Week 1: Class schedule; Why design is important
Class organization and scheduling
Why design is important
Most important this week is that we all get on the mailing list and select our available times on the scheduling app. Please do this as soon as possible, so I know how many participants are still in the course.
The scheduling app is here - Please go and give us your available times so we can coordinate one or more live discussion sessions each week, whether they are voice or chat.
The mailing list is here - this is where we will be doing all our threaded discussion (moderated for new members and first postings)
Classroom chat is here - this is for realtime text interactions, quick q&a, etc.
We need a collaborative document platform for collecting our discussion highlights. Should we use Etherpad, or Google Docs? I have set up an Etherpad for this course here: http://pad.p2pu.org/iW9sIH8GNk where we can have live discussion on Wednesday 1/26 11-3 PST or leave feedback.
Design is important because it helps the user become less aware of the site structure and more aware of the content. This is what user expereince is all about. The user does not want to think about how they have to find what they want, they just want to find it.
Example sites, chosen because they were widely commented on in the application phase:
Both of these sites are deliberately bare-bones, utilitarian in style. Discussion points:
- As users, do you find this helpful or off-putting?
- What about the design, or lack thereof, of these sites is most or least pleasant to you?
- Can you find what you want quickly (at this point, we are not discussing search functionality, look at the menus and navigation)?
- If you could redesign either of these sites, what do you think you could do while still maintaining relative simplicity?
Now, read over this page on useit.com: http://www.useit.com/about/nographics.html which explains Jakob Neilsen's purpose behind a text-only site.
- Discuss how this changes or does not change your opinion of the site.
- Are there any low-key or bare-bones web sites that you can think of that still have a pleasing or unobtrusive design that enhances the user experience?
This document may change - And changes will be broadcast to all participants.