Week 3 : the interactive design process overview

Summarisation of Lecture

Steps in the design process:

  1. Pre-project- Client brief and design problem is discussed. Budget and schedule are developed.
  2. Concept and Planning- Outlines goals, audience, features, market, competition, platform, design requirements and messages intended for the audience. Research and flowcharting is done.
  3. Design, prototype and specification- Here the first examples and solutions for the design problem are created. Focus on the how and the solutions for the design requirements which have been previously defined. Multiple prototypes are created and user testing is done. The result of this phase is the final prototype, function spec and production matrix.
  4. Production- Alpha and beta builds based on the final prototype.
  5. Testing- This step focuses on quality assurance. It is a laborious task which includes testing every facet of the products functionality, reporting your findings and regularly altering the beta based on these test results. Once the testing phase is complete the product can be launched.
  6. Launch and Maintenance- Once the product is launched it will need regular updating and attention.

Visual design is the last step of the interactive design process. A product is pointless without functionality and content, the appearance should come later in the design process to enhance these things and not detract from the users experience.

Reflection on Lecture content

Some key points in the design process which I previously under appreciated were brought to my attention. the first 3 stages in the design process outline often seem to be compacted into one step, and shuffled without a clear order of what comes next. The refinement of the process into these clear phases allows for a less stressful and more fulfilling design experience, which I believe will lead to a better, cleaner and possibly optimal product outcome. A focus on the functionality of the product is important, the visual design should be one of the final parts of the design process.

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