The question of the week embedded in each of the readings seems to be what is interaction design. Calde & Cooper (n.d.), Rheingold (1992) and Hurst (2002) focus on knowing not just who the user is, but also about knowing the goal the user wants to achieve, and designing for that goal to be achieved. Rheingold (1992) states that “We ought to be asking what tasks people need to accomplish, what tools are most appropriate for those tasks” (p. 7). This could be labelled as goal directed design or task oriented design.
Calde & Cooper (n.d.) propose the following steps to achieve goal directed design:
- Interview and observe customers
- Discover their goals
- Create an archetypal user
- Design something that satisfies the archetypal user
It is important to note that Calde & Cooper (n.d.) were talking of their clients in the above process. The steps in isolation, would be able to be used for clients walking into a shop, using a vending machine, using a website to make a purchase among other commerce transactions. There is no specific context, nor is there any information about how to make the product interactive. It is more about the designer knowing who the user is and what the goals they would like to achieve are, then designing for the user to complete the set goal/s.
Similarly, Hurst (2002) provides goal oriented design steps. Hurst (2002) states that “users either click toward the goal, or they click the Back button” (p.1). In order to make sure the user completes their required task, rather than clicking the Back button, Hurst (2002) proposes the designer to:
- Identify user’s goals on each page
- De-emphasize or remove any page elements (or areas of a site) that don’t help to accomplish this goal
- Emphasize (or insert) those links, forms, or other elements that either take users closer to their goal, or finally accomplish it
While the above steps are more suited the context of the online world than Calde & Cooper (n.d.), I believe Hurst’s (2002) model is also suited to the e-business world where there is a targeted group of people and there could be clear goals on each page or site and the user is driven to those goals. Only have on the page what you require on the page. Remove what is unnecessary. Assist your user to complete the task they need to complete!
I am interested to know your thoughts – I selected two iPhone pages (the first two that came to mind) – what is the goal of each page? Is it obvious? Which one meets the model of knowing the user and their goals, then designing for that user and their goals?