is another great example of this working.  Every computer has one and when you hear the word desktop I immediately think of a computer desktop, not the actual.  It just makes  sense to call it that right?  There are many other examples of this being successful…Folders, Trash, and Mailboxes. Just another thing to think about when creating a new product…Just saying!!!!

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Design Research

After reading an interview with Brenda Laurel about design research some very important ideas came to surface.  She talks about how important it is to expand your knowledge on a certain idea.  I think for most people they think of an idea and then design it to how  “they think”  the user will respond to it.  Brenda elaborates on the idea that you need to do thorough research on not only the people who use it but the psychology of the people using it, different cultures, exploration, investigation, different media and platforms.  A good idea is a good idea…but to bring that idea to a full success you need to do the footwork in making it what its capable of becoming. A GREAT idea!!!!

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T.V. vs Internet

With all the new ways to watch your favorite television shows, why sit through commercials?  A major trend in the web world is going straight to a digital internet based hardware.  Apple T.V. is a great one.  You can not only view your favorite movies or shows through websites like Netflix or Hulu but you can stream videos on the web on your flat screen in the living room.

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Music Licensing Made Easy

This is a very interesting approach to a big problem we’ve been having with copyright infringement.  As a designer I love this idea to be able to use music in a creative way.  I never want to take credit for their work but sometimes a song can add so much to a body of work.  Give credit where credit is do, and with this everyone wins.

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China’s Biggest Search Engine, Known for Illegal Downloads, Makes Music Deal


I think this could change the music interaction on the web indefinite.  This could be the start of of a boom of new sites popping up doing the same thing.  With no one really losing anything in the grand scheme of things I think this is a great way to listen to and share music.  Its an interesting end around that is quite surprising in that no one has thought of it before now.

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JQuery Mobile

JQuery has just about killed off Flash with what it can do.  I think it is very interesting that we are taking that technology and applying it to other platforms.  With a good chunk of the population only viewing the web by smart phone these days I feel it’s a great way to make viewing sites on the web more fun and interactive. Check it out!!!!

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