Posted in Discussion Questions

Usability 1O1

Reading assignment: read “User Experience Basics”, “User-Centered Design Basics”, “Visual Design Basics”, and “Accessibility Basics” + at least 2 other articles.

User Experience (UX) is a relatively new and growing field but it is a very important field.  Focusing on the importance of the user interface, the experience, and ease of navigation.  UX is only as important as the relevance of the information and the value that the user finds in what you are providing.  Peter Morville describes the values through a easy to understand UX Honeycomb.

User-Centered Design (UCD) is the phases throughout a design while getting an understanding the target audience of the product.  The goal for a “team” of UCD balance the need of the users, tasks, environments, and the employer.  This process involves identifying the needs of the people using the product and the business requirements.  Then hopefully after the designing stage, testing it with actual users.

The visual design portion is the eye-popping, audience captivating  component of any memorable site.  The lines, shapes, color palette, texture, typography, and form are all are important aspects to creating a successful site.  Some of the most important principles for visual design “pulling” it all together.  I believe the top three principles would be unity, space, and contrast.

Accessibility focuses on how disabled people interact with a site, system, or application.  Implementing accessibility increases the audience that can be reached.  Some key points

  1. not relying on color
  2. the ability to alt text such as magnifying text
  3. functionality
  4. In-sync captioning

My additional readings:

User-Centered Deign Map (not part of my additional reading)-  just a nifty chart that can help the design process

Interaction: The focus of this is the interaction between user and the technology.  Something I believe is very important to understand to help all potential audience.   The interaction chart/table asks question that help lead the programmer, employer, or designer down the proper path.

Content Strategy: Can be applied to many fields, not just design.  This is focused on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content.  Not just the text but the visual components.   One of the most important components is the ease of navigation.  Kristina Halvorson reiterates the importance of identifying what already exists, what should be increased, and why it should be created.


  1. What other readings did people choose? Random or something that peaked your interest?
  2. Like I stated earlier, I believe the top three principles of visual design are unity, space and contrast.  Example: PSSSSSSTT CAN YOU READ THIS NOW?  I bet you won’t be able to read what I wrote before this without highlighting the space.  This isn’t much better, this is slightly better,  and this is readable but an odd choice of color perhaps. If you could only use three of the principles (unity, gestalt, space, hierarchy, balance, contrast, scale, dominance, or similarity) which combination would you use to make a successful site? Why?
  3. Do you think there is anything else that can influence UX besides the ones mentioned?
  4. Can we apply this info outside of designing?



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