This week I solely focused on simplifying the buttons and what the user see's. We met with John Golden, a usability expert at Crux Collaborative. From his background in Graphic Design, he was able to give a lot of useful insight and criticism on how we can improve the consistency of our app to make it easier for our users to understand. He made an excellent point that if something is not being used it should look like a disabled button or a button that is not meant to be used until something else happens first. He also made the point that the color of our buttons needs to remain consistent throughout the app and that they should not be inverses of each-other unless they perform a particular task. Below I've included screenshots of this week's updated prototype.
Going into week 9, we created our outline for our week 10 presentation at SMM. Next Thursday we'll focus on finalizing our performance as well as gathering and processing our user data. We planned to grab data at an earlier date but ran into a bug when trying to do testing at the museum. Hopefully, this Thursday that is not the case! On Friday we will be presenting to Anna and going over potential questions that people might have to prepare us for the real presentation.
Throughout this internship, I have found Anna's advice and mentorship to be very helpful. I do have a few things to say though. In some scenarios, when told that I am making assumptions but not told why I feel that there is a bit of a disconnect and that I am being shut down. It is in the best nature of the designer to try stuff and see what fails and works well. These assumptions that I may be making are part of the role of a designer and should be seen more as qualified/light assumptions and a way of testing. I should not have to provide concrete evidence for why a child might understand images more than text, but if this is necessary, then I'd be happy to do something similar to this in my process for the future. Also, when told I am making assumptions, it is not always explained why I am making the assumptions which at times can make it more difficult for me to learn because I have to assume the reasoning behind what is wrong when I don't know why it is wrong. If told that I am making an assumption but not told why then we can assume that I will continue to create the same premise. I hope to talk to Anna directly one-on-one about this to get more feedback on how I can communicate that what I am testing is always subject to change. I also hope to convey to her that some design decisions need to be assumptions to move the design forward. Of course, the design needs to be supported by research, but with gathered data in mind, assumptions can, should, and will be made to push the design forward. Communicating with someone who isn't a designer can be extremely difficult, and I can't wait to learn more about how I can effectively and efficiently communicate with someone who isn't the same as me. I guess that's all part of being a user experience designer and developing trust.
I look forward to next week and prepping for the presentation. We are so close to being done, and we have all been learning so much!