In our latest batch of readings for our theory class, I was particular interested in deconstructing a lecture from Charles Pierce. He is considered “the father of pragmatism.” Given that he is a philosopher and logician, his lecture, “The Three Cotary Positions,” is particularly thick, and I found difficult to parse: which made it a great candidate for using diagrams to make sense of it! This brought to mind another reading, “Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking,” by Karl E. Weick, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, and David Obstfeld. So in this diagram, I’ve woven together both concepts to describe a process and relationship between abductive inference, synthesis, hypothesis testing, and sensemaking.
Click to download a PDF version
In IDSE302: Theory of Interaction Design and Entrepreneurship, professor Chris Risdon asked for a position diagram on the role and importance of technology in the world based on the last few weeks of readings. I used that theme as a jumping off point. In fact, technology, especially computing, is practically inescapable now. In the past, traditional HCI was approached from a positivist, rationalist way. But we now understand how important designing for emotion is, especially if you are trying to create products and services that can create and impact social change. What are some approaches that we can use as designers to account for emotion when building for impact? (Download as PDF)
This is the last iteration of our course scheduler wireframes for IDSE201, in which we bid a fond farewell—or good riddance—depending on how the process went. I must admit that this iteration and the last one were a complete struggle. The last iteration didn’t change much, but this time I found a little bit more inspiration and landed on something that I felt balanced the simplicity required for the user experience and that degree planning is pretty complex no matter how you slice it.
Once you cut through standard degree requirements, there’s not a lot of room for variation. The most room one has for adding courses is in a major, and that’s pretty much constrained by department. So this version of the scheduler organizes the classes you need to take in buckets wherein the range of choices is not particularly huge. I’m not totally satisfied with the handling of required classes versus pick one (or at least n) of the following courses.
During testing, all my participants were able to easily work their way through the flow, going from an empty schedule to a completed semester. Only the print and export buttons were somewhat hard to find, and surely there is a better way to say export, like “send to calendar,” but that fits in a button!
Jon Kolko says we go through the pain and frustration of interaction design so that our users don’t have to. Point proven.
The latest iteration of the course scheduler is available in PDF or Flash formats. Note the Flash version is manually controlled with forward and back buttons in the upper-right.
The gap between the second and third iterations of my course scheduling system was pretty big. That was necessary to fill in major pieces of missing functionality and fix some very broken interface elements. But the last iteration worked very well in testing, so this round has more minor revisions to it.
Things to look for are a cleaner schedule view with more legible typography. Changing sections brings up a modal dialog which puts the focus on finding a new section. This dialog also identifies sections that are in conflict with the existing schedule and prevents a student from adding them.
In the degree view, added courses were appended underneath the individual requirements tabs. This didn’t work for a couple of reasons. First, when courses were added, the user had no indication that they were added or where they went. Once many classes were added, there was way too much scrolling involved to find them. Secondly, the tabs imply that the courses are filtered by core, major, or minor which is true for the requirements, but all scheduled classes were shown regardless. In this version, there is now a default “my degree plan” tab which shows the scheduled classes. This alleviates the scrolling and inconsistency.
Looking to the next iteration, I’m considering ditching the entire degree view, sticking only with the schedule view, and moving the requirements tabs into a modal course selection flow.