Lecture 3 – The Interactive Design Process

Lecture by Sarah Waterson

Summary:

Part 1 – Design Process Overview.

The Design Process is a list of steps taken to complete a certain task and allows teams to keep on track and know where they are at and what needs to be done next. There are 6 steps to be be taken in an Interactive Design Process and they are as follows:
  1. Pre-Project – The Pre-Project step will involve various groups of people qualified in different areas brought together to create a project brief or proposal to respond to a design need brought to their attention. It will include the needs, proposal to these needs, budgets, schedules, who is involved and who are the stakeholders, and other realistic sections that a necessary.
  2. Concept and PlanningConcept and planning is the first real development step where the “goals, messages and audience for the project are all explored and decided”. This step is the proof of the concept where all of the main questions are answered concerning most aspects of the project and also includes features lists, design research, specifications and other product requirements.
  3. Designs, Prototypes and SpecificationsThis step includes the first examples and solutions to the design need. At this stage their is a development on how the solution is to be and is done through the creation of examples of solutions through development in drawing, sketching, and sometimes models, all for an end result to form a functional and effective product. These Prototypes and designs should be user tested with the target market in order to find the best possible solution to the need. Functional Specifications will be required on the final chosen solution that is best fitting the criteria for success.
  4. ProductionAt this stage, there are two sections including the Alpha Build and Beta Build. This is the progress of production models being made from a temporary working instance into the final Beta Build product ready for testing.
  5. TestingEverything needs to be properly tested before it is launched and this testing is done on components and quality assurance testing rather than with people. All aspects of the product need to be tested including links and elements in order for all bugs, errors and problems to be fixed which will all need to be correctly labeled in edition to update.
  6. Launch and MaintenanceThe Launch and Maintenance step is ongoing where once the product, site or solution is launched, it will need to be maintained in order for it to be up to date and successful.

Part 2 – User Persona, Artefact Persona and Scenario Planning.

Personas and scenario planning are a tool used in order to determine the users needs which lead the way in how they look and feel at the end of the process.

  • User Personas are “fictional archetypal users” that are generated in order to create a outline of a character to determine them in a situation or scenario which will help to define their needs.
  • A scenario is a narrative that is an attempt to determine the way in which a person will interact with a system and how it is used in an everyday life situation. It reflects upon the persona created in order to create a criteria to drive a project and its objective goals to a user.
  • An Artefact Persona or a Product Persona is applying a persona to a project rather than a user and creating product personality question to outline who would use it, why, the situations the product can be used, etc.

Reflection:

The design process is a very handy step by step guide to take that will inevitably help a designer to keep on track and hopefully more productive as they know what they are having to do next already and keep that in mind when going through the process. I know it is very helpful for me and I know i can refer to this if i get stuck in thinking what I should be doing next. The user and artefact persona, and the scenario planning tools are all very good for designers to consider when designing a product especially one that will involve much interaction by a user. They are very good to undertake in order to be able to understand the users more and ultimately your customers and gain a basis for much of the research needed to be done. From undertaking them, there will surely be a more successful product that arises.

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About David Rigby

I have currently completed a three year bachelor degree in Design and Technology and am now completing my final year of study to obtain a Bachelor of Industrial Design. Once finished I wish to become a product designer working with Sketches, Renderings, Photoshop, Illustrator and CAD to produce the best possible products for clients and their customers. View all posts by David Rigby

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