Reading Responses: (Week 10)

Reading Responses: (Week 10)

Interface Critique Journal: Interface of Immersive Media

This reading focused in on the idea of “immersive media,” in doing so, the author defined immersive media as the users’ perception and involvement within the media, noting that its not solely advanced technology which makes such immersion possible, but it can also be achieved through different mediums as well. The author also pointed out a large part of what makes a specific type of media “immersive” is illusion.

As I read this article, I couldn’t help but apply it to my own individual design, I realized that my design is essentially trying to create/allude to the feeling of presence, and feeling so immersed in the media you essentially forget its there. I feel as though incorporating smell and touch, for example, may be able to imitate the feeling of togetherness, in a way, sight doesn’t. Another component of this article, which I thought would be applicable to my design was taking note of and incorporating the many dimensions of an object. In other words, if the user is able to see, smell, and touch, things simultaneously, rather than one at a time, it might enhance the overall user experience.

Throughout this article, the author noted and delved into the concept of immersive media. At times, I found some of the content extremely relevant to my design project, and others I felt were not as imperative. However, I feel as though reading this article will positively influence my design solution.

Reading Responses (Week 9)

Reading: Introduction to Prototyping Tools

This reading had a sequential list of all the different online tools currently available to create an online digital prototype. Through exploring the similar but different tools available, I was able to actually see my idea go from the ideation phase and morph into something I could potentially create.

While clicking through the different tools, I found a lot of the pages to be rather confusing to navigate. I found that the links only brought you to pages which give you an overview of the site but didn’t really allow you to be “hands on.” I kind of got lost in the overwhelming amount of information.

Moreover, I found this exercise to be beneficial in the sense that it allowed me to better understand the iterative design process, each week we’re working and reworking our ideas and as the quarter nears its end its really cool to be able to see how far we’ve come from week one.


Reading Responses (Week 8)

Reading Responses: Week 8

Reading: Prototypes

In this article, the opening few paragraphs grapple with the question, “what is a design?” Now, originally I thought this was a pretty standard question, but after reading a few of the designers’ definitions, I began to think, it was more complex. It is not simply an idea, but it is an art form, it is an intention, it is a solution, it is much more than just a simple concept.

Moreover, the article goes on to discuss the six design disciplines. I was especially interested in the “sociology” section, because it challenged the way I looked at sociology as an area of study. In other words, I originally believed sociology to be simply the study of human societies, but this article defined it as the design of connected systems. To look at it as something that was designed rather than just something that is what is, was unique perspective.

Moreover, I found this article to be challenging and insightful. There were a few aspects, which didn’t make clear sense to me, but there were also others that were really refreshing and unique. The way interaction design is discussed, explained and approached will certainly impact my individual design project.

Reading: Case Study, Wii

In this reading, a conversation between designers allows the reader an inside look on how specific products went from ideation into existence. In one section Yuzawa explains they created a “mock up model,” which immediately made me think of the paper prototypes we’ll be creating this week. Though, my design project is an app, I still feel like the use of a 3D model can be beneficial from taking your design from a flat surface into something you can literally hold and mold.

As they go on to talk about the mock up model they created, they explained it was made out of cardboard, and very simple in actual construction, they explained how this part of the design process allowed them to mentally grip what was being made. This step in their process shows how the design went from quite literally a drawing board, into an actual object, and all the small details along the way to creation helped them actually conceptualize the ideas they had in their heads.

Another aspect of the article I appreciated was when the developers were discussing what their expectations were, explaining they were expecting compliments but instead received complaints. I think this is a critical aspect of any design project, as critique and and constructive feedback are often essential in bettering your overall design. Moreover, I found this reading to be my favorite one yet, as it was both interesting and informative.

Reading Responses (Week 6)

Reading One: Personas-A Simple Introduction

In this reading, the topic of personas and the relation to design interaction is addressed in detail. In the opening portion of this reading, the author explained how creating personas is crucial to creating an effective design because it allows the designer to put his/her self into the mindset of the user, and understand his/her design from a whole different perspective.

The author then goes on to address the four perspectives of personas: goal directed personas, role based personas, engaging personas and fictional personas. Each persona is explained to tackle the design and its flaws from a different but crucial angel. For example, the goal directed persona is exactly as it sounds, its to the point, it is all about identifying an objective and executing it in the best way possible. In comparison, fictional personas focus more on the user and user needs then the design itself. These four perspectives helped me get a better grasp on how to tackle the design process.

Moreover, the author also delves into how to create “engaging personas and scenarios” and goes into depth about what is needed in order to create them and effectively use them to benefit your design. I believe this article in particular will be beneficial in our own iterative design creations, as we create and utilize personas in order to better our own designs. I found this article to be exceptionally entertaining and informative.

Reading Two: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 1)

In this reading, the author opens with an excerpt about how he always found personas to be useless or an unnecessary additional step in the design process, until he was able to see one used meaningfully and effectively. In the authors’ experience with personas, he notes how creating them allowed him as the designer, to step away from the idea of the masses and get into the smaller scale mind of an individual. This process allows the designer to get a clearer idea of who may be actually using their product as opposed to creating something for the generic consumption of the masses.

The author goes on to explain how personas are created. One may assume, that the designer just imagines this random person using their product and the process is complete, however, that is not the case. In order to create a persona the designer must engage in the following steps: “Interview and/or observe an adequate number of people. Find patterns in the interviewees’ responses and actions, and use those to group similar people together. Create archetypical models of those groups, based on the patterns found. Drawing from that understanding of users and the model of that understanding, create user-centered designs.”

Furthermore, I think the author explained the use of personas best in his closing remark. He writes, “Personas help to keep a designer honest and to become mindful of when they are truly designing for others and when they are just designing for themselves. If you are going to design for someone unlike yourself, then do your users a solid and use a persona.” In other words, personas may not be for everyone, a select few may have a rounded view of the users than others, but for most, personas may prove to be an effective tool in creating and improving a design.

Reading Three: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 2)

This reading, similar to the ones before it, also delves into the use and benefits of the creation of personas. The author asks the critical question, “how do designers create experiences that are custom tailored to people unlike themselves?” in the opening portion of the reading. Before reading the rest of the article, my initial thought was, well they don’t. What I mean by this is, the designer doesn’t create things for people entirely different from themselves. I believe throughout the design process the designer is involved, and invested in the creation, not for some altruistic purpose, but because somehow the design benefits, or relates to them. I don’t think inventions and revolutionary inventions come up out of the blue, but rather they are manifested within someone because somehow, the design corresponds in someway to their personal lives.

After reading into the middle of the article, the author goes on to explain how getting deep into the minds of potential consumers is helpful. By expanding the design thinking to more than just how it effects the designer, the product is also able to expand and achieve new heights, when its not constrained by one individuals’ ideas and expectations of it.

Upon completion of this article, I learned several interesting aspects to the process of creating a persona and why its necessary. However, I still feel my initial thought is valid, and that the relationship between design and designer is deeply connected. However, with the use and implementation of persona creation, the designer is able to branch out and enable his/her design to grow.

Reading Four: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 1)

In this reading the author discusses how storytelling directly relates to user experience. In the opening paragraph, the author takes time to illuminate how technology has negatively impacted the “emotional connection” and humanly “personal touch.” This idea really resonated with me, because I am attempting to bridge the missing “emotional connection” of long distance friendships with technology, and this idea got me thinking, is it even really possible to make something which is able to truly mimic personal connection and presence?

Another part of this reading, which sparked my interest was the power of emotion section. In this section the author highlights how we as humans are biologically wired to like and dislike certain things. The use of emotion as an element of design is something I’ve never really considered before. For me, I understand emotion to be a critical component in something like a book, or a story but I hadn’t thought to make a user interaction, anything more than a user interaction, by incorporating emotion the designer is able to facilitate something more meaningful than just that,

This article left me with a few questions. It made me wonder, can technology truly be an effective medium for bridging an emotional/personal gap? How can emotion be incorporated into a design, to make it a deeper more meaningful experience? How will I incorporate storytelling into my design in order to further push my design?

Reading Five: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 2)

In this reading, (the second part of Better User Experience with Storytelling) a few modern storytellers were highlighted. This article got me thinking about how stories and storytelling is already incorporated in modern technology. On Instagram, or Snapchat there are “story” features, which users are able to post snippets of videos or photos, and most times, they’re utilized to tell a story over time. For example, on someone’s birthday the user may start with a photo of breakfast and coffee in bed, and as the day progresses so do the documentations of the day.

Prior to reading this article I hadn’t really thought about this feature as “storytelling” in the traditional sense, but now I’m starting to look at these designs from a design perspective rather than a user. By viewing modern designs from a dual perspective (user and designer) I think it allows me to get a better view and idea of what I want out of my design, from both the designer AND user perspective.

Moreover, I feel like all of these readings added to my current knowledge of the design process. By applying bits and pieces from this article and the ones before it I feel like I’ll have a better idea on how to tackle current and future design problems.


Reading Responses (Week 5)

Reading: Shapiro, Alan N. (2018) “​Gestalt-Ideas at the Interface Between Theory and Practice​” ​Interface Critique Journa​l, Vol. 1.

In the beginning of this article the topic of communication came up, as it relates to the digital and design world. I found this to be particularly interesting because my major is Communication, and looking at it from a different perspective (i.e. digital communication/design)more focused on design was refreshing. I really appreciated how the author touched on a lot of the negatives associated with the highly digital world, and especially pointing out the difficultly one may face in trying to be “original.”

In one instance, the author delves into the realization that we as a society are entering a “post human” era, and stresses the importance of this transformative shift. I believe the author said it best when they wrote, “One consequence is that we must become seriously involved with design, rather than caricature it as manipulation of sense and feelings.” (Shapiro, pp. 37) In other words, the author is attempting to draw attention to this idea that with new technology, interaction, and human/technology interaction is becoming unavoidable, further stressing the idea that as creators and designers we must be cognizant of this in our products of creation.

Moreover, the author ends the article and the reader with an interesting note. The author concludes by explaining that design is not something that should be merely looked at through an academic lens but through a creative one as well. The author notes how interaction and design elements will be more connected to deeper elements, such as feelings and emotions, not solely surface level. I found this article to be insightful and refreshing.

Reading: Löwgren, Jonas and Eric Stolterman (2007) “Chapter 5: Methods and Techniques” In Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology.​ Cambridge: MIT Press.

In this chapter, entitled “Methods and Techniques,” the author attempts to answer the question, why designers need to reflect on the role methods and techniques have on their design works. In exploring the question the author also goes on to explain how and why different methods and techniques impact the designers’ work in a number of ways.

One section of this reading which sparked my interest was the “why-why-why?” segment. In this section the idea is raised that in order to progress through the design process one must continually ask why questions, in order to get to the root of the design problem. In this repetitive process, the designer is forced to dig and essentially find the answer to a problem they didn’t know they needed to solve. What I mean by this is, as the designer finds him/herself in this position, continually asking “why” the designer may find that by asking these questions, their design problem changes or is forced to become clearer in some sense, therefore perpetuating the design process into motion.

Another segment which I particularly liked was entitled “brainstorming.” In this section, the author breaks down the process into a few small but simple steps, explaining how it may be difficult to get into the flow of things, but once the ball gets rolling you’ll often find yourself with a multitude of solutions to a problem you once thought was only able to be solved one way. I liked this section because it emphasized the importance of group communication, and team work, it highlighted how a fresh set of eyes and differing perspectives can only aid in the progression and betterment of the design creation.


Reading: Nielsen, Lynn (2018)​ “​30. Personas​” The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.

In this reading the author discusses and goes into depth about what a persona truly is, it’s boiling down something to the bare minimums, but still grasping the overall idea/concept of what the thing is. However, the definition is loosely defined, as the author notes there is no “unilateral” understanding of all that a persona entails.

Moreover, in this reading the author highlights four different perspectives on personas. The goal-directed persona, the role based persona, the engaging perspective, and the fiction based perspective, all unique in their own ways. Out of all that were explained I found the engaging perspective most interesting. This perspective essentially grabs on to the humanly aspect behind personas, counter to the other perspectives discussed, this one does not simply latch into stereotypical depictions but rather gets a deeper, and in some ways a more rounded perspective.

Furthermore, while some points of this reading I found rather captivating, others were a little hard to follow. As the author dug into how personas relate to the IT world, I found I got a little lost in the technical jargon being used. Overall, I do feel as though this reading brought to light some very interesting information, and perspectives I might not have come across without reading this.


Reading Responses (Week 4)

Reading 1: Norman, D. (2002) ​The Design of Everyday Things​. Chapter 4 (pp. 81 – 104)

Throughout this reading the idea that individuals create unique and personal ideas became a central point. In other words, the author used an example regarding finding an answer to a riddle, and by explaining that individuals may get different answers but this doesn’t necessarily make them any more or less correct, which I found particularly interesting. This reading can be applied to what we’re currently learning in class about design thinking and vision, each of us, were given the same basic instructs (i.e. fill the missing gap in a long distance relationship of some sort) yet, nearly every individual project design had a completely unique feel.

Another aspect of this reading which peaked my interest was the section discussing how technology and digital designs have essentially have created the need to a strong sense of privacy. The author noted how security and privacy directly connect to safety. The author made the example of creating a “strong” password. In this example, it was demonstrated that a “weak” password, although memorable could be easily guessed, and an overly “strong” password is most likely written down someplace, essentially making it easy to find, hence the creation of a “moderately” strong password, the happy medium.

This example sparked my thinking on design, and if we apply this basic concept to it, it actually makes a lot of sense. An overly simple design, has most likely already been created, and an out of this world design, is probably unachievable for the most part, which is why aiming for a happy medium would seem to make the most sense, however if no one ever pushed the envelope and aimed for that out of the world design, would we even have the technology we know and use today? Moreover, I found this reading exceptionally beneficial, as it opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about design thinking.

Reading 2: Selections from Lidwell et al., (2010) ​Universal Principles of Design​ ​(Online)

In this reading, there were many sections which sparked my interest, however I found the segment titled “Archetypes” to really capture my attention. In this snippet, the concept of identity came to mind. Meaning that people identify with certain brands or things because of the correlated identity. In the example the author used, Harley Davidson and the “outlaw” archetype which follows it was used. This kind of got me thinking about advertising and marketing in a sense. Meaning, people gravitate to things which they identify with, almost making the archetype or thing they are identifying with, part of their self identity.

Another segment which I enjoyed was “Consistency,” in this section the author used Mercedes Benz as an example, and touched on how their branding is consistent, and because of this is commonly associated with prestige, and respect. This really highlights the importance a logo or brand design has on the impression of the object/design as a whole.

Lastly, I found “Hick’s Law” to be in essence, what we did last week with our individual design projects. In this segment, the idea that numerous possibilities increase the time needed to make a decision. If we apply this to our task last week, creating 40 alternative design solutions, we see this law in action, with multiple new solutions in front of us, it becomes difficult to decide which design is the “best.” Moreover, I found all of these sections to be beneficial and interesting in their own merit.

Reading Responces (Week 3)

Reading Responces: Week 3

Reading One: Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology (Chapter 2: The Process)

In this reading the topic of creative design was examined in terms of the “design process,” the author attempts to delve into the art and complexity of the process as a whole. I found the first section of the reading, “From Vision to Speculation” particularly interesting, as it relates directly to the design assignment we are currently grappling with for this course. The author makes the point that one of the critical points of the design process is to encourage the designer to look at the “big picture.”

As I take a step back and assess my own project with this reading in mind, I am still trying to articulate the problem statement or the “big picture” my design is attempting to solve. This reading insists that in order for a designer to be effective and efficient one must leap between big picture and specifics, however I find for me personally, this method to be less than effective. Though, I understand the purpose of that, I feel that each designer has his or her own way of getting to the root of their design. For some, that may mean jumping back and forth between steps, and for others, myself included, that process creates an unnecessary complication.

Moreover, this reading allowed me to take a look at the design perspective in a way I might not have otherwise considered. In order to effectively bring to life ones design there are a number of steps the designer must face in order to take his or her vision and materialize it. While passing through these many obstacles the designer is able to clarify and get to the core of the problem they are trying to solve. In this complex process the designer is able to the big picture.

Reading Two: Drawing Connections How Interfaces Matter

In the article written by Jan Distelmeyer, interfaces and all the complexity which accompanies them, is highlighted. It is no secret that we are living in the most advanced technological age humans have ever encountered. With the rapid growth of new technology, the resulting “interface culture” has been impacted substantially. Technology has become an extremely pervasive part of our everyday lives, to the point it is almost impossible to “unplug” from the various interfaces we are connecting to on a daily basis.

As I read this article and attempted to get to the root of what the author was examining, I found it hard to grasp a lot of the larger concepts. I found that though article itself was easy to read, the challenging concepts it discussed were difficult for me to follow.

However, this article did make a few points, which I did in fact find interesting, mostly relating to the different interface relationships which exist today. The interface relationship between: software and hardware, computer and hardware/software, computers and non-computers, and finally, humans and technology. By pointing out the significance of each of these relationships the author leads to an important question regarding power, which we have yet to answer.

Reading Responce (Week 2)

Article 1: Design Thinking: New Innovative Thinking for New Problems

In the article titled, “Design Thinking: New Innovative Thinking for New Problems” the idea of a human centered, non linear, systematized way of thinking was explored. For the purpose of the article the authors aimed to highlight how “design thinking” would aid in our ability to problem solve. The overall concept of design thinking differs from the way we as humans traditionally solve problems in the sense it is not purely scientific or humanistic but rather a combination of both. I found the way the authors articulated this concept to be rather insightful.
Moreover, the article aimed its points towards designers but more specifically business owners, and people who make a living from design work. This approach highlighted the challenges these individuals in particular face in our modern world today. The author made a point to uncover the wide variety of problems design thinking is able to address. 
Furthermore, this article shed light on critical concepts which have not been widely talked about in the scientific or humanistic communities. By highlighting the importance design thinking holds, we as a community are able to solve our problems in a way we were unable to do before. 
Article 2: “There is No Interface (Without a User) A Cybernetic Perspective on Interaction 
Through this scholarly article discussing the history of human computer interaction, we as readers are able to understand the gravity and longstanding development it took to get us to the point we are today, technologically speaking. In discussing how computer-human interaction has developed and grown the author examines the difference between analog and digital mediums. 
One example of the advantages and drawbacks of digital vs. analog, which stood out for me during this article was regarding the MIT flight simulations which took place in the 1940’s. I found this to be particularly interesting. Though some of the jargon used in the article was difficult to follow, I was still able to gather the main points. 
Moreover, this article shed light on how the historical progression of human computer interaction is an integral part in understanding how design thinking came to be. By seeing the progression over time it becomes easier to understand and identify how we were able to get to where we are today. 
Article 3: 
Play as Research: The Iterative Design Process 
In “Play as Research: The Iterative Design Process” Eric Zimmerman discusses how “play” is essential to the design process. He discusses the cyclical pattern of analyze->design-> test. This pattern is essentially what the iterative design process is.
Throughout this article the iterative design process is illustrated but what I found to be most memorable was the idea that work and play are almost synonymous. Meaning, that play is not any less than work, and can be viewed instead, as equal to. In the entirety of this article Zimmerman reiterates the idea that play is innovation, and play is how innovation comes into existence.
Furthermore, this article opened my eyes to the idea that “playing” as research is in fact how some ideas/designs are created and refined. This concept was new and interesting and I found Zimmerman’s perspective incredibly interesting.


My name is Takara Hepburn and I am currently a senior at UCSB, I recently transferred from Cabrillo Community College with an associates in communication and am now at UCSB pursuing my bachelors. As for work experience, I’ve worked various positions within the customer service industry, and am currently a server at a local restaurant. Although, I have had little to no experience with interaction design I am eager to start this quarter, and delve into all this course has to offer.