Chapter 11: Design, Prototyping and Construction

Chapter Introduction | Web Resources | Assignment Comments | Teaching Materials

This is a challenging assignment with a lot of designing to be done. Below we list some observations to help you be more creative in your attempts.

  • For this assignment don't be constrained by what you know currently. By all means suggest a conceptual design based around a mobile interface, but also consider other interface types: what would the online system be like if it was accessible through the 'hole in the wall' technology as used for ATMs, or a NUI?
  • Seek out alternative example systems. Not necessarily ticket booking systems, but systems for making an appointment, booking hotel rooms, online banking, social media sites and so on. See what ideas these systems may offer you.
  • The shopping cart is a common metaphor for purchasing items across the internet. However, is it suitable for this environment? Will users be comfortable with it?
  • Look out for any metaphors that arise from your data gathering. Do users consistently refer to any particular metaphor or experience?
  • Will you have one system for larger, static computers and one for handheld devices such as iPads and cell phones whose screen requirements and constraints are quite different? Or would it be better to use an SDK that caters for different form factors?
  • You could try using the prototyping tools in this assignment, such as those listed in the web resources section for this chapter.
  • You will have collected functionality requirements in the assignment at the end of Chapter 10. You can now choose which functions you're going to support and which you're not. You can restrict operation as much or as little as you like, but be aware of the consequences!
  • Follow the steps in Chapter 11 for producing the prototypes from the requirements activity outputs. You may find that initially this produces uninspiring designs, but once you have the basics, expand the ideas and seek alternatives to be creative.
  • Consider whether to sketch a wheel-based experience map or a timeline version. Which is more appropriate for this application? It may be helpful to do this work in a group of your peers so that you can discuss the issues. This is how they would normally be used in practice.
  • The maker movement is focused primarily on physical computing, i.e. combining electronics and fabrics and software, while the application in this assignment focuses more on ‘just’ software. But would you agree with this? Maybe your design is more adventurous?