User Interface Design

A few key points from the lecture about user interface design struck me as being very relevant to our integrated project Artovate. One of the major points is to design the user interface under the assumption that users will not read what you write. This is even more relevant when the user is of a young age. The interface needs to be highly visual and tactile and easily understood which leads to one of the next major points; conventions are important. Our app needs to be very easily navigated and instinctual, in this case exploiting conventions will be our first port of call. Visual hierarchy is important, any buttons need to be obviously interactive. There is a strong need for clarity and instinctive use. Another key point is the language used for the user interface, it should make sense to your audience. We need to adapt to a language that children of our demographic are familiar with and use on a daily basis. This may require researching textbooks aimed at that age group and the art curriculum. We need to be careful that we are writing for a certain age and skill level. Human psychology is an important factor to take into account when developing the user interface, in our case we need to consider how a child thinks;

  • are they more attracted to visual elements?
  • interactive elements?
  • how long is their attention span for simple tasks?
  • how can we increase their attention span?

Lastly we need to consider habit. We are creatures of habit and therefore any developments within the app should be introduced slowly. Introduction of new tools/functionality should be done one at a time perhaps?

Some other considerations for stage 2

  • paper prototyping- to show how your design works, consider animating it perhaps?
  • use cases
  • maps- flow diagrams-all of the possible paths through the app
  • task flow- one task I want to do (use case), show the path to take through the app to do this
  • screen or site map- specify the key interactions