Master Design - Proces vlog

Proces vlog #8: update van design research

In deze vlog breng ik je op de hoogte van de laatste koers wijzigingen en stappen binnen mijn design research. Zo ga ik mijn onderzoek aanscherpen en zal ik meer de focus leggen op magie. Deze wijziging komt naar het presenteren van mijn Design Methoden en het houden van mijn NP2 gesprek.

Wil je meer weten over de lessen die ik geef, kijk dan deze Radijs Ontwerp – Mini Vlog.

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Master Design - Artikel gelezen

Artikel gelezen: How Artificial Intelligence could help fill the gaps in UX design.

Dit artikel is relevant voor mijn onderzoek omdat ik in een van mijn trails onderzoek wil doen naar hoe andere sectoren omgaan met een gap/grijs gebied. Sectoren zoals: gaming, product, Artificial Intelligence. In dit artikel wordt dan ook behandeld hoe het grijze gebied tussen User Experience design en de individuele gebruikers kan worden opgelost met Artificial Intelligence. Iedere gebruiker is namelijk uniek en moet dus ook uniek behandeld worden.

Het artikel geeft aan dat Artificial Intelligence een oplossing kan zijn om het grijze gebied te overbruggen, maar dat de resultaten alleen goed zullen zijn als de data, die aangeleverd wordt, ook goed is.

Lees op de website van Usability Geek het volledige artikel.

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Master Design - Artikel gelezen

Artikel gelezen: Design thinking needs to think bigger

Dit artikel is relevant voor mijn onderzoek omdat we in deze master bezig zijn met het Social Design. Design Thinking is hier een onderdeel van.

Het artikel geeft aan dat Design Thinking al meer dan 15 jaar oud is en toe is aan een nieuw jasje. En komt met System Thinking als oplossing. System Thinking ziet collecties van onderlinge afhankelijkheden als een reeks die een relatie met elkaar hebben en vind dat de gevolgen die minstens zo belangrijk zijn als de individuele componenten zelf. We moeten ons gezichtsveld verbreden en verder kijken dan ons eigen probleem en de maatschappij, de wereld, als een geheel zien en daarbinnen met een oplossing komen.

Wat ik hier vooral interessant aan vind is dat Don Norman[1] in een podcast met de mannen van uxpodcast.com juist weer heeft gezegd dat we moeten stoppen met nadenken, ga het gewoon doen. We moeten als ontwerpers minder gaan Design Thinking, maar meer Design Doing. Denken is makkelijk, het daadwerkelijk doen is moeilijk.

Lees op de website van Fast CO.Design het volledige artikel.

[1] Design doing with Don Norman (Part 1) – april 15, 2016 – uxpodcast.com en Design doing with Don Norman (Part 2) – april 22, 2016 – uxpodcast.com

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Don Norman vs. Herbert Read - interaction and visual design

Emotion vs. function

 

In this article I try to figure out my main trail. I try to get hold of the binding factor of interaction and visual design. In my previous article (Emotion gives direction to the design research) I wrote that it could be that emotion was the binding factor. I also stated that, in my opinion, it cannot only be emotion that is the binding factor. I then started reading Herbert Read, someone who puts function above emotion.

Therefore I try to form an opinion in this article, about what is more important to me: emotion or function. To this end, I try to understand the visions of both Don Norman and Herbert Read. Two persons who are pioneers in the designing world.

Herbert Read

Herbert Read is a poet, art philosopher and art critic. In the early twentieth century he wrote numerous books on art and aesthetics. He was editor of the Burlington Magazine (a critical magazine on contemporary art), he was a curator of the Victoria & Albert Museum and he was co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Read, is a big believer of function, Read is what you can call a real modernist. Modernism is about discovering ways of finding new art(forms). It is mainly about redefining art. This trend developed abstract art.

In his book Art and industry[1] he writes: “In general, there is nothing we make and use that does not engage our senses in the performance of some organic function. Even if there is no physical contact with manufactured things, we must look at them, and the eye itself is an organ subject to organic laws of perception: to reactions, however subtle, of pleasure and pain. We may therefore conclude that the organic principle is basis to all our activities, that we design relation to bodily functions.”

Herbert Read was also someone who came from a period of mass production. A period in which an artist designed products that then could be consumed by the mass. Inside this method, Read believed that the factory had to adapt to the artist and not the other way around.

Herbert Read

Don Norman

As I described in my previous article, Don Norman is Director of The Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, and is renowned for his expertise in design, usability, and cognitive science (he wrote numerous articles on these subjects). He is also co-founder and adviser at the Nielsen Norman Group.

In contrast to Read, Norman is about combining emotion, story and function. And he is what you call a postmodernist. Postmodernism is a reaction to modernism and is about questioning existing stories of religion, politics, science and art. It is based on reflection, possibilities and progress.

Norman gives us a beautiful example of this in his book Emotional design[2]. Here he addresses three different aspects when talking about emotion (you can find this in my previous article: Emotion gives direction to the design research). One of these aspects is the reflective aspect, what stories can I tell a about a product? And takes his three teapots as an example. They are not all functional, but he can tell a nice story about them.

Teapost - Don Norman

 

Another example of his postmodernism comes to light in his conversation with the men from uxpodcast.com[3]. Here he says that we always doubt the truthfulness. There must be a conversation, because only then, we can become smarter. When talking about emotion he says, in this podcast, that they are generated by different systems in the brain with different time mechanisms that also start in different ways.

All this relates to someone who comes from a period where the user is the focus point. If a consumer (user in this case) cannot find what he/she is looking for, they will go online to produce what they want.

Don Norman

Conclusion

I believe that both emotion and function play an important part in the design process. Although emotion has become more relevant in the 21st century, and Norman is therefore more relevant, I think we are aware of the basics where we design for and we do not forget that what we design will always relate to our body functions (as Read says). I am interested in how we give emotions to functional objects. This is something I want to investigate further.

Overview research

After I had spoken to my coach, I now sorted my trails differently. The main trail must investigate the binding factor between interaction and visual design. Here is where I am looking into emotion and the overarching aspect. My side trail will look into what a good flow is. These two trails should lead to possible follow-up steps. I will leave the second side trail (Other sectors, Gaming, Product, Artificial Intelligence) for what it is, for now.

[1] Read, Herbert, and Herbert Edward Read. Art and industry: the principles of industrial design. Faber and Faber, 1966.

[2] Norman, Donald A. Emotional design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. Basic books, 2004.

[3] Design doing with Don Norman (Part 1) – april 15, 2016 – uxpodcast.com en Design doing with Don Norman (Part 2) – april 22, 2016 – uxpodcast.com

Onderzoek - lezen

Emotion gives direction to the design research

The research on the grey area between interaction- and visual design is full on. I started reading articles and books. Critically evaluating the articles and looking for authors can help me in my research on user experience and graphic design. This way I try to give direction to my path of design research.

 

The different trails

For now, I work with the premise that emotion can be the binding factor between interaction- and visual design. I have written out trails I would like to look deeper into and explore what literature I want to use for that. These trails I have split into smaller trails. In the main trail I want to look into whether emotion can be a binding factor in interaction and visual design. To look into this a bit deeper I have set out two side trails. The first side trail is: how workflow and processes (such as agile, Co-design) have been set up and what can be done to get these two workflows closer together. While I was doing my research in the library I walked past a rack with gaming magazines, I came up with the idea to deepen how other sectors (such as gaming and product design) deal with emotion and flow. I have the feeling that within the designing of games emotional and rational thinking are more linked. So this will be my third trail.

 

How do other sectors deal with emotion

Because I wanted to look into the side trail; how other sectors deal with emotion, I started reading “To sell is human[1]” from Daniel H. Pink. Daniel H. Pink has a background in law at Yale Law School. He was speechwriter of Vice President Al Gore. Has worked at The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times and National Geographic Channel (mostly traditional right-wing organizations). According to him, sales also involve emotions. He also says you should treat everyone like you would treat your grandmother and, as a salesman, you need to ask yourself two questions: Will this better my life? Will this make the world be a better place? It comes down to three basic principles that are necessary to make an emotional connection with your customers.

  1. Attunement
  2. Buoyance – Make it targeted so that people have reason to understand the announcement.
  3. Clarity – Make it personal, try to move people through empathy.

I did also read “Customer Emotional Needs in Product Design[2]” from H. M. Khalid and M. G. Helander, a scientific article from 2006. Martin G. Helander works at the Technical University of Singapore and there he is doing research in the field of human factors engineering and ergonomics. He has previous published articles and books at Elsevier. He also published “A Guide to Human Factors and Ergonomics.” He wrote this article with Halimahtun M. Khalid, who is director of Damai Sciences Centre For Industrial Research and she is an independent researcher with experience in experimental psychology. She has published previous articles and books at CRC Press, before they published: Advances in Modeling Ergonomics and Usability Evaluation.

In their opinion we do not look into emotion in products enough and they wrote that emotions are one of the strongest differentiators in user experience. It calls on both conscious and unconscious reactions to a product, website, or system interface. Emotions are twofold. On the one hand you have the affective system that reacts intuitively and out of experience, this something that happens quickly. On the other hand you have the cognitive system, it responds analytical and rational, this something that happens more slowly. There are five criteria that must be taken in account when it comes to measuring and evaluating emotions, namely: dynamic, context, reliability, validity, and measurement errors.

They often refer to Don Norman, who has written a lot about emotion. Therefore, it was logical that I would read his book “Emotional Design Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things[3]‘, Don Norman is director of The Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego and is known for his expertise in the field of design, usability and cognitive science. He is also co-founder and advisor of the Nielsen Norman Group. In his book “Emotional Design”, he stresses that we should include emotion in any form of design and therefore it is a binding factor. Design consists of three different aspects: emotional, behavioural, and reflective:

  • Intuitive (emotional) design has to do with the visual appearance of the design.
  • Behavioural design has to do with the pleasure and the efficiency of the usage.
  • Reflective design has to do with rationalization and stepping away from the emotional aspect of a design. Can I tell a story with it? Does it tell who I am as a person?

 

Looking deeper into the mail trail

While I am researching the emotional aspect I am wondering more and more if this is the binding factor. Does it not transcend emotion? Just at that moment I read Don Norman quoting Herbert Read in his book. In the early twentieth century, he wrote numerous books on art and aesthetics, and he says this: “it requires a somewhat mystical theory of aesthetics to find any necessary connection between beauty and function”[4]. This quote makes my point. In my opinion I will have to look at it on a higher level and look into what that mystical theory of aesthetics actually is. The book “Art and industry, the principles of industrial design” by Herbert Read will be a good starting point.

[1] Pink, Daniel H. To sell is human: The surprising truth about moving others. Penguin, 2012.

[2] Khalid, Halimahtun M., and Martin G. Helander. “Customer emotional needs in product design.” Concurrent Engineering 14.3 (2006): 197-206.

[3] Norman, Donald A. Emotional design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things. Basic books, 2005.

[4] Read, Herbert, and Herbert Edward Read. Art and industry: the principles of industrial design. Faber and Faber, 1966.

Start master - Research design

First glance at my research

Both interaction- and visual design is conceptual work; it is a process from concept to solution. A process of elimination, feeling and believe that the solution, which you as a designer workout, contributes to the intended goal. But both interaction- and visual design, are two separate processes. In both processes you have to deal with, in varying degrees, rational and emotional thinking. An interaction designer tries to understand human behaviour. What happens if I click ‘here’? And a visual designer (graphic designer) tries to convert it to something that seems attractive.

There are many articles about the interaction- and visual design process, there are many design rules and there are many companies who are already working on this topic. For instance; Adobe for years has been working on a program to merge the process of interaction (making prototypes) and visual design together, without success they developed Adobe Catalyst. Now they are on their way with Adobe XD, but they still have a long way to go. The creators of Sketch also have been trying for years to merge the two processes of interaction and visual design, but they are not there either. Google probably came closest with their Material Design Rules, but unfortunately this is just a trend and will not stand the test of time. How is it that we still cannot connect these design rules properly?

This research will cover the grey area between interaction and visual design. It starts with the hypothesis that many interaction designers cannot completely let go of the interaction process when they are designing visually and experience the full freedom that a graphic designer has. There also is no proper way to apply interaction if you are designing visually.

 

areas of tension

In this research, there are a number of areas of tension that are interesting and need to be further investigated.

Interaction design vs. Visual design

This is the first one and most obvious one. There are a few questions that need to be further investigated.

  • Where does the magic happen between these two disciplines?
  • What is the community doing with this subject?
  • Many agencies/companies have different descriptions for the same function, why is that?
  • What has already been done to narrow the gap between interaction-, visual design and development and what lessons can we learn from this?
  • Is there anything we can learn from the way graphic design companies made the transition for print to digital design?

Client vs. End user

The main thing here is communication. What does the client wants the end user to do and what are the needs of the end user? There is a lot of static in the communication. This affects the process of the interaction and visual designer. How can the communication be optimized and what can both the end user and the client gain from this?

Rational vs. Emotional

With this it all may come together. Because both the interaction-, the visual designer, the client and the end user are dealing with rational and emotional actions that can have an impact on the process. Why does this affect our actions and can we change this? And how does this all affect product and digital design?

Apart from these fields of tension it is very interesting to look at large companies and what they have already been doing to solve this problem. Before Adobe XD there was Adobe Catalyst that tried to bring interaction-, visual design and development together. However, this never really took off. Why not, and what can we learn from this? It is also interesting to take a closer look at how Google has made the Google Material Design rules. Because it looks like interaction- and visual design are coming together with these rules. How did they get to this point? Are these rules set up by the multiple disciplines and if so, how have they managed to bring these rules together? And a good question is; is it at all possible to bring these disciples together?

By building a bridge between interaction- and visual design it is possible to anticipate to the needs of the end user. Research will have to prove which design rules go together and which rules will not. In the end of this study I hope to find a perfect combination of design rules. Only in this way we can delivered an application, website or product with the needs and desires of both the clients and the end users.

Design Research - Geschreven artikel

Mapping 1.0 en eerste research

De eerste stappen zijn gezet voor de Design Research. Er is begonnen met verzamelen van de eerste artikelen, video’s en boeken. Ook is de eerste versie van de onderzoeksmap klaar (zie hieronder). Wees gerust, het is nog lang niet compleet er komen er nog veel meer.

Nu de eerste stappen zijn gezet moet ik ook meteen even reflecteren. Ik heb namelijk het gevoel dat ik meer moet divergeren. Misschien ben ik nu al te veel aan het convergeren. Het voor mij namelijk duidelijk is dat het onderzoek moet gaan over het spanningsveld tussen interactie- en visueel ontwerp, waarom het werkproces niet kan samen worden gevoegd en wat dit voor zowel de eindgebruiker als de opdrachtgever kan opleveren. Hierdoor ben ik ook al heel gericht aan het zoeken naar artikelen, video’s en boeken. Daarom denk ik dat ik mijn onderzoek moet verbreden, alleen dat is nog best moeilijk, maar daar zal intuïtie wel om de hoek komen. Intuïtie, is onderdeel van een leerproces, dit leer je door op zoek te gaan naar bronnen en steeds meer merk je wat relevant voor je is en wat niet.

Mapping grijs gebied interactie- en visueel ontwerp

Beeldcultuur

Kim de Groot en Maarten Brandenburg (beiden lid van artist collective Mona Lisa’s) gaven op donderdag 2 februari 2017 een lezing over (online) beeldcultuur. Het moest ons als studenten bij brengen dat beeld ook onderdeel is van het verhaal dat je wilt vertellen. Wat ik het meeste heb meegenomen van deze lezing is dat ze aangaven dat ons gedrag is gebaseerd op imiteren. Dit is iets wat aansluit bij interactie ontwerp. Als er namelijk iets nog niet bestaat op interactie gebied, of het is nog theoretisch, kijken we naar de wereld om ons heen en imiteren we daar elementen uit en passen dat toe op onze ontwerpen.

 

Inzoomen op het onderzoek

Een van de artikelen die ik nu aan het lezen ben is: “Customer Emotional Needs in Product Design” van H. M. Khalid en M. G. Helander. Met dit artikel probeer ik te kijken naar het emotioneel- en rationeel denken dat van toepassing is bij product design en of hier overeenkomsten zijn met webdesign. Ik probeer nu uit te zoeken hoe emotie nu al wordt toegepast en hoe hangt dit samen met het rationeel denken. Wat interessant is bij dit artikel is dat er wordt besproken dat emotie- en rationeel denken aan elkaar gelinkt zijn. Onze emotie zorgt ervoor dat wij affectieve reacties geven, daardoor reageren we snel op iets. Onze ratio zorgt ervoor dat wij cognitieve reacties geven, die ervoor zorgen dat iets langzamer tot ons doordringt.

Ook Don Norman heeft veel gezegd over emotie in designprocessen. Zo beschrijft hij in zijn boek “Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things” de verschillende vormen van emoties waar wij als mens mee te maken krijgen. Daarnaast past hij dit toe op de verschillende alledaagse producten. Hij beschrijft ook dat het moeilijkste van emotional design is dat we geen emotie in het product kunnen stoppen, omdat het nu heel erg over product design gaat roept het ook meteen weer een heleboel vragen op. Is dit vraagstuk naar iets tijdloos te vertalen? Een van de dingen die meteen in gedachten opkomt is Artificial Intelligence (AI) hoe beïnvloed dit onze toekomst op het gebied van interactie- en visueel ontwerp? Worden wij als ontwerpers niet overbodig?

 

Multidisciplinair

Dan staat er nog een andere vraag open. Namelijk hoe komt het dat de werkprocessen van interactie- en visueel ontwerp nog zo vaak worden gescheiden, hoewel deze twee zoveel verband met elkaar hebben. Veel teams werken al wel samen met elkaar en de werkprocessen lopen ook steeds nauwer. Bij de grote bedrijven zijn deze processen echt gescheiden. De wat kleinere bedrijven voegen de werkprocessen al meer samen, maar dit gebeurd vaak uit noodzaak omdat de capaciteiten vaak minder zijn. Maar echt de processen samenvoegen, omdat het een meerwaarde heeft voor de opdrachtgever en eindgebruiker, gebeurd nog niet. Waarom niet en wat kan hier aan gedaan worden?

 

Hoe nu verder?

De volgende stappen voor het onderzoek op dit moment zijn verder verdiepen in (agile) werkprocessen, daarbij uitzoeken wat Stephen Hey (auteur van het boek Responsive Design Workflow) te zeggen heeft over processen, waarom wordt er niet meer samen gewerkt. Volgens Cennydd Bowles bestaan wireframes niet, visueel in belangrijker. Dit is een interessant statement en dus waard om uit te zoeken. Daarbij zijn Clearleft en Eend bedrijven die er minder moeite mee hebben om interactie- en visueel ontwerp te combineren, hoe doen zij dit en wat doen zij hiervoor. En als laatste is het misschien goed om te kijken naar een bedrijf als q42, hier wordt interactie en development juist samen gebracht. Wat kan hiervan worden geleerd? Natuurlijk moet daarnaast ook nog zowel het emotionele als rationele aspect van het ontwerpen verder worden onderzocht.

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