Critical Analysis 3
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.Mahatma Gandhi
User Interface Design – Fall 2019
Critical Analysis 3
Write ONE short summary (300-400 words) of the Web Design Process discussed in the lectures and in the three articles from this week.
At the minimum address these THREE POINTS in your Critical Analysis:
- Describe the professional design process (Be sure to mention all major stages, as well as the roles involved).
- Why is having a process essential?
- Where do you feel you might best fit into the process, ie., which roles you’re best suited for now, or would like to know more about and grow into? (Here’s the list from Web Style Guide.)
The professional design process may vary between designers, and industries, but there are several fundamental similarities. My understanding of the professional design process at this point in my life and career include the following phases. The initial phase is inspiration/incubation wherein a designer has an idea forming in their minds, or a problem has presented itself that needs solving. Then brainstorming wherein, the designer now can put ideas, all the ideas, down on paper, or chalk or white board, and begin to organize those ideas. Then research should be done based on the ideas that have been formulated so far – this may include researching the need for this idea in real life, or if other versions of this idea already out there, etc. Then concept development or prototyping, can begin based on the brainstorming and research done so far. Then more testing and user research can happen with the prototype. Then redesigning the prototype as needed informed by your testing and user research. Then retesting and redesigning until satisfaction is achieved. Then finalizing and implementing the design.
Having a process when designing is essential in order to monitor where one is in the process, to have methods and techniques to rely on, and to successfully plan and accomplish the creation of a design. A design process enables you to be as efficient as possible, successful in achieving your goals and transparent in your process.
The aspect of Web Development that is ringing loud and clear to me – and might be giving me some anxiety because of how detail oriented and involved it sounds – is the research and user testing component of Web Design. The amount of research and prototyping and testing that is obviously so important to User Interface Design is a little daunting to me. Perhaps this is because I’ve never done it before, and my normal working environment rarely provides enough time for such focused tasks, so the idea of it is stressing me out. And because I also can understand why clients would want to avoid the time and critical thinking it takes to do user research and testing. But I firmly agree with the statement that “Design without user research only helps you design the wrong website faster.” I look forward to shedding light on this aspect of User Interface Design, and hopefully reduce the amount of stress I’m having over it.
The roles I feel most comfortable with at this point in my young designer history, is the Art Direction, and Site editor roles. These are aspects of my current job responsibilities and I feel very comfortable with those responsibilities. I think I would be interested in Web Project Management as well. I am very good at scheduling projects and motivating folks to accomplish tasks. I would have more confidence as a Web Project Manager I think if I had more coding and development skills, in order to better understand what the steps are to accomplish that aspect of the overall project.