Design Question

Is our work going to actually help anything? That’s my biggest question about our design. We’ve modified a few little things, added some text results, and moved a couple of things around; but is it going to make the site any better or easier to use? I hope so. I think we have some good ideas. Unfortunately whenever something new is designed and used, there is some learning which must take place. Searchme.com and it’s graphical results is something that will have to require some learning. The goal of our project is to minimize the amount of learning and exploration of site that is needed before the user can do and find what they want. Our prototypes should help deliver an answer to these questions.

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I Like Being Redundant in my Redundant Posts, Which Just So Happen to Have Long Titles By Pure Coincidence

So, my main question is going to (most likely) be the same as everyone else’s. “Will our prototype be easier to use in the end for said user?” I think that the answer will be “yes.” However, I am an optimist by nature, and potentially a pathological liar (this only applies to this post only).

My reason for being hopeful for our project is that we are applying something of the semi-familiar, and using Searchme.com’s original UI tactics where they are appropriate. That being said, I should hope to learn a few failures in the design as well; hopefully none too large, or point out that the flaw is our design as a whole. If we discover zero flaws, I will be disappointed. That “what if” (implying failure of a design not spotted by our test subjects) will continue to meander in my head.

I feel that we will get a mixture of both win and fail, but with the fail being of the minor sort. This false-perception of interaction with our subjects while tag-teaming as “God” will certainly be highly beneficial.

So… hope for the best?

Blog Topic?

What are we supposed to write about?

Week 12 Blog

One specific question I have about my group’s design is “will users find the new layout easier to navigate than the old one?”

I hope and know our paper prototype study will answer this question. I’ll be able to witness firsthand how users evaluate each part of our new design and hear their thinking process when we ask them specific questions. If users have a problem or trouble with a specific feature or design, we can see why they are having trouble with it and even ask them how we could change it to make it easier and more efficient.

To ensure that we get the best results from the proto typing test, we will conduct a post-test interview that will ask users how they compare our overall design, versus that of the current searchme.com design. If users find our design better, than we know we are heading in the right direction.

Feedback on Concepts:

First off: Props to those that did the hand sketching, I thought it was amazing, and definitely had the vibes of organic design. (The computer sketches were also nice, but were missing that natural/quick feeling.)

Ok the good:

Overall I really enjoyed the sketches and the feedback I saw. As a crew, you all seem to work together nicely. I saw evidence that this activity was enjoyable and fun. (Yeah!)

There was plenty of evidence that suggested and directly stated that you were thinking about how a person would use this application. I saw that you were thinking about the user and their needs. User empathy is great for designing; it helps you understand what the user needs and wants.

The other thing that I saw that I was pleased with is that there were things that were optional and things were thought through to streamline and make processes easier for the user.

The areas of improvement:

Some folks, brought up technical details, which are good, but not needed this early in the design process. With design, feasibility/implementation is a concern, but is not truly focused on until later in the process.

Also, concepts should be wild and crazy. If you can let go of what is considered normal, you might just find some amazing ideas can be found this and only this way.

Overall, nice job.

Searchme.com launches visual search app for iPhone

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/18/searchmes-visual-search-for-the-iphone-finally-launches/

Granted, it’s TechCrunch so the actual article is worthless, but hey, it happened.  Finally, apparently.  Not sure exactly who was anticipating this.

I think the design style of searchme makes more sense on the iPhone since it’s a touch-based platform with limited screen real estate.  At the same time the iPhone isn’t going to be faster than the computers on which searchme seemed slow and laggy, and the issue of sites not being readable on the searchme page doesn’t seem to have been fixed either.

Thought you guys might be interested in this.

Also, now that it’s served its purpose TechCrunch finally gets the boot from my RSS reader.

I’m Awesome.

Here is the search engine UI that I was talking about (for reiteration, what Jacob and I were thinking about) in pre-pre-alpha mode.

I have two renditions:

1. 2 static frames

or

2. 1 static and n amount of dynamic frames

I am leaning more toward the dynamic frames, for convenience’s sake. Here are the two sandbox’s I have setup. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

1. http://gtse.freehostia.com/sandbox/

2. http://gtse.freehostia.com/ <— Preferred

So… that’s my submission for an idea in terms of a concept that we need to choose. Win.