This week’s wireframing assignment was a very slow and difficult process for me. One being that social media is not a priority for me, and second being I’m only affiliated with two platforms — Facebook and Linkedin. This meant I had to download a few more for research, but since I had no content or friends / followers on them, there was a limit to the information I could access. I used Facebook as my inspiration and mocked up this user flow map and prototype:
^ I will make this more legible at some point.
Nick is an account executive at a PR agency. He is the human equivalent of a golden retriever — friendly, social, and always looking to make deep and meaningful connections. He finds it cumbersome that when he meets someone new, he needs to access multiple social media platforms separately to befriend/follow them. I want to create a social media management app that allows users to access and manage all their social media platforms and broaden their networks from one dashboard.
His temporary solution: Dental Floss
It’s funny to think about the things we don’t think about. We take good design for granted and only notice the bad because it requires more thought/effort/patience than we are willing to afford. Krug and Weinschenk take similar approaches in their analysis of UX thinking by first outlining human limitations and behaviors, and demonstrating approaches design can therefore take to make interactions/information efficient and accessible. After reading, I looked to my opened tabs and frequently visited websites including Facebook, Gmail, Youtube, The Times etc., where conventions, hierarchies, and grouping are present and clear. It didn’t take very long for me to forget I was observing (read: skimming) altogether and go about my business.
For this week’s project, we are tasked with designing a physical object that can sit on a desk that allows a user to count up or down (one object accomplishes both behaviors). The target audience is someone who wants to keep a numeric tally and have a physical reminder of their progress to display for themselves and others on their desk. The single object should allow the user to easily record single increments of change – either counting forward toward a target or backwards from it. Below are two personas related to the assignment:
Maria is a 30 year old PR Account Manger working at Havas. She finds her job boring and lives for her vacation. Some days she feels she cannot make it to 5pm without knowing that there is a vacation on the calendar. Maria is constantly tracking the number of days until her next vacation. She is looking for a fun way to motivate herself by tracking the number of days until her next vacation.
Marco is a Sales Rep for google. His job is stressful and he has developed a bad habit of drinking too much coffee. He is trying to cut back because he can’t sleep at night. This winter he is up to 4-5 cups a day. Jon loves coffee and doesn’t want to quit, he just wants to scale back from almost 30 cups a week to a limit of 15 cups per week. marco is looking for a way to easily track his coffee consumption by counting the number of cups he drinks each week.
We’ve all had bouts of existential crisis at work doing the same mundane tasks again and again. I certainly have. My project idea draws inspiration from Camus’ interpretation of Sisyphus, which heralds him as an absurd hero. Although the gods punished Sisyphus to roll a boulder up and downhill for all of eternity, he is freed upon accepting the absurdity of his fate and chooses to be happy. I think this philosophy is a healthy one to keep in mind in the workplace.
I placed Sisyphus on an ellipse to emphasize eternal loop. The user can count up/down from 0-99, and the number is displayed through a magnifying glass fixed in the boulder. Should the user choose to count up, they can subject our hero to rolling the boulder uphill by turning the wheel clockwise. To count down, they are able to visualize the boulder rolling downhill by turning the wheel counter-clockwise.
My favorite objects are my Westcott transparent rulers. In my opinion, they epitomize good design. I have several and use them daily for pattern drafting and measuring for fabrication.
This ruler is life-changing for the following reasons:
- Beveled edge – tip of the pen/pencil/knife rests against the edge of the ruler for precise marking and cutting.
- Measurement starts at the edge of the ruler – there are rulers that start up to 1/8″ from the edge, which I find frustrating and counterintuitive. When working with fussy designers or having to increase/decrease room or length in a garment proportionately, the smallest increments matter. Even though I technically know what certain measurements should look like, those rulers still trip me up from time to time.
- Transparency – ability to see through the ruler and draw lines relative to other lines on the page is important. Parallel lines are a breeze to draw with these rulers!
- Thin and lightweight
- 2″ Grid calibrated to 1/16th of an inch – industry standard measurements.
- Red gridlines – don’t conflict with pencil and dark pen markings.
- Flexibility – able to bend and measure curves.
- Laminated for durability – sometimes for the sake of convenience, we make markings on the ruler itself and as time goes on, we wind up with a marked up ruler and have to replace it. The lamination does not pick up pencil/pen marks.
A frustrating user experience I have daily is with my sneakers. The 1609 Adidas Originals ZX Flux ADV are lightweight, well-padded with interior cushioning to conform to the foot and have a sock-like fit. I like the aesthetic and they are great for running and cruising, but the problem is putting them on. I can’t put them on fast. Due to the lightweight material, the heel immediately collapses downwards and the tongue pushes inwards as I inch my foot in. The elegant way to put on this shoe requires me to bend down, hold the tongue in place and use a shoehorn before putting my foot in. I am not an elegant person so I always end up having to fish the tongue out from underneath the laces and pull the topline out from under the heel of my foot.
My solution is to add a heavier padding at the tongue, topline and heel cap to stabilize those areas of the shoe. I never have this problem with my skate shoe (pictured below) precisely because it’s so heavily padded. Ideally, if I can marry the two pairs of shoes, it would solve all my problems and I can own one less pair of sneakers.