‘West Wing’ was huge. Like ‘Hamilton,’ it pulls back the curtain on how decision-making happens at the highest level, or at least how you hope it would be. The amount of information Aaron Sorkin packs into a scene gave me this courage to trust the audience to keep up.— Lin-Manuel Miranda
User Interface Design – Fall 2019
- Mind Map: A Mind Map is a method of creating visual notes when brainstorming or demonstrating how ideas are linked together. One can link one idea to another and another and so on to see how any subject, concept or idea can be fleshed out. Making it visual is very helpful for most people. Some Mind Maps can be simple, and others very complex. Other names of the same concept are Information Mapping, Spider Diagrams, or Idea Sun Bursting.
- Style Tile: Style Tiles are visual references of design choices that will often include colors, fonts and layout choices. These are used to share design choices and options with clients, in clear easy to understand ways, when working on a particular project like a website. An example of where to find Style Tiles would be when browsing through website themes in WordPress – often the quick example gives you a sense of the color theming, font choices and styles, and layouts of that website theme.
- Mood Board: A Mood Board is a collage created in the design process used to capture and present a sense of feeling and concept of design choices for a particular project. It can include images, text, objects, or textile samples. It is often thought of the next step a designer takes after having an initial meeting and brainstorming session with a client. It is to help inspire and focus a designer in their process, and to help demonstrate to a client the direction a designer is heading in their process. In a way Pinterest is like a giant digital mood board for users.
- Persona: A Persona, or User Persona, is fictional representation of potential users for your website, app, or business. These are created and used in user research to clarify and understand the potential needs of potential users and clients. Personas can vary widely, as does the general public. As a Marketing Manager myself, I constantly have a few personas in my head that I refer to when building campaigns for my company, Capital Stage.
- A/B Testing: A/B Testing is the random sharing of two different UI designs, and the measurement of the effectiveness of those two designs. In email marketing software, many companies offer their clients the option to use A/B Testing on two different subject lines of the same email. After a good sample of random sends and opens have been captured, the email marketing software will choose which subject line has more opens, and send the remainder of the mailing list the email with that subject line.
- Case Study: A Case Study is a research method that involves in-depth observations and detailed examination of a specific subject over a period of time. All aspects and contexts of the study are recorded and analyze. The research process for a case study will follow formal scientific methods, and is used to illustrate a thesis or principle. Case studies can cover nearly any subject from scientific to social to political. Even in the arts we follow case studies of other theatre companies and their business models or marketing campaigns, etc.
- “KISS” principle: Keep It Simple Stupid – This is the long standing principle that a simpler design is always better. It is common knowledge in design to avoid clutter and avoid confusing things with too much information, too many words, or too many design elements. In looking this up it apparently was a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. It was reportedly coined by Kelly Johnson, the lead engineer at Lockheed.
- Usability: Usability is the quality of a user’s experience when interacting with designs and systems. Ease, efficiency, clear objectives and learnability are key to the quality of Usability in any product.
- Learnability: Learnability is the death of the manual. The quickness with which a user can understand and use an app or website effectively, without instruction or manuals, means the product has learnability. If I can’t figure out how to buy that thing from that site, or use its services, I will easily abandon the site for one that is easier to use immediately.
- Accessibility: Accessibility is the practice of making sure your site or app is usable for all methods of interaction. Points to consider with Accessibility are: What kind of devices are being used? What kind of network connection does the user have? What kind of interface tools, such as a mouse, stylus, Wacom pad, or none, are they using? Do they have a disability such as blindness? Etc. Making sure your users can still interact with your site or app regardless of any barriers possible, is making sure it is Accessible.