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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.
Before we get started, let's quickly review some key concepts that we originally introduced in the interaction design fundamentals course. We talked about the principles of interactive design and identified five essential principles. Perceivability, predictability, feedback, learnability, and consistency. And you'll remember that these 5 principles form a system. Let's start with when we arrive at a website. The first thing is perceivability. If we perceive the opportunity to interact, then we will do so. However, if we don't understand what we can do or what is available to us, then we fail to interact.
If we are able to predict what the result of our interactions will be and if it's what we want to have happened. Then we interact with the website, or with the application. And once we've interacted with the website or application, it provides feedback to us. This feedback helps us understand what has happened. When we get good feedback that we understand, we're able to learn, and we get better at the experience. And as we repeat these experiences with practice, We observe what is happening. So, with repeated practice, our skills get better.
Eventually, we're able to transfer what we have learned into other similar experiences, because when an experience is similar to something we have already learned, when it is consistent, we're able to apply our past experience. And so we end up with this large loop. All of our past experiences influence how we understand new experiences. We look for opportunities to interact if we perceive them, and we predict accurately, we choose to interact.
Feedback tells us if we've gotten the result we wanted, if we understand it. And we learn new experiences. And the cycle simply keeps repeating. Additionally, we mentioned in the interaction design fundamentals course, that understanding the context of an experience, is critical. We have to know what do people need to accomplish? Why are they there? What are they trying to do? And there's a series of questions that we can ask ourselves to understand the context scenarios, such as who is the person or people who are actually using the interface. What do we know about them? What do they need to achieve or accomplish? What is it that they are trying to do? What is their goal? What is their situation or their environment? Where are they actually interacting with the interface? Is it on a laptop at home? On a smartphone standing in line at the grocery store? Or while riding a train? How urgent or important is their need? Is this something that they have to complete right now? Or is it a more casual experience and if they don't finish it they can come back to it later? What are their expectations of the experience? What is going to satisfy these needs? How much time do they have available.
Is this going to be a long, extended, multi-part, multi-step experience? Or is it just a few minutes, and they need to find out quickly, such as what's the address of the restaurant, and are they open this evening? And how much attention are they able to dedicate to this interaction, are they focussed or are they distracted. Is this one of many things they are trying to do or is it the one thing they need to do and finally what is their tolerance for complexity.
How simple does this experience need to be, if they have little attention and little time and in urgent need. Their tolerance for complexity is going to be very low. They need a simple experience. Asking ourselves these questions will really help us understand the context of the experience, and the answers to these questions will influence our design decisions.
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