My experience, having missed one class in web development, has become an eye-opening one of feeling behind. I can definitely appreciate the in-person instruction for this type of material, since I do find it rather hard to play catch up later merely due to motivational barriers. Sure box model theory is not hard on its own, but it’s far more interesting to learn in a classroom setting around peers undertaking the same challenges than it is on your free time when you are enticed to do other social activities.
UX class has been my personal favourite, since I can now see the philosophy of user-centric design as being critical for product development of any kind. In the last two weeks, we had focused on card sorting, practicing sketching, understanding the logic involved in mapping out information architecture to design something organic that makes sense to the user. Next up, was understanding icons used for interfaces, specifically skeumorphic icons, which often look like simplistic icons of their real-word counterparts (much like how the icon of a discard function would look like a trash bin, for example). Such icons are inherently understood based on users’ familiarity with their real-world uses.
Currently, I’m catching up on a fun exercise which involves designing a login sign-up process for a mobile dating app. While we seem to understand the basic steps involved, the challenge lies more in creating something that captures all the required privacy and personal information from the user, without it being annoying and daunting to a point where users just drop off.
I personally find this challenge interesting since it involves a little bit of empathy, while also incorporating elements of marketing to keep users engaged in the initial phases of interacting with a product. For example, during a long sign-up experience, it may be helpful to add pictures of attractive singles (end-goals wanted from the product) throughout the empty space to encourage completion of their signup. It’s also interesting to account for problems involved such as having more active male users than female users and how to correct for imbalances in messaging. For now, I’m just tackling the basics! Voila and until next time!