Applied Interaction Design
Illustration by John Hersey

Using Build-a-Bouquet (original)


From:

Applied Interaction Design

with David Hogue

Video: Using Build-a-Bouquet (original)

We are just about finished with our customer scenario. We have one more product that we need to purchase, and you remember that the husband has decided that orchids are probably a little too much to care for, so he's going to opt for creating a custom bouquet. Something that is special and made just by him. So we're going to click on the original website. Now, remember this is the website that is having some problems and which we're trying to fix. So, we're going to come into this Build a Bouquet functionality and check out what we have here. I see that I get to choose the flowers that I want.

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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

Using Build-a-Bouquet (original)

We are just about finished with our customer scenario. We have one more product that we need to purchase, and you remember that the husband has decided that orchids are probably a little too much to care for, so he's going to opt for creating a custom bouquet. Something that is special and made just by him. So we're going to click on the original website. Now, remember this is the website that is having some problems and which we're trying to fix. So, we're going to come into this Build a Bouquet functionality and check out what we have here. I see that I get to choose the flowers that I want.

I get to choose colors if there are colors available. So, this is kind of nice, I get to pick my own bouquet. So, let's see. We're going to add some Calla Lilies maybe, how about a bunch of Irises here. We'll add some Gerbera Daisies, Lilies, those are always really nice, so I'll add some lilies as well. And how about tulips? It's a spring time, that's very popular right now. And for some of these, oh, look, I do get to choose colors, so let's get a purple Calla. We'll get some nice warm yellow. We'll get some Lilies, Let's stay with pink.

And what do you say, for the Tulips, we'll go ahead and get some white Tulips. All right,so I've set up a bouquet here. That was pretty straight forward I suppose, but, you know, there are some issues with this interaction. For example, we have all of these images at the top of the page that are probably the flowers that I can choose from. But I was kind of tempted to click on those and say, you know, I want the Sunflower or I want the Daffodil or I want the rose. And I'm not sure what some of these flowers are, so I don't know what this one is.

I'm not quite sure what this one is, and I don't know if these flowers are pictures of what I can actually choose for the bouquet. We've got a little bit of a problem here that we can address with some content. And in fact, it's going to rely on the Gestalt principles to help us fix that. You remember from the first Interaction Design Fundamentals course, when we talked about the Gestalt principles. That they are a way to help us make sense of these sensory world around us. And in fact, there were several principles that were very important. Two in particular come into play when we're talking about interaction design. The first is the Gestalt Principle of Proximity.

Objects that are near one another in space or time are perceived as belonging together. So, on the right side we see groups of four elements even though both of these images have the exact same numbers of circles. A second principle, which is very common in interactive design is dealing with similarity. Objects with similar attributes such as shape, color, size, or brightness are perceived as belonging together. So we see the green circles as forming one group, and the squares as another, and the light blue circles as a third group.

Now, we did discuss some additional Gestalt Principles, including closure, common fate, continuity, and symmetry. If you're interested in learning about those, I suggest you check out the Interaction Design Fundamentals course. So, what do the Gestalt Principles tell us about this particular page? Well, the thumbnails are similar and they are near one another. They are in proximity to one another, so they are perceived as a group. That's not surprising. The form field are similar to one another and they are near one another so they are perceived as a second group.

However, the problem is that we want to be able to pair the Calla Lily's image with the Calla Lily label and the Calla Lilly controls, so what we have are two groups that actually make sense, perceptually, but they do not make sense meaningfully. So, one of the things that we need to fix, is how do we associate the image of the flower, with the flower name, and with the form fields for that flower. We'll take a look at some of the improvements in the next movie. Now let's go ahead. We're going to buy this particular bouquet.

And we click through. So, I'm not entirely sure why I had to click through to a second step for a page that is just showing me everything I've just selected, other than to say, oh, it's a $60 bouquet. What we have here is another great example of how just one click may be perceived as too much. Remember when we talked about click depth. Why couldn't we have seen the total number of flowers and the total price all on the previous page. Why did we have to click through for one additional step? Just to see a list of what we selected, and the opportunity to add that to my shopping cart.

Additionally, we're including items in this list which I did not select. So, I have no Daisies, no Lilac, no roses, etc. there are elements in this list with zero. And for example, roses has no color selected because I have no roses. This is additional content that just complicates the experience. It makes it harder for people to see which are the flowers I selected, the colors I selected, and the number of each type of flower that I selected. This is easily, in experience, that we can improve, but lets go ahead and just add this custom bouquets our basket.

Oh, and remember this is the original site, the one that is having problems, I just clicked add to basket but I need to scroll back up to the top of the page to check to make sure the basket now has two items in it. Remember, we're not getting appropriate feedback from this website and that's something that we've already fixed.

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