Week 2 – Process + Context


  • Discussed the relationship between process and context behind Interaction Design
  • Bill Verplank’s 8 distinct faces of Interactive Design:
1) Invention Stage: Error –> Idea, 2) Design Stage: Metaphor –> Scenario Development, 3) Engineering Stage: Task Analysis –> Modelling, 4) Representation Stage: Graphic Presentation –> Interaction/ Manipulation
  • Project ideas start with early visualisation such as diagrams or flows to help identify direction or missing information and the most appropriate next steps and a consensus about what the problem is that is being solved and what goals you are trying to achieve
Simple design process
  • During the design process, we must move beyond the sketches of concepts and onto interactive designs to validate the ideas/concepts and need to see the designs in use via prototypes that people can use. 
  • Observing the target audience and asking questions based on said observations is important for moving forward with the final process of an Interactive design


Important questions to consider for the context of your approach towards your interactive design are:

  • What people are trying to do
  • How they may try to do it
  • What gets in the way or helps
  • Where they might be doing it

Context scenarios define the situations, the people and their needs. The following questions are used to help prompt a context scenario:

  • What is the situation?
    • What’s the setting or environment in which the interface or the device will be used?
    • Is it public or private? Is it conducive?
  • Who will be using the device or interface
    • Will it be used by one person, or multiple people?
    • How long will the interface be used?
    • Will the person be able to focus on their task, or will they be interrupted while using it?
  • Does the experience need to be extremely simple?
    • How much complexity can be accepted?
  • What are the person’s needs and goals?
    • What are they trying to accomplish or complete?
  • Context is split into two categories: Context FOR use and Context OF use


I think the most vital segment of this lecture pod was the relationship between both the process and context. By first understanding the design process behind an interactive design project (that was mapped out for us) and then how the context scenarios define the situations, people and their needs was helpful in knowing why we take certain steps in the design process. I also found it extremely insightful and useful to learn about all the specific questions asked to prompt context scenarios as the data gathered from these questions are so beneficial to an efficient flow in progress during an interactive design project.

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