Informatics 121 software design i
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Informatics 121 Software Design I. Lecture 10 Duplication of course material for any commercial purpose without the explicit written permission of the professor is prohibited. Today’s lecture. Design methods Feature comparison Contextual inquiry (light) Design studio 3. Design cycle.

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Informatics 121 Software Design I

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Informatics 121 software design i

Informatics 121Software Design I

Lecture 10

Duplication of course material for any commercial purpose without the explicit written permission of the professor is prohibited.


Today s lecture

Today’s lecture

  • Design methods

  • Feature comparison

  • Contextual inquiry (light)

  • Design studio 3


Design cycle

Design cycle

synthesize

goals

constraints

assumptions

decisions

ideas

analyze

evaluate


Realistic design process

Realistic design process

what is it to accomplish?

satisfactory experience

how does one interact with it?

change in the world

what is its conceptual core?

plan for realization

what are its implementation details?


Realistic design process1

Realistic design process

what is it to accomplish?

satisfactory experience

how does one interact with it?

change in the world

what is its conceptual core?

plan for realization

What happens here?

what are its implementation details?


Realistic design process2

Realistic design process

what is it to accomplish?

satisfactory experience

how does one interact with it?

change in the world

what is its conceptual core?

plan for realization

what are its implementation details?

Or here?


Design method

Design method

  • A self-contained, structured technique that guides a designer in advancing some aspect of the design project at hand

  • Serves as a bridge from the overall process of design to actual individual and collaborative design work


Origin

Origin


Today

Today


Example

Example


Example1

Example


Example2

Example


Example3

Example


Characteristics of design methods

Characteristics of design methods

  • Each design method suits a specific purpose with respect to the design cycle and overall design project

  • Each design method expects a certain context for it to lead to optimal results

  • Applying just one design method rarely suffices (but still may help)


Example decision making

Example – decision making


Example unearthing assumptions

Example – unearthing assumptions


Example generating ideas

Example – generating ideas


Example identifying goals

Example – identifying goals


Choosing design methods to apply

Choosing design methods to apply

  • Focus on essence

  • Focus on the unknown

  • Focus on making progress


Focus on essence

Focus on essence

  • Every design problem has an essence, the key – and often most difficult – part that must be understood and addressed ‘right’ for the design solution (plan for change in the world) to satisfy the stakeholders

  • Postponing understanding and addressing the essence of a design problem incurs a significant risk of rework at a later time


Focus on the unknown

Focus on the unknown

  • Every design problem involves knowledge deficiencies – gaps in the understanding of the design problem and its possible solutions – that must be addressed for the design solution (plan for change in the world) to satisfy the stakeholders

  • Postponing understanding and addressing knowledge deficiencies incurs a significant risk of rework at a later time


Focus on making progress

Focus on making progress

  • Every design problem involves times during which the design project gets stuck; focusing effort elsewhere and continuing to make progress is often the right approach in response

  • Continuing to focus on a stuck issue for extended periods of time tends to be effort that is wasted


Software design methods

Software design methods


Software design methods1

Software design methods


Feature comparison

Feature comparison

  • Feature comparison is the process of conducting research to learn about the features of competing products

Tesla Model S

Toyota Prius

Volkswagen Beetle


Procedure

Procedure

  • Identify competitors and their products

  • Establish dimensions for comparison

  • Conduct research

  • Analyze results


Example identify competitors and their products

Example: identify competitors and their products

Tesla Model S

Toyota Prius

Volkswagen Beetle


Example establish dimensions for comparison

Example: establish dimensions for comparison

  • Type of engine

  • Miles per gallon

  • Range on a single refuel/recharge

  • Number of passengers

  • Number of doors


Example conduct research

Example: conduct research

  • Request brochures

  • Visit manufacturer web site

  • Visit independent review web site (e.g., J.D. Powers)

  • Visit car dealers

  • Ask friends


Example analyze results

Example: analyze results


Example analyze results1

Example: analyze results

  • A fully electric vehicle reduces the driving range significantly

  • A hybrid car may represent an appropriate tradeoff between driving range and fuel efficiency

  • Four doors is standard

  • Tesla Model S, except for its driving range, is (tied for) best in all categories, and therefore perhaps our main competitor


Typical notation comparison matrix

Typical notation: comparison matrix


Alternative notation radar chart

Alternative notation: radar chart


Criteria for successful use

Criteria for successful use

  • Direct or indirect access to the specifications of the competing products

  • Creation of a meaningful set of dimensions for comparison

  • Appropriate depth of analysis


Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

Weaknesses

Focuses on the present, not what competing products might look like in the (near) future

Reinforces existing boundaries, perhaps stifling creativity

Lightweight design method

  • Helps identify key competitors

  • Creates a detailed account of competing products

  • Builds an understanding of the full landscape as it exists today

    • range of feature sets

    • differentiation

    • best practices

  • Lightweight design method


Contextual inquiry light

Contextual inquiry (light)

  • Contextual inquiry is the process of observing and interviewing a user in context – while they are engaged in the actual setting of life


Procedure1

Procedure

  • Plan

  • Identify users

  • Visit and inquire


Example plan

Example: plan

  • Decide, beforehand, the purpose of the contextual inquiry

    • what type of information

    • which type of setting

    • which type of users


Example identify users

Example: identify users

  • Draw an advertisement in the newspaper

  • Social media recruiting

  • Ask client for access to representative users

  • Use an external recruitment service to target particular (typically representative) demographics


Example visit and inquire

Example: visit and inquire

  • Two-to-three hour visit

  • Master-apprentice model

    • observer takes note of what the user does

    • user shares their thoughts on the work they perform

    • observer inquires why the user does what they do

    • observer takes notes

  • Ideally, a contextual inquiry becomes a rich conversation

    • shared stories and insights

    • clarified interpretations


Example insufficient inquiry bias

Example (insufficient inquiry, bias)

http://youtu.be/o1sswVMmSO4


Example too much inquiry

Example (too much inquiry)

http://youtu.be/Gd5fA9UQDjE


Typical notation notes

Typical notation: notes


Criteria for successful use1

Criteria for successful use

  • Access to the ‘right’ users involved in the ‘right’ activities

  • Extensive sharing

  • Ability to expand inquiry

  • A strong focus on why (why not)


Strengths and weaknesses1

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

Weaknesses

Users may not know the answers to the important questions

Steeped in current practices, perhaps stifling creativity

Observer bias

Lessons that can be learned depend strongly on the activities being performed by the user

Stops short of analysis

  • Reveals underlying and often invisible work structure

    • flows, tasks, artifacts, physical environment, culture, …

  • Involves actual users

  • Exposes rationale

  • Can challenge assumptions held by the designer

  • Not as involved as a full ethnography, but can still yield very usable insights and results


Variants

Variants

  • Contextual design

  • Questionnaire

  • Ethnography

  • Interview


Design studio 3

Design studio 3

  • Venture capitalist V has come to UC Irvine, seeking to upstage the online note taking world

  • The venture capitalist knows that, rather than through her proposing the kind of app she wants, she is better served by running this as a competition and getting a broad range of ideas from which she then can choose

  • V is particularly interested in forward thinking apps; apps that will really make a difference 2-5 years from now


Design studio 31

Design studio 3

  • Your team is tasked with designing a novel note taking, sharing, and organizing app that explicitly aims to upstage existing apps in this space


Design studio 3 assignment

Design studio 3 – assignment

  • Research existing note taking apps, what they can and cannot do, what kinds of functionality they provide and not, and where the holes and opportunities in this kind of app landscape are

  • Talk to at least 20 different people for whom a new app might be beneficial, and learn from them what they might and might not want


Design studio 3 assignment1

Design studio 3 – assignment

  • Two deliverables

    • a written document with your findings

    • a 10 minute presentation summarizing your findings

  • This is a team assignment (with upcoming team evaluations)

  • Due Tuesday November 19


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