visualising the user experience

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  • Visualising theUser ExperienceGrant RobinsonSenior Interaction Designer at

  • 1.2.3.

    Lets talk about...Rapid prototyping

    Visualising the UX with screenflows

    Movement and transitions

  • Rapid prototyping

  • Is this rapid prototyping?

  • Is this rapid prototyping? Nope!

  • What is rapid prototyping? User-centered design methodology For designing, communicating and evaluating

    user interfaces

    Getting feedback as early as possible Fast

  • Prototyping life-cycle

  • Prototyping life-cycle

    The more cycles the better

  • release early, release oftenAgile development mantra:

  • fail early, fail oftenAgile design mantra:

    "If youre not failing now and again, its a sure sign youre not doing anything very innovative." Woody Allen

  • 1. Fellow designers

    2. Project team

    3. Wider team

    4. Users

    5. Your mum

    No designer is an island

  • Common techniques Paper prototyping Wireframes and page schematics HTML wireframes Interactive prototypes

  • Paper prototypes...

  • Paper prototypesLove: Quick & dirty No software needed Very inclusive

    Hate: Not quick enough Too dirty (lack context & scale) Hard to share amongst team Still needs a separate documentation step

  • Wireframes & page schematics...


  • WireframesLove: Good for defining content Good for documenting screens

    Hate: Bad at showing interactivity / flow Cant really use them for testing Slow. Too much time spent describing.

  • HTML wireframes...

  • Better success rate Much faster Less confusion

  • HTML wireframesLove: Can show interactivity / flow Good for simple interaction (links, buttons etc) Experienced in the browser (correct context & scale)

    Hate: HTML, CSS (and JS) knowledge necessary Time wasted on hacking layout & advanced functionality Design only what you can build Cant throw away, but should

  • Other interactive prototypes...

  • Axure (


  • Axure (


  • SketchFlow (


  • Other interactive prototypesLove: Good for testing moderately complex interactions Some support collecting feedback Some can generate specs

    Hate: Difficult to get custom interactions working Can require expertise in proprietary languages Often not cross-platform (no love for Mac users) Often low-fidelity only Make me think like a developer, not a designer

  • Choosing a prototype technique

    What a dilemma!

  • Visualising the UX with screenflows


  • So how do we describe what users do?

    Visualise the experience...

    Show every step to complete a task

    Show every click

    Preview the experience - see and feel how everything flows together

  • Its like stop motion

  • From low to high fidelity

  • 32 iterations 5 released

  • Using Flash as a design tool {eh, what?}

  • Flash: Not just a development tool

  • Flash: Not just for video

  • Flash: History in drawing & animation

  • FutureSplash Animator

  • FutureSplash Animator

  • Anatomy of a screenflow

  • Screenflows Perfect fit for agile teams Very effective communication tool Easy to evaluate Ideal for explaining changes over time Easy to share. Experienced in the browser. Obvious focus & limits Significantly reduces documentation Support low to high fidelity No coding necessary

  • Getting serious aboutmovement & transitions

  • How did this...

  • ...become this?

  • ...become this?

  • How did this...

  • ...become this?

  • How did this...

  • ...become this?

  • "Unless you can show me where you've fleshed out the character and aspects of the transitions at the same level of thought, rational, exploration and fidelity as you have the states - you're fired."

    Bill BuxtonHCI pioneer Currently Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

  • Movement: the new affordance Use movement to orientate user and keep them in flow

    Explain changes/transformations

    Use physical metaphors to describe the action: zoom, slide, reveal

    Not just for fun: Research on the importance of movement is just starting to come in

  • Yahoo Design Pattern Library

  • Yahoo Design Pattern Library

  • Transitions decreased task completion timesReduced error rates for reading tasks

    0.3 seconds - optimal transition speed

  • Some takeaways... {nom nom nom}

  • The timeline is your friend

    Efficient digital sketching tool

    Best way to manage changes over time

    Supports low to high fidelity

    Natural starting point for exploring movement and transitions

  • Visualising the experience makes you a better designer

    Puts you in the users shoes

    Keeps you focussed on user flow

    Best way to communicate your designs to team and stakeholders

    Cuts documentation in half. Less time describing = more time designing

  • Please feel free to flick me an email:

    Any questions?

    Photo credits: