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Requirements to Design: Prototyping (CGT 512)

Cooper Ch 7 – From Requirements to Design: The Framework and Refinement

Last week in our class, we focuses on exactly what this chapter talks about; going from interviews/data collection to actual design. While this chapter highlights all of the things we talked about, I ended up learning a little more which will be useful in our upcoming assignment.

I liked how they relate everything we do, as UX/UI designers, to frameworks. They provided steps on how to do this, which I will not go over here, but I would suggest you take a look at if you are going through this process.

The thing I didn’t know was the different types of testing that can be conducted to validate your design. I though it was pretty self-explanatory, usability testing. What I didn’t know was when to do it, or what type of testing to do at different stages of the process. Cooper (2007) states there are two different forms of evaluation:

  1. Summative Evaluations – tests of complete products. They are typically done near the end of product’s life cycle where changes are expensive to make. Basically just quality assurance, and are conducted, most of the time, by 3rd party companies.
  2. Formative Evaluations – quick qualitative tests, which are conducted throughout the design process. They are an iterative process, as is everything in the design arena.

I personally feel formative evaluations are better. Cooper (2007) states that it is a way to get inside your user’s mind; to see if you are doing everything correctly. This seems like it would be more valuable than summative evaluations. Like really? Who wants to try and fix something that is already completed?

Design, Prototyping, and Construction

This chapter builds on Cooper (2007, Ch 7) very much. It basically says the same thing, yet starts with prototyping. I sit here writing wondering why? Isn’t a prototype what comes from the process of requirements to design. I would have though it would have been introduced later.

Cooper (2007) didn’t focus too much, at all, on prototyping, but I understood a prototype the the product of the process, as design is an iterative process. I thought it was pretty cool how this chapter showed a table comparing high-fidelity and low-fidelity prototyping, which I put below.

I think low-fidelity is the way to go, since there is not a lot of work required and countless ideas can be generated from these. I especially like storyboarding and wireframes.

This is all going to be very useful when my group is working on our second project. I found everything useful and would recommend reading Cooper’s About Face if you want more information.


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