So yeah, I am back! This is going to be my last medium post for this year. Today, I’m gonna share my experience about the Winter school I attended few days back.


Our workshop ran from 4th- 9th December, 2017. It was basically on User Experience Design. Interaction design is divided into four categories-

  1. HCI (User Centric Design)
  2. Activity Centred Design
  3. System Design
  4. Genius Design

In this workshop we focussed on User centric design approach. User Centred design (UCD) is a design process that focuses on user needs and requirements. The consistent application of human factors, ergonomics, usability engineering, and other techniques is what keeps UCD revolving around the users. The aim is to produce highly usable and accessible systems, aiming for user satisfaction while averting negative effects on health, safety, and performance.

Day 1: Introduction to UXD and coming up with project ideas

This was super fun. Our main aim was:

  • To know thy neighbours.
  • To get to know what is User Experience design.
  • To come up with project ideas.
  • And to form a group.

Learnings from Day 1:

  1. What is User Experience?

User is the one who uses the product, experience is the event or occurence that leaves an impression on someone. And design is to do or plan (something) with a specific purpose in mind.

2. What are the goals of UXD?

a) Useful: Does it have the features I need? Is it something that can be used or not.

b) Usable: Can I easily use this product? Can I find/remember the features and use them with ease?

c) Desirable: Do I enjoy using this product? Does it evokes good memories to the user? Does it enhances user’s image?

3. What are the elements of User Experience?

User Experience is all about- Strategy, finding the scope, structuring the problem, making the IA (Information Architecture) and finally coming up with the surface design.

Day 2: Requirement Gathering

Our agenda for Day 2 was to collect the data for our respected project.

  • To know our potential users, know their needs. To target our users.
  • To establish the requirements they need.
  • And to find out their organizational/job abilities.

Learning from Day 2:

  1. We learned about how to conduct user interviews.
  2. We learned about how to make a questionnaire, we made a questionnaire about what to ask our potential users.
  3. We compiled their answers so that we can have good and considerable data.
  4. We got to know about how people responds to a situation, what things matter to them and what not.

Day 3: Design Alternatives

This day was all about analysing the data we gathered the day before. Our goal for this day was to-

  • We did brainstorming and analysis on the data we got after user interviews.
  • We created Personas, a persona is a fictional character, a representation of a type of customer. Personas answer the question, “Who are we designing for?” and they help to align strategy and goals to specific user groups.
  • We also defined our design implications for this product.

Learnings from Day 3

  1. We got to know about our potential customers.
  2. We defined the Information Architecture for our solution, Information architecture is the structure behind a well-thought-out application or website. IA results in categorization, schema, mapping, and navigation that is intuitive and user-friendly.
  3. We learned about Balsamiq, a wireframing tool to sketch our thoughts digitally.

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.- Linus Pauling”

Day 4: Prototyping

On 4th day, we did rapid prototyping - paper, video and corrugated sheets. We did paper prototyping for a smart interactive lamp.

Rapid prototyping with paper, pen and corrugated shets

Learnings from Day 4:

  1. We learned about how to create rapid low-fi prototypes. We did paper prototyping.
  2. We realised that paper prototyping is always quick and easy to do.

Day 5: Evaluation

This was our last day to complete our vision and currate the ideas. After defining the Information Architecture, and wireframes we started working on the visuals. It was quite a tough day, we started off exciting and joyful but as we started to turn our ideas into design and think about different iterations of our user flows. We iterated our designs and finally managed to reach final User Interfaces.

Learning from Day 5:

  1. We learned about, a prototyping tool that allows users to prototype apps for anything with a screen interface, including smart TVs, digital camera interfaces, cars, airplanes and gaming consoles. utilizes a drag and drop user interface (UI) and does not require coding.
  2. We learned about Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design. They are called “heuristics” because they are broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines.

1. Visibility of system status

The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.

2. Match between system and the real world

The system should speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.

3. User control and freedom

Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.

4. Consistency and standards

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing.

5. Error prevention

Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.

6. Recognition rather than recall

Minimize the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.

7. Flexibility and efficiency of use

Accelerators — unseen by the novice user — may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.

8. Aesthetic and minimalist design

Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.

9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.

10. Help and documentation

Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.

3. We learned about the types of testing we can conduct to analyse our design.

Day 6: Showcase

Here is the link to project we did all these days. Title of the project is : Gamification of Google Maps to study the psychology of 2-Wheeler and 4-Wheeler drivers.

Thankyou for your time. Hope this article was helpful. Its not possible to just read and know what amazing experience it has been but I am sure this article will help you get the insights.Thanks a lot and Happy New Year!!!

#ux #ws17uxd #userexperience #design

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