Reading About Face

About Face is a popular book in the interaction design community. Written by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, Christopher Noessel and David Cronin, it covers the essentials of interaction design and is packed with deep insights. Reading this book has changed the way I think about and approach interaction design, and here are my three key takeaways.

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Three Steps to Making Visual Designs Lively and Interesting

Whether we are designing an app, a website, or a presentation deck, creating visuals for multiple screens or pages can be a challenge. We seem to run out of inspirations quickly. We may have one or two interesting ideas in mind, but after we exhaust those ideas, our designs tend to be repetitive, dull and boring.

What’s the best way to tackle this challenge so that we can consistently produce visuals that are interesting and dynamic? Here’s a three-step approach that I found helpful.

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Poorly Designed Interface Makes Oven Hard to Use

We talk a lot about the designs of mobile apps and websites. Companies, start-ups hire the best designers to craft the best UX for their digital products, but we seem to ignore the UX of physical products. User interfaces of a lot of home appliances, such as oven, stove top, dish washer, washing machine, are often not intuitive and hard to use.

Recently I moved into a new apartment and tried to cook. I was confused by the buttons and knobs on the panels of an oven and ended up spending much time trying to figure out how to turn it on.

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Brainstorm Product Features Quickly Using the 5W1H Framework

What if you’re asked to propose to a prospective client a new feature for their existing product. You’ve never worked with this client before, and you’ll need to finish all this in a short period of time. How will you handle this challenge?

Recently, the design team I’m in was tasked with something similar. I proposed the idea of using the 5W1H framework to the team and moderated the brainstorming session. It turned out to be an effective one and help us come up with interesting new product features.

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