Applied Interaction Design
Illustration by John Hersey

Applied Interaction Design

with David Hogue

Video: Establishing a sense of place

Here we are back on the original Hansel and Petal website. Now, remember in our customer scenario we have a husband who wants to buy a two-flower bouquets for mothers day. One for his wife and one for his mother. And in order to do that, we're going to need to look and see what types of bouquets are available and that means navigating more deeply into the site. So lets check out and what Hansel and Petal offer in terms of their flower arrangements and. We're just going to go to the arrangements page and sure enough here we are. Floral arrangements for any occasion. Now we've got some of the same problems we've already discussed.

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Watch the Online Video Course Applied Interaction Design
1h 49m Beginner Jul 11, 2013

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Dave Hogue has been studying how people interact with digital devices and interfaces for over 15 years, and knows how design can make or break a website. In this course, he shares a hands-on approach to improving interaction design for a better user experience on the web. This course breaks down the components of an example site, from its homepage to categories, content, and the shopping cart, and introduces common customer scenarios that can be used to identify opportunities for improvement. You'll learn how to enhance navigation, gather feedback after interactions, manage content layers, and add features such as infinite scrolling, collapsible modules, and dynamic content to enrich the user's experience. Then compare the before and after websites to understand why these techniques make them more engaging and effective.

Topics include:
  • Defining a customer scenario
  • Improving navigation
  • Working with content in grids
  • Establishing a sense of place on category pages
  • Exploring infinite scroll and pagination methods
  • Using tooltips to deliver contextual content
  • Working with light boxes and layers
  • Improving form structure
  • Handling errors and presenting effective error messages
  • Comparing the original site to the enhanced site
Subject:
Web
Author:
David Hogue

Establishing a sense of place

Here we are back on the original Hansel and Petal website. Now, remember in our customer scenario we have a husband who wants to buy a two-flower bouquets for mothers day. One for his wife and one for his mother. And in order to do that, we're going to need to look and see what types of bouquets are available and that means navigating more deeply into the site. So lets check out and what Hansel and Petal offer in terms of their flower arrangements and. We're just going to go to the arrangements page and sure enough here we are. Floral arrangements for any occasion. Now we've got some of the same problems we've already discussed.

We're not in control of the carousel. I see the hand cursor so I know I can click on it, but I'm not getting any feedback. The text badge is not drawing my attention. But the biggest problem as we start to navigate into this site is I move down one more level into mixed arrangements. And I see from the page header that I'm on mixed arrangements. But the navigation bar isn't telling me which section of the site that I'm in. And now I don't know how deeply I have moved into the site. I'm actually two clicks in, but there's nothing to tell me where I am on the website relative to the home page.

So, let's take a look at the modified website, and see what recommendations we're making to improve that. First off, we're going to go to the Arrangements page. We're going to see floral arrangements for any occasion. You'll see now I'm in control of my carousel. But you'll also notice two changes at the navigation bar. One, is that we now have a selected state for the navigation. It's telling me, you are in the arrangements section. We've also added a breadcrumb. You are one page deeper than the homepage.

You are on the arrangements page. Now we went ahead and made the other improvements to the site, so we improved the badge in order to draw attention. And we added feedback for the rollovers. So the people know that this is clickable. But the most important changes are the sense of place. So let's dive in just a little bit deeper. We're going to go to the mixed arrangements page. And sure enough, our bread crumb has now extended to show me that I am two levels deeper into the site from the homepage. I've passed the arrangements page, and I'm now at the mixed arrangements page.

This sense of place is very important in interaction design because as we're navigating more deeply into the site, we need to know where we are. People have sense of place when they know where they are, when they understand how they got there, and are able to accurately predict where they might be able to go next. Now the sense of place is closely related to the concept of the scent of information. We talked about both of these topics in more detail in the Interaction Design Fundamentals course. The scent of information though is when we identify a trail of information. It's when we are following a sequence of links because those links are meaningfully related to one another.

I know that I am looking for some flower arrangements. And I know that I want to get mixed flower arrangements rather than all of one flower. So when we added this navigation highlight to say you're in the arrangements section, and we added the breadcrumb to say you're two levels deeper than the homepage and currently on the mixed arrangements page, we added more information to help people understand where they are.

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