This week’s presentations were an improvement over last weeks. We were definitely more concise this time! These presentations were more over things that we really take for granted and store as assumptions in our minds. When you consider what the topics are (Pointing & selecting, Controls, Menus, Dialogs, Errors & Alerts), they seem extremely common sense. Why it is necessary to break them down into thier design elements is to give us a look into what makes for good and bad design for those elements. (There are tons of variations for the different topics! It makes me feel bad for not noticing all the work someone put into choosing the perfect sound for an alert, or the perfect look for a scroll bar!)
For example, a mouse. It is used to select things by clicking on them so it doesn’t need to be extremely tech savy right? Incorrect! There is a difference in control over your clicking between a mouse with a track ball or a laser and you can preprogram commands/macros to run by clicking various buttons which means you should have more than one button. (If you’re doing more than simple clicking) Our gaming mouse has the traditional left and right click buttons, a scroll wheel that can also click, two buttons on the side that increases or decreases the sensitivity of hte mouse, two on the left side, and two on top. We don’t macro though, we just play better than other people. 😉 (Insert a back in my day we used to click to play games! joke) But it is so much more complex then just using it to click on things!But you wouldn’t think about a mouse unless you have a real need to make your selecting better than other people’s. Or if your were doing digital painting with a mouse perhaps.
The real motto of all of our presentations was “People don’t think about (insert presentation topic), they just use them.” So in order to make them better, to design them better, we must force ourselves to think about them and determine the “why'” for all of the design choices about them.
But we did much better this round! Everyone should have a cookie to celebrate! =D
I particularly enjoyed the little error song during the errors and alerts presentation. I liked it so much I went and listened to it again, then searched for a mac version and found an iphone version instead! It’s kinda cute actually. (It uses app sounds as well so its not just the iphone itself sounds)
All these sound very “intuitive” and “basic” until you start designing something and realize you forgot to make the mouse cursor change on mouse-over, and have contextual menus open on left rather than right-click, etc. These are the little details that we are very used to, but we need to not only recognize them, but also remember to use them when designing from scratch.