The Broads: Phase 1.5 (W5 & W6)

Wednesday 27th March – 2019 – WEEK 5

This week not so much has happened regards to the broads project so far. However, I think I will be starting to develop the designs tomorrow as mentioned in a previous Post last week. It’s only Wednesday, regardless, the level of collaboration has slightly decreased, and that is because everyone else is busy with their own stuff, their own work, especially Storehouse for myself. Storehouse has taken a lot of my time, and freelance work. But I don’t see that as a legitimate excuse to use when it comes to university work, at the same time what I do in my free time is 100% relevant to my degree, my studies, and my future.

Skype Call With An Expert

Image result for skype logo

On Monday, I was in a Skype call with a friend of mine named Austin, who is a 25-year-old highly experienced senior developer of websites. Front-end, back-end, and all in all Full Stack Development. He is someone who has been helping me with development and understanding websites more when I was an amateur last year. His website is here: https://www.austinpaquette.com/ – and I consulted him on Monday about my research proposal and perhaps what direction does he think I should take because on Tuesday I had my one-on-one meet with Jamie, my lecturer.

Austin said that I should get involved with the augmented reality market, and I said perhaps make a decision on whether I should focus on designing for augmented reality or not, because Austin believe that I have great potential in design and he sees me working in the future for big companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Coming from that’s a huge compliment because the work that he has done is amazing, he is a highly skilled and talented developer. Not only that, he’s done a lot of contract work worldwide, and his age is only 25 years, which is 3 years only difference between me and him. But anyways, Austin was impressed when he saw my designs for Stardust and the other experiments that I have done using Cinema 4D create augmented reality interfaces. The job market is lacking ar developers and designers, and as stated that if I get myself involved I will have a bright future. After he said this and at the end of the call, I began to think by myself and wonder if this is what I should really chase.

Is This it?

I understand what I really want to do and how I want to impact the Tech world and the design world. The kind of person that I want to be is the one that people would go to when they are stuck on a design problem or trying to come up with innovative and creative concepts. However, the only way to become this kind of person is to engage a lot and probably break rules here and there because of course, this kind of path does not come with the obstacles and challenges. So there is a very high chance that I will engage with the augmented reality technology in terms of design development because it’s a market that’s really lacking the experts and professionals. Since my interest has sparked in this field, I may focus my dissertation on this kind of subject. Honestly, whenever I think about working in this kind of technology, I feel energy and hype because something that truly makes me feel enthusiastic and interested. My attention and interest are taken and I feel like I do so much because I know I can. What I am liking right now is the knowledge about this field, but my design skills and my creativity are at the highest levels right now and they will continue to rise higher, higher, and higher

The augmented reality technology is growing and improving as time goes by. I’ve always felt that in the future augmented reality will become a normal thing in our lives and it could be that we will be using this technology in our day to day life and I absolutely think that will affect all Industries regardless of what people say. It’s all so clear, because the fact that there is a lack of area developers and designers in the market, that is evidence or key evidence that AR will be something huge in the future. There has been a lot of speculation and theory in regards to this matter. The present is the present, and the farthest we can accurately predict it’s probably 1 or 2 years, but not 10 years in the future because we don’t know what is exactly going to happen and when is it going to happen. So the most accurate predictions, are the ones that predict the technology of the next year or two.

Image result for meeting 1 to 1

On Tuesday, at 11 a.m. I had a meeting with Jamie my lecturer in regards to the Research proposal for the dissertation and we discussed the idea of augmented reality and virtual reality technology. It also includes artificial intelligence that I could perhaps combine with the web and applications on the phone. But then I wasn’t being specific enough and so Jamie has suggested looking at technology under the name of XR. XR stands for extended reality, and it is bridging distances to access information, people, and experiences. Leaders are using XR to address some of the biggest pain points in Enterprise. Whether it’s workforce training, day-to-day productivity, all immersive customer experiences, extended reality offers the opportunity to redesign business without the limiting factor of distance.

I thought this was very interesting because I never heard of Extended Reality before nor have come across the term XR through browsing and exploring different technologies during my free time which is quite odd. Due to this, I believe this will be the subject that I will focus on. I need to identify however what is it that I exactly want to focus on in regards to Extended Reality, and this is something I am still working on figuring it out. Once I know what I want to focus on I will then start to write the research proposal over Easter holidays as that will be the best time to work on writing, as of currently I am busy enough as it is with the Broads Project.

But other than that, what’s next is to begin writing code for the project tomorrow (Thursday). That is the grid system, the pages that Zach and I myself worked on designing last week.

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

The following events have taken place today:

  • The development of the pages designed previous week has been started using HTML/CSS.
  • A 1-hour session/lecture with Dr.Aaron Bostrom explaining how to write the research proposal/dissertation.

Development

I have written the HTML & CSS code for the page that we will be using as a template throughout the whole grid system. Was it challenging and difficult to do this? not at all, I have been coding for a while now and so coding any design is within my capabilities and I am very confident in what I am capable of doing, I know my boundaries and limits, and a design like this is surely not one. The only major limitation in front of me is JavaScript since I am not highly skilled and knowledgeable of this programming language, but I am aware of the basics and it is how I can use GSAP to a certain level until I become better with JavaScript.

The way I have developed and coded the design is by using Flexbox & CSS Grids. To explain this, here’s the following code that constructs the layout:

.container {
    width: 100vw;
    height: 100vh;
    display: grid;
    grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr;
    grid-template-rows: 1fr 1fr;
    grid-template-areas: 'header header'
                        'content content';
}

 

With CSS Grids what I have done is first established a width and a height, without defining the width and height you cannot create a grid system. Without defining these values you will not be able to create columns and rows. Upon establishing these values, you can then define how many columns you’d like by simply writing the value of each column with space in-between. In this case, I am using the fraction unit. With CSS Grid Layout, we get a new flexible unit: the Fr unit. Fr is a fractional unit and 1fr is for 1 part of the available space. The following are a few examples of the fr unit at work. The grid items in these examples are placed onto the grid with grid areas.

Fractions are a responsive unit, which means they adapt to the width or height of the screen no matter what. 1 fraction will be the same as a mobile device, desktops, and tablets. Which means using this unit in CSS Grids is very powerful and will allow you to establish a responsive design easier and more efficiently. Indeed it is as well cross-platform and supports all browsers.

We can clearly identify that indeed the majority of modern browsers support using CSS Grids along with the usability of the fraction unit.

What’s going to happen tomorrow, Friday is the development of the other pages. It will be quick to establish the other pages since I will be using what I already made as the template, and in fact, it will be just a matter of changing the image and the information. Honestly, the challenging part of the development is the actual grid system and making sure it works with Jason’s framework, not only that but also creating animations that truly make this experience engaging and desired to be experienced.

Research Proposal Lecture/Session Tutorial

Dr. Aaron giving a presentation on how to prepare and write research proposals, including dissertations

I do have to admit after leaving that presentation room I felt enlightened and a lot more confident about my research proposal. The lecture made me contemplate on how I should be approaching writing the 1000 word proposal during Easter Break. The way Dr. Aaron has described what we need to do was engaging and interesting. Some of the things he has mentioned are as follows:

  • If you find yourself writing about something and it’s too easy, it’s not challenging enough.
  • You should aim to have 25-30 citations. That will demonstrate how much effort and research you have done to produce the dissertation.
  • The research proposal needs to explain and show the matter that you want to research, you also need to check if there are academic sources published online.
  • Look into something that makes you very interested, curious, and you want to find out more, otherwise, what’s the point?
  • You will struggle here and there, but this is indeed part of writing the dissertation.
  • The research proposal should contain academic sources that you have looked at and represent what you are going to research.
  • The dissertation should be answering a problem, you can also extend on existing research, but make sure to be careful of what you say and how you say it, including citing the source.

The presentation is also available for me to look at when I need to in case there is something I forgot or would simply like to use it as one of my references to help me with my writing. However, Dr.Aaron has been kind enough to allow me to schedule with him a one on one session in regards to discussing with him what I would like to write about and have a 2nd opinion, other than Jamies alone because writing this dissertation and research proposal for me is very crucial and is an important stage of my life. I’m going to graduate during the summer of the year 2020, and it’s amazing how time has flown by so quick. It’s not only that, but the dissertation has a large number of marks, I believe it’s equivalent to 60% of next year’s grading. I have to get a 1st (First Class), really I have to. I want to get employed if possible upon graduating, and I am aware of the difficulties of receiving a sponsored work visa, but if I am amazing and good enough, then surely a company would be willing to employ me.

It doesn’t have to be the UK, it could be anywhere else in Europe, North America, Canada, and so on. Mostly though I would like to work in Singapore simply because I really like the country and it’s growing and thriving technology. Thus, this concludes my post for today (Thursday) and I look forward to being productive tomorrow and developing the other pages along with my colleagues, the team!

Friday, March 29th, 2019

A busy and a productive day, once again I think I personally have achieved quite a bit during this day. The morning session kicked off right away at 9:30 AM, by the time everyone else and the team arrived it was precise 9:45 AM. We then split into doing the required tasks that we had to do in order to proceed with the project. The tasks were as follows:

  • Zach & Chloe had to design the map, which includes icons on the map and the general UI look of it.
  • Naomi had to code the landing page.
  • Ameer, myself, I had to code the content of the grid system. The content was contained in a file in Google Drive, where we have the essential and necessary Broads related files and the project.
  • Jason spent time working with Naomi and helping her code the landing page.
  • Corrina worked on further design enhancements and provided feedback where necessary.

What I have done

Just when I wanted to start coding the design that has already been coded on Thursday, I realized that I have lost the code and the files. I do remember saving the code and checking, but apparently, it seemed like I hadn’t. So I proceeded with coding the design/template once again, exact same thing as Thursday without any issues and problems. Once that has been done, I’ve opened Jason’s grid system file and simply modified one of the rows to fit the design. This procedure was straightforward. It was just a matter of copy-pasting code, HTML and CSS. Then that was it, the design fit perfectly into one of the grid’s cells.

You can take a look here

Coding the design to fit into Jason’s grid system was no challenge, and it was a flawless experience for me. Why? because throughout last year and this year I have spent a lot of time writing HTML/CSS/SCSS/ and a bit of JS for GSAP animations in freelance work and in my own time just exploring. So overall, I was happy and content with how I have done this. Here’s some of the code demonstrating one of the cells:

<!--ROW 1 COLUMN 1 -->

<div id="row1col1">
    <div class="container">
        <header>
            <div class="nav-c">
            <img src="logo.png" alt="logo" class="logo"> -- This is the logo
                <div class="grid"> -- This is the navigation indicator of the grid system
                    <div class="box active"></div> This box has an active class, which 
changes the color of the box
                    <div class="box"></div> These boxes are white
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                    <div class="box"></div>
                </div>
                </div>
            <h1 class="title">Oulton Broad</h1>
        </header>
        <div class="content">
            <img src="ar.png" alt="" id="ar-two"> - arrows
            <p>We know from flint tools found at Pakefield that early humans were living close to here 700,000 years ago. At that time Suffolk was part of mainland Europe. Since then what we now know as Oulton Broad has seen forests and seas come and go.</p>
            <img src="ar.png" alt="" id="ar-one"> - arrows
        </div>
    </div>
</div>

The above code is the code for Row 1 column 1, now all you’d need to do is copy paste that code and change it’s ID to Row 1 Column 2, because column 1 is already above, so all you’d have to do change is change the id to “row1col2” and you are done. You may also modify the information of each cell by simply editing the information above.

Simple and straightforward right? Completing the content of the grid system took a couple of hours, however, during those hours I was not looking at my screen the whole time and sitting by myself. I was, in fact, doing this work and at the same time speaking with my colleagues and working with them. We always asked each other how we are doing and what’s the progress, and in between, we would look at each other’s work and provide feedback. For example, while I was working I noticed Corrina was designing or working on some sort of icon for the experience. I then told her how funny or ridiculous it looked, but then she said it was still trying to figure it out.

That is just one of the examples because many conversations and ideas have been shared. It wouldn’t be a collaboration project if we all just gave other tasks and worked in complete silence right?

The Map

This is what Zach & Chloe have designed, and personally, I’m about 50/100 with this design. The problem is it looks like a photo to me more than an actual map, the red border around the whole map makes it look like a “photo” rather than a usable experience. It also looks like a design from 5-10 years ago. It’s mainly due to the red border around the map.  If I was to design the map here are some examples of what approach I would take.

Real Estate Search App (WIP) region filter search map room house guest design booking hotel direct app icons ux ui cuberto

Meeting Point App mobile app ui design ux uidesign app ios interface mobile clean map scheduleFitnessKingdom Integrations place map gym activity fitbit ios mobile dark health fitness

Transjogja app concept 1

These designs look way cleaner and visually appealing than what Chloe & Zach have designed. They are perfect demonstrations on the kind of approach I would take. In my eyes, these designs demonstrate functionality and the idea of applying modern designs, which means designs that are up to date with today.  I have mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but really, without a doubt, these designs above are far better than what has been made by Chloe & Zach.

So should I be frustrated? I don’t think so, because this is just my opinion and based on the opinions of others, they like the design, everyone else liked it, perhaps I’m being too picky? I don’t think that is the case, but because I’m a  UI Designer, I have a habit of nit-picking and visual design. The fact that everyone else likes the design, that means my opinion is diminished and is no longer relevant to the situation.

The Examiner

Further, into this day, an external Course Examiner has come and asked us for just 10 minutes of our time. I had a conversation with the examiner who was also teaching Interaction Design in Glasgow School of Arts. She asked me questions such as:

  • What do you think about the course so far?
  • What have you learned?
  • Are there things that can be improved?
  • Is Interaction Design explained enough?

The conversation wasn’t meant to be intimidating in any way, it was just something to help the examiner understand how we feel so far about the courses we are doing because these courses are brand new since they have been introduced last year. I told her that I am satisfied and have no issues with the course overall. I explained to her how I felt about the course and there is nothing majorly that I would personally want to change or improve, simply because I really didn’t have anything in mind, which is a clear indication that I truly don’t have anything to say for that regard.

The Examiner was really nice and didn’t make conversating difficult at all. A important question that she has asked and made me think quite a lot is if the course should introduce interaction with sensors and electronics, but then I responded with the fact that Interaction Design could potentially have different categories, it could be interaction for the web and apps, interaction with electronics, and perhaps a few more other categories. I told her that I am not particularly interested in physical electronics because I am heavily influenced by the digital world and so I would certainly just like to stick to websites and apps and that I could choose to do A.I, AR, VR, or XR in the future, it all really depends.

Upon concluding the conversation, I went to back to SA107 where I continued to code the content of the grid system. That was all I have done today. So what’s next? Around 4:30 PM Jamie has come to the room and told us that we need to prepare and work for Friday. Friday is testing day. I believe this means we will head to the location and test this experience with users!

We were then assigned tasks. My task: To code the map using an API. I will most likely be using Google Maps, and the main reason for that is because I used it for my first project back in year 1, XoMap. I still remember what I experienced and I will gladly apply the experiences and what I have learned into this project.

Week 6 – Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Having a coffee during the morning lecture

Week 6, this is a very important week where final preparations are being done in order to prepare for testing on Friday, 5h of April 2019. Testing is a crucial and important aspect of this project because we will be taking the work and the prototype we have constructed and created to the testers in the field. Users will try using the experience we have created. By running this test we will most certainly and likely find obtain results that reflect design flaws and issues with the user experience. My hypothesis in regards to testing is that users may experience navigation related issues and may comment on how the app looks, either negatively or positively.

I say this because I believe the grid system we have come up with is a un-common experience. We don’t know how people will feel about it, and because we are the creators of the experience and know how it works, we think it’s easy to use and that it’s straight-forward. However, to counter this, we made a page explaining to users how to use the grid system and how they should navigate. I’m on a scale that is balanced, but I’m certainly keen and interested to analyze the results we obtain. From my eyes, as a Designer, I see quite a few things we can to improve the design, and the improvements I’m thinking off are related to the images I mentioned above, but if it works for the people, and they like it, then what’s the problem? It’s just that my eyes as a Designer I like to make things pixel perfect and that is why I always see possible changes and edits.

Possible technical issues? This is something I am not sure of as of yet because when I coded the pages of the grid system (the looks), they looked perfectly fine on my mobile device Samsung S8. In Google Chrome developer tools there were also no layout problems on iPhone 5 and above. However, the browser can sometimes be deceiving. My experience in the past has shown that what you see with the browser’s development tools does not exactly reflect how it will actually look on the device. In order to make sure, you need to have the physical device and open the prototype with it. I’m not sure why this happens, it could be code compatibility with other browsers on the phones, that’s likely the problem. So, upon identifying any layout issues and experience problems, we can mitigate and investigate in order to eliminate these experience obstacles.

So far here’s what I have done this week in order to prepare for the testing day,

The design of each page has been changed from this

To this

So what happened? the header section and the content section are now equal in terms of space. Previously the header was occupying 60% of the viewport height, which is 60vh, the while the content below was occupying the remaining 40vh. But now they are 50 each. I had to increase the space of the content so I can move the top arrow to the center.

Also, a piece of key information has been added, “Ancient times”. The first row has the sub-heading “Ancient times” so we can tell users in what time period the information dedicated for. The 2nd row has the sub-heading Middle Ages, and finally, the 3rd row has “Modern times”. This is a good way to tell our users what has happened, and when it happened. It’s simple and clean enough, at least for myself and my team.

The Map – Coded By Jason Brown

During our morning lecture, on Tuesday, Jason has stated that he has coded the Map. I was confused for a moment because I thought that I will be doing the job, however, since Jason has done it, that has saved me the time of worrying about making the map. He’s done a very good job at it and it’s in a condition that is suitable for testing, although we are aware that are 1 or 2 bugs that need to be addressed such as:

  • Notice how when locations are switched or when the map is loading it fades out twice and back in real quick. I think this a simple problem to fix, and it needs to be addressed because it degrades the visual appeal of the experience.

What’s next?

The image colors of each row need to be adjusted, some images in the rows have the correct colors and some don’t. Ancient Times will be in Yellow, Middle ages in Blue, and Modern Times in pink/red. I’m currently waiting for the changes and edits of the images to be done by one of the Graphic Comm students, upon completion I will download the images and update the layout with the new images. For right now, that is what’s next, I believe tomorrow morning, more things may arise because I will be with the rest of the team.

Week 6 – Thursday, April 4th, 2019

One day before testing, this is the team preparing for Friday – Image Credits: Jason Brown

Thursday, a very productive and a busy day. The day before we head to the testing location where we will meet up with the initial testers that we had previously for this project once again. It was time for all of us as a team to focus and make sure we reach completion of the day successfully in order to make sure the final preparations are successful to conduct user-testing on Friday, the 5th of April.

So what happened? I had Zach provide me with the ZIP/File that contained the colored images. I proceeded with extracting the zip and the appropriate images have been modified to match the color code system of the grid.  Upon completing this, the final and a very important step relevant to being an Interaction Designer 100% are animations!

Video demonstrating the color of each row adjustment

Should I use Jquery Mobile?

After the tests and experiments, I have done with this out-dated framework I concluded no, absolutely not. Even Jason, my colleague agrees. But why? this has been explained in my previous post here: Week 3 & 4

The technologies I used were simple and straight forward, CSS Animations and a library under the name of Animate. Animate uses CSS to also run animations, however, because it has all the animations we need already made with CSS, why would we waste time making everything from scratch if we are going to produce the exact same result with the library eventually? so, to benefit from both worlds I have used Animate and CSS from scratch.

The following animations that I have made are as follows:

@keyframes fadein {
    0% {
        opacity: 0;
        transform: translateX(100px);
}

    100% {
        opacity: 1;
        transform: translateX(0px);
    }
}

What this line of code does is move an element 100px on the X-axis. Simple right? it fades in from the right if the translate code had a -100px, it would instead come in from the left.

@keyframes fadeindown {
    0% {
        opacity: 0;
        transform: translateX(100px);
    }

    100% {
        opacity: 1;
        transform: translateX(0px);
    }
}

A copy of the above, but this time the animation would launch from the top of the screen.

 

@keyframes fadeinleft {
    0% {
        opacity: 0;
        transform: rotate(90deg);
        transform: translateX(-100px);
    }

    100% {
        opacity: 1;
        transform: translateX(0px);
        transform: rotate(90deg);
    }
}

Another version, but this time the animation would come from the left

@keyframes scaleanim {
    0% {
        transform: scale(0);
    }

    100% {
        transform: scale(1);
    }
}

This is the code for an animation that would make the size of an image 100% from 0. Can be seen in action in the image below:

The welcome page with animation in action

Once the animations have been declared in the CSS file, you can apply to them an element like this:

.divclass {

animation: fadeinleft 1s ease-out;

fadeinleft is the animation name, 1s = duration, ease-out is easing.

}

With CSS animations you can do so much, it’s all up to you and your capabilities of being creative. Animations can be very complex to something that takes only one line of code to make and is a simple, yet powerful solution to a user-interface and the UX of an experience.

Image result for github logo

After all the code writing that has been done in the project so far, the key method of performing version control was using Github and Github Desktop. Every time I saved the file and have done a change, GitHub desktop notices the change and all I would have to do is click “push”, which means it would push the changes to the repository. Users with access to the repository can then download the latest files. This is how Jason and myself worked together and effectively.

All changes and downloads were shared back and forth, making the development process a lot more smooth. Personally, I have been using Github on all freelance projects that had development involved. A lot of massive institutions and organizations also use Github. Which proves how successful this platform is and how much it actually helps.

Repository Linkhttps://github.com/nua-bsc/broads-grid-swipe-and-tap-working-v2

The repository above contains a lot of hard work and effort by myself and the rest of the team, it is basically the product that has been produced through the previous weeks.

After all, today’s work, and the hard work of my team, the day has concluded and thus we are ready for testing tomorrow.

Friday, April 21st, 2019

The testing day has approached, a day which we have all worked very hard for and now it’s time to present our product to the testers at Beccles. Through the time period of the past few weeks, sweat, struggle, and effort has been all been poured into the prototype that we all have produced, together.

An image of Beccles

Beccles, around 9:30 AM we all meet at Saint Andrew’s, some of us have purchased coffees to prepare for this important day. We made our way to Beccles and got there around 10:30 – 10:45 AM where we meet our user testers who were the three members of the Women’s Institute who met us in Beccles on February 1st.

We also had our devices with us, which were the following:

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • iPhone 8

The devices have been chosen due to their effective size and operating systems. We had the power to test on android/Samsung systems and iOS, which is the iPhone. This also would let us know if there were would be any layout issues with the browsers, sometimes elements can look different on the phone itself, even when you have checked with common web development tools e.g Google Chrome.

Testing

The testing process was rather simple and straight forward, what I felt was most important to me during the process is paying attention to their reactions when it came to the animations. I carefully examined their expressions until I had the opportunity to talk to all three testers at once to discuss the animations with them. Anything UX related was not a priority for me, because it isn’t exactly my role and as an Interaction Designer, my focus was on my field, the animations and the effectiveness of these movements from one page to the other.

The phones had the app open and users were able to begin the experience right away. Namii and Corrina recorded notes during the testing, Jason was also doing the same. Naomi asked about the usability and has requested of them to complete small tasks such as seeing if they could find some components that they were struggling to find on their own or weren’t found. Finally, asking for their thoughts on how they were found using the app itself.

Corrina asked questions about the visual elements and the typography used throughout the app. She wanted to know if the design decisions that have been made were a success in the test. During this, Zach has also had some prototypes designed for signage and interpretation boards which he wanted some thoughts on.

The Results

  • Grid system works as expected and they enjoyed using it.
  • It’s easy to use the experience overall.
  • The speed of animations is good.
  • The animations are well integrated from one screen to the other.

When I asked them questions such as what they thought about the animations and if they were comfortable, they responded very positively and thought I have done a good job. They thought the app overall was executed professionally and us, as a team have done an excellent job. Of course, nothing is perfect and so there are a few issues here and there that need to be worked on and addressed. Here are some of the things that can be improved:

Testers struggled to,

  • Open the map, due to the button being at bottom of the screen.
  • Change the location of the map that is being shown.
  • Some of the language used in the app was too technical.
  • Some of the information was incorrect.
  • They suggested that instead of repeating animals in seasons where there were no unique animals found, the app should tell you that nothing new was found.
  • The testers wanted to go back to the beginning of the finder, but they couldn’t because there was no button to allow them to do this. All they could do was tap on the logo in the upper left corner to return back to the theme selection page.
  • They suggested that instead of repeating animals in seasons where there were no unique animals found, the app should tell you that nothing new was found.

Thoughts on Visual Design Elements,

  • The WI commented that the sails on a boat looked like arrows, perhaps these could be used to strengthen the identity.
  • The type size was big enough, but they wondered if the type would be easy for dyslexic users to read.
  • The WI liked the shape of the images and the buttons used in the app.
  • Corrina observed that some of the testers had started to use the browser back button rather than the one on the app, perhaps the one on the app is unnecessary.
  • The WI noticed that the heritage landing page image had a different color tint applied to it than the image for the heritage page button on the theme selection page. This was a bug with the prototype.
  • The WI didn’t understand what the Angles Way brand mark was supposed to represent.
  • They said it would be good to have an additional button on the app that informed the user of the kind of activities could be done in the area.

I take no credits for the making or the generation of the feedback information mentioned, thanks to Jason, Corrina, Naomi, Zach, and Chloe for the feedback above. I thought it was worth mentioning the feedback despite my role being an Interaction Designer. 

Concerns & Concluding Thoughts

Till this day, I still have questioned whether I contributed enough to the project or not. Realistically I have, and I have done my job and role successfully. However, there is still self-doubt remaining within myself in regards to this matter. I feel as if I have underperformed and could have done better. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so, because this kind of self-doubt arises in many designers, so therefore what I am feeling is simply self-generated and irrelevant.

Keeping this in mind I do believe why this self-doubt arose in the first place. It’s to do with the fact whether I have done my job properly or not. It’s obvious, isn’t it? so I conducted some research once again into the idea of what’s the difference between a UX Designer & an Interaction Designer. According to the Interaction Design Foundation, an Interaction Designer examines the interaction (via an interface) between a system and a user.  It may also incorporate design focused on how information should be presented within such a system to enable the user to best understand that information through this is often considered to be the separate discipline of “information design” too.

A UX Designer focuses on the overall experience between a user and a product. It is not just concerned with the interactive elements but also the way that certain elements look, feel or contrive to deliver certain outputs.

I think this way I have proved to myself to a certain degree that I have full-filled my role in this project. It’s just that I don’t myself interested in the idea of being part of UX. The process of researching and analyzing user data is not within my liking. I don’t enjoy it what so ever, hence why I am studying Interaction Design because this specialty is exactly what I love and enjoy. So whenever or if ever I have to look at UX related data and analyze it I will as if I am wasting my time, which means I would find any way to avoid the role of a UX Designer.

The idea of performing something that is irrelevant to me is a waste of time, at least for me that is. If I feel compelled to do something that I feel is irrelevant to me the product or the results generated from performing that task will be outrageous and incomplete. I hope I’m not wrong on a large scale here because I do believe I am correct.

This is also late, but I would like to mention that I perhaps should have spoken to my colleagues when I thought the design of the map needed more work, I’m not sure why I didn’t, but when I think about it now I should have said something. It’s really not good of me at all that I haven’t said anything and it quite bothers me because I am sure the outcome of the way the app has been designed would have been more interesting.

But other than that, overall the experience of this collaboration has been very enjoyable, gratifying, and educating. However, if I could repeat this experience I would probably do things and approach things way better than I did. Regardless, this is all part of the education I am receiving and is meant to be a learning experience.

What’s happening Next

Now it’s Easter vacation I’ll be going away for 10 days to see my family in a beautiful city named Alanya in Turkey. It has been for months since I have seen them. Since September to be precise. When I’m back ill be writing my research proposal which is another important and a serious task that I need to make sure I execute very well. I will also make sure to document my findings and all the reliable academic sources I find in a blog post as well.

Other than university-related work, I also have freelance work to do, a reasonable large project consisting of a 7-8 page website. Which pays well and will be a great experience and a piece of work to add to my portfolio.

Bibliography

The Interaction Design Foundation. (2019). What is the difference between Interaction Design and UX Design?. [online] Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-the-difference-between-interaction-design-and-ux-design [Accessed 17 Apr. 2019].