Lecture notes, Week 2

Lecture Pod 2

Design process + context is the framework of design. The focus of this lecture pod is the design process, the importance of low tech design roughs and sketches; and the design context.

Designer Verplank identifies 8 phases in the design process. The first is the invent stage, which includes trial and error. Next, the design phase which is scenario and development. Then, an engineer phase of task and modelling. Lastly is the representation phase, funneling into presentation and knowledge.


The first step in the design process should always begin with sketches so we can easily frame the objectives. Some examples of low tech sketches are diagrams, models, flows and story boards. They exist to help us easily visualize issues and goals in the early stages of development.

Making a quick design rough on the screen can’t compare to the fluidity of putting a pen to a page. A fast draft is best done on something easily accessible like a piece of paper, a whiteboard, some sticky notes, etc. to get a good scope on what you’re doing and gain a better understanding of the problem/goal. This is the design process.

There are many things to consider when working in interactive design. For example, a user may need to check their balance on their online banking account. Are they checking it at home or at the super market?  There are things to consider like the level of privacy for sensitive information and the urgency for getting information.


The idea behind this should be applied to anything interactive. What is the setting/environment of the product being used? Who will be using it? For how long? What is the user trying to accomplish while using it? How complex should it be? What are the goals of the user?

There’s a different context for use and a different context of use. There are so many questions to ask as designers, we must be aware of what people need and expect. Understanding the user is the key to interactive design.

“Context matters” image source: contextfm


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