Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert
User Interface Design – Fall 2019
Critical Analysis 8
Discuss how each of the 5 Design Decision Styles were used or referenced in the IDEO Shopping Cart Project story? Which of the 5 styles played the most important role in the design process in the video, and why?
Read this short article by UX guru Jared Spool:
5 Design Decision Styles
Then watch this 8-minute video:
IDEO Shopping Cart Project video
The team at IDEO made use of almost each of the 5 Design Decision Styles, save for the first – the Unintended Design Style. (1) Unintended: They definitely took into consideration the users perspectives, did research, and worked with other designers. The second Design Decision Style – (2) Self – they made use of as contributors to the brainstorming. Each obviously had a history working with a shopping cart, and shared that with their fellow designers and in the brainstorming process. The third Design Decision Style – (3) Genius – is probably the bulk of this teams process. Each designer took deeply into consideration the other team members feedback and experience. The next style – (4) Activity Focused – was another large part of the teams process. They asked all kinds of questions and proposed various scenarios about what the users would do with the cart. Which naturally flowed into the fifth and final Design Decision Style – (5) User Focused. This style encompasses all of the styles mentioned prior, but also includes user research. This is the “whole hog” style of design. And one that the IDEO Shopping Cart team definitely chose to follow.
Jared M. Spool concludes from his research, that each of these design styles are important. They represent a different tool in a designers toolbox and each one can best fit various projects:
“Since the teams are working with different styles all the time, does it matter? Our research says it does. The teams that produced the best experiences knew these styles well and how to quickly switch between them. They knew when they needed to go whole hog and pull out all the stops for a User-Focused style project, while also knowing when it was important to bang out a quick design, knowing the results would essentially be unintended. Those teams had a rich toolbox of techniques and a solid understanding on how and when to use them.” – Jared M. Spool, 5 Design Decision Styles
The primary Design Decision Style that the IDEO Shopping Cart Project team followed was the fifth and most involved – User Focused. They brainstormed and shared their own user history and perspectives. They went out and gathered real-world user research data. They asked questions about what activities users would perform with the cart. And they remained open to all the ideas their fellow designers offered.
It’s impressive that even though they followed the more involved and rigorous Design Decision Style, they still got their work done and felt very pleased with the result, despite the limited timeline they had.