In this course, we explore two crafted scenarios with the goal of producing a context definition for a User Experience Design. A context definition helps us to understand a given situation and guide our design.
User Experience Design is context driven. This course will take you through two crafted scenarios in which we'll define a context for, and then give some examples where such a context definition has guided the design. When defining a context, it also helps to be familiar with a number of other subjects to assist in identifying elements which will influence our design; this course will name some of these subjects for further study.
Gavin Lanata has been involved in the development of front-end software solutions for the last decade. With a mixed background in Art, Design, Video, Sound, and I.T., Gavin has focused his attentions on the reasons behind why we do the things we do when using software.
Implicit and Explicit Design Welcome to Module Two of User Experience for Setting Context, Implicit and Explicit Design. Let's start this module with a look at where the idea of implicit and explicit design comes from. I would like to go back to 1953 with the referral of a patient famously known as Patient HM to a neurosurgeon who performed experimental surgery in an attempt to help with an incapacitating case of epilepsy. Following the surgery Patient HM suffered severe amnesia, which led to a researcher from McGill University involving the willing patient HM in the study. For reference, McGill University have an excellent website detailing current knowledge on how the brain works. This can be found via the address on this screen. A conclusion drawn from this study is that memory has a number of different systems, each with its own responsibility. For example, neuro sciences convert our long-term memory into two distinct forms. The first of these forms is declarative memory, or explicit memory, which is responsible for the memories of things we can name or describe in words. These things may include memories of what you did for you last birthday celebration, or the flavor of the soup you may have eaten for lunch yesterday. The second form is the non-declarative memory, or also known as implicit memory. Implicit memory holds the memories of the things we do not need to express using language. These things include motor skills, conditioned emotional responses and conditioned reflexes. Such memories could include riding a bike and the skill of handwriting.
Line of Business Application Welcome back and welcome to the third module in the start of the main body of the course, in which together we'll define the context for user experience design. To begin, we'll craft a scenario around the line of business application. We'll then use that scenario to demonstrate what we may discover through observation. And from that observation, build the additions to our context definition. Then by the end of this module, we'll have produced a defined context. For the scope of the module, we shall keep the number of additions to our context definition to four. Let's take a look at that scenario. We are part of a team who've been tasked with the development of a replacement enterprise resource planning system. The system we are replacing has been in use for nearly ten years in the steel industry. Which has received numerous updates in it's lifetime. The company has been in operation for over 30 years, with just over 100 employees. These employees are distributed across numerous sites which are spread around the globe. Each site may contain anywhere between 10 and 20 employees and those employees are a mix of machinists, drivers, warehouse, and sales administration and management personnel. Some of these employees have been with the company since it's establishment, over those newly hired. With the given crafted scenario, we'll now look at what kind of observations we might make when defined in a context for that scenario. Also, at the end of the module, I'll provide examples where the context definition we have built, which is based on actual past projects, has pushed the design towards living a good experience.
Consumer Application Welcome back. And welcome to the fourth module of this course. We'll now look at building a context definition, for a scenario crafted around a consumer-facing application. We'll do this by following the same pattern we did in the last module of crafting the scenario, discovery, and then define. And we'll carry on breaking this module down into the four additions of the context definition. The scenario. A company who specialize in news and coverage of national sporting events, is looking to deliver its content through a branded mobile application. This mobile application will have access to several types of content, and make use of the hardware features of the mobile device. Also, the company has a popular website. Therefore, the majority of the content the mobile application will deliver, already exists. This content includes video, audio, text, and still imagery. And through this application, this content will be available offline. Users of the website can also log in, and be provided with targeted content, and they have the options to customize that content. An example would be receiving content related to the sports and/or sports personalities the user is interested in. Now we have crafted our scenario. Let us begin exploring the scenario, and talk about what elements we might find in comparison to the last scenario. And remember, the object of this module is to illustrate how a context definition mirrors a given scenario, and will reveal different results than the last.
Summary In this course, we have looked at various elements across two scenarios that we might consider when defining a context for user experience design. What was discussed in this course, however, is just a small piece of a much broader subject. Defining a context is understanding a given situation. It is about observation, investigating the environment around the product you are building, asking questions, finding answers. Record your discoveries, use that record as a means to guide the design you go on to implement. But remember, every situation is different. Use that difference to your advantage. When making our observations, there are subjects which can assist. The first is a little understanding of how human memory works. This helps because long-term memory is where memories of our experiences are stored. It is also helpful to have an understanding of the various design disciplines, such as topography, graphics layout, interaction, and so on. These are tools which allow us to implement a design that is suitable for our given context. As some user experience designs are more focused on allowing the user to complete the task as efficiently as possible, others exist in a more casual context. And this is where I should leave you. But before I do, I'd like to leave with a question you may like to think about on your own time. And that question is, what is an experience? Now that, that is a question! Thank you for listening.