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In this assignment, you will begin to look at the world with “designer’s eyes,” reflecting on the things with which you interact, and the quality of that interaction. Pay attention to anything and everything with which you interact: from door knobs to software user interfaces, household appliances to automobile dashboards, alarm clocks to library kiosks. Reflect on how the interaction unfolds. Do you experience breakdowns? Why or why not? Do you notice the artifact because of a breakdown, or are you able to remain focused on your goal without thinking of the artifact per se ? When the interaction is successful, what properties of the design make it so? When the interaction is unsuccessful, do you find you employ workarounds to achieve your goal some other way?
Generate a list of design principles that apply to interaction in general. An example of a design principle is consistency, meaning that a design choice or convention is maintained throughout an entire product (internal consistency), and/or the choice or convention is found in other similar things (external consistency). Another design principle is appropriate feedback, meaning that the artifact presents its state to the user appropriately, especially after actions are taken. (Thinking broadly, feedback applies to many artifacts, not just software. Think about tactile and auditory feedback, not just visual feedback.)
You can find a lot of design principles online – But the intent here is for you to derive your own design principles from the two artifacts.
For your assignment, do the following:
Artifacts. Choose 2 distinct things that you interacted with. One artifact should be a thing whose design you adore, whose virtues you can extol to no end (a “beloved thing”). Choose another artifact whose design you hate; whose faults you can disparage forever (a “hated thing”). Write a 1/2-page description of why you love or hate these things, using the design principles derived in the second part. Which principles are violated? Which are upheld? Include an image of each artifact in your write-up. Write a paragraph (4-7 sentences) describing your specific interaction with each. Was it successful or not? In what ways? Where did breakdowns occur? Where did confusions occur? Most importantly, why did they occur? Did you use a workaround? What was it?
Induction. List 5 to 10 design principles that apply to BOTH interactions based on the experiences you had. Name each principle and describe the principle in 1-3 sentences. The design principles should be derived from the interaction with the 2 artifacts you chose. How do the design principles relate to why the loved one is loved and why the hated one is hated?
Your report should contain:
Your 2 artifacts with a paragraph description of each (with photos or sketches)
Your 5 to 10 design principles with short descriptions and how each apply to the artifact you adore and your “hated thing.”
Your report should be approximately 2-3 pages, single spacing, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. This is the suggested format.


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