In this course, we’ll take an iterative approach to design. No one “process” fits all projects. However, we’ll find it useful to alternate between divergent (exploratory) and convergent (decisive) thinking, and to find ways to test ideas efficiently to gain confidence in our decisions.
In order to build better products, it’s useful to test prototypes with potential users to identify opportunities to improve our designs before investing in full production.
When planning new design work, interviewing potential users helps us understand behaviors and contexts to narrow down the problem(s) we should address.
Prototyping is often best done in cheap and fast ways, so that we can work out the kinks in design concepts quickly and deliver a better final product.
HTML is the essential building block of web pages. It provides structure to content, and gives browsers meaningful information which supports built-in accessibility and discoverability features.
Surveys can also help us form a better picture of our users, their behaviors, and preferences.
Personas are a deliverable which helps us summarize and communicate findings from user research, embodying those findings in a representative user which other stakeholders can empathize with as well.
CSS provides us a way to give the web browser hints about how we want the content of our website to render. We’ll start working with CSS by using it to style typographic compositions.
Writing about your design work is a good practice in general, to document your process and results. For us, these will serve double duty as early drafts of our eventual portfolios.
Visual design makes our work, aesthetic, clear, and usable. We’ll start exploring some principles of typography and layout in this class. Keep in mind that theory will only take your design work so far. You have to produce work, look at it, and try again in order to actually improve.
Exploration is key to creating beautiful user interfaces. We don’t see design in our mind, we perceive it with our eyes, and interact with it with our hands. Until a possibility is down on paper or screen, it’s not a possibility you’ve considered. Give yourself as many possibilities to choose from as you can.
Motion should be used to add clarity to a user interface, and then sparingly and with nuance. A little bit goes a long way.
We’ll extend our evaluative research toolbox to include heuristic analysis.
We’ll focus on Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for iOS (phones and tablets) for now, with an emphasis on the navigation models in iOS.
We’ll focus on how Google’s Material Design system works on Android devices (primarily phones) and explore the primary navigation model.
In this lesson, we will explore a few different topics in order to stretch your UI skills.
We’ll try out a couple of card sorting techniques to help us more objectively gauge the desirability and aesthetic appeal of our designs.
We’ll cover how to conduct competitive research.