Community Design Principles 1


 

Please find notes on basic community design principles. I will add a task to each part of the course so that we can collaborate and participate together in making this course useful to your projects.
 
Note:
We should be establishing a philosophy about how to treat people, in the same way that visual design is about establishing a philosophy about how make an impact. Visual design has principles to achieve that: contrast, emphasis, balance, proportion, rhythm, movement, texture, harmony and unity.

1. Stay out of people’s way. The Tumblr homepage does this. You can find out more about Tumblr further down the page, but it doesn’t assume that’s what you want to have thrust in your face. Instead the primary content is all about getting started with Tumblr straight away.

2. Limit distractions. Don’t put pregnancy test kits next to condoms. On the web, Wanderfly does this right: one single path, completely self-contained. Multi-tasking is a myth. Let people focus on one task. Design for consecutive tasks, not concurrent.

3. Provide strong information scent. Quora does a great job at this with its suggested search options. It’s actively helping you choose the right one. People don’t like to guess haphazardly, they like to follow their nose.

4. Provide signposts and cues. Labelling is important. The Neiman Marcus e-commerce site does this right. It’s always clear where you are: the navigation is highlighted. You’d think that in 2011 this would be standard but you’d be surprised. Never let people get lost, especially on the web where there’s a limitless number of paths. Show people where they came from and where they’re going.

5. Provide context. A sign that says “Back in 30 minutes” isn’t helpful if you’re in a hurry—you don’t know when the sign was put up. On the web, AirBnB provides everything you need to know on a listing page, all in one place. It’s self-contained and everything is communicated up-front.

6. Better safe than sorry. Preventing error is a lot better than recovering from it. If you know there are restrictions ahead of time, stop people from going down that route in the first place.

7. Make actions reversible. (illustrated with a misspelled Glee tattoo) Remember The Milk provides an “undo?” link with almost every action. There’s no such thing as perfect design; people will make errors, so you should have a contingency plan. Undo is probably the most powerful control you can provide to people.

8. Provide feedback. How do you know when you’re asthma inhaler is empty? You don’t. You won’t find out until the worst moment. On the web, loading indicators provide useful feedback. Tell people that a task is underway. Design is a conversation, not a monologue.

9. Make a good first impression. Vimeo has one of the best first-time user experiences: “Welcome. You’re new, aren’t you?” Establish the rules, set expectations about the relationship you’re about to initiate on your site.

The basis for all of these principles are Aristotle’s modes of persuasion: logos, ethos and pathos—the rhetorical triangle.
Are universal principles enough? Probably not. Every company is different. Some companies publicly share their principles. Take Google’s “Ten Principles That Contribute to a Googley User Experience” as an example, or Facebook’s design principle …or Windows design principles for a good laugh. Look beyond the tech world too, like Charles and Ray Eames or Burning Man’s design principles.

http://www.google.com/corporate/ux.html
 
These notes were taken from An Even Apart thanks to Luke W's notes : http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1350 ; also Adam Scott's notes : http://adamdscott.com/wrote-about/an-event-apart-boston-roundup/
 
So basically, when designing tools or spaces for people to interact / play in, remember this  :
 
1. Give people freedom (it will inspire trust)
2. Give people means (tools, to collaborate)
3. Give people security (opacity, and from people they dislike)
4. Give people a space
5. Give people a reason to be here
6. Give people hope
7. Give people options
8. Be respectful
9. Show the good example
10. Be positive
 
From our man Jacob Nielson :
http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html
 
 

Ten Usability Heuristics

by Jakob Nielsen

These are ten general principles for user interface design. They are called "heuristics" because they are more in the nature of rules of thumb than specific usability guidelines.

Visibility of system status The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time. 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. 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. Consistency and standards Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

I originally developed the heuristics for heuristic evaluation in collaboration with Rolf Molich in 1990 [Molich and Nielsen 1990; Nielsen and Molich 1990]. I since refined the heuristics based on a factor analysis of 249 usability problems [Nielsen 1994a] to derive a set of heuristics with maximum explanatory power, resulting in this revised set of heuristics [Nielsen 1994b].

Assignement #1 Define

Define the main Goals user would need to achieve on your site.

Define your brand Goals.

Define your business Goals.

*  (identify the 3 main ones)

Basically, the best UX interaction is to achieve all these goals together.

Once we have set the Goals, only then can we move onto the next phase: 

Defining the main problem (or need) we try to solve (or address).

The first phase of a project requires a lot of thinking and planning. It sets the goals, it sets the issues we try to solve, it documents research done on the field in order for us to understand who we are designing for.

Please use the comments to ask me questions, and or more information in order to complete this task.

 

Discusión de la Tarea