let's get interface!


Ahmed Sabeeh Abid

Week 5 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

We started off with a lecture on Information Architecture. We were given insights as to what exactly is the job of an Information Architect and how much of it intersects with the domain of Interface Design. All the relational and UML diagrams shown in the class were not new to me as I have been familiar with them in my software engineering undergrad. Thus it was easy for me to get the grip of what was being explained in class under this topic.

Next Nik showed us different examples of sitemaps, which ranged from too cluttered, complex and unorganized to simpler and more efficient ones. I got introduced to Wurmann’s 5 hat racks of Information organization and Lynch & Hortons Site Paradigms. They proved really helpful to understand how to plan the navigation of your site so that it is both optimal and fits the need of the product as well.

By the end of the lecture I had a sound understanding of what is expected of an Interface Designer in terms of Information Architecture and what are the things I need to keep in consideration while making my designs.

Week 4 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

This week we had to present our pitch decks for our proposed bookmarking product. I was amazed to see the quality of presentations that came up from classmates, both in content design and delivery. It really inspired me and t be honest, provoked a sense of competition as well.

Later, there was lecture on Branding this week. Even though, I previously had an idea that a value of a brand can be stupendous as compared to all its other assets, but the examples Nik showed us in the class even exceeded my expectations.

We were then shown a couple of amazing logo examples. I learnt how a thing as simple as just a logo can be so much detailed and deliver so much information. It was clear in all the examples that a lot of thought process and hard work has been put to design each one of them. I later came back and found a couple of good examples myself such as:




In the end, Nik gave us a tutorial on how to use Adobe Illustrator. Since I have never used Illustrator before, it seemed pretty complex at first, but as the tutorial went on I started to get the hang of it. But I think I need a lot of practice to catch up with my class mates as most of them come from a design background and Illustrator is probably one of the tools which is on their fingertips.

Week 3 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

After studying about Jennifer Tidwell’s design patterns last week. It was now turn for the behavioral patterns. We have all experienced some of them in our lifetime but I never knew how to explain them using the correct terminology. Well now I do, thanks to Nik 🙂

There were a total of 12 of these and each of them provided an insight to what constituents make up a god design. It is not just the aesthetics that matter but the whole user experience of your product depends on these intricate details. Overall, this lecture gave me a comprehensive understanding of what mistakes UI designers make in their designs and how to avoid them.

The second half of the lecture focused on users. I am not actually new to making personas and working with them as this was covered in my undergrad courses of HCI and Software Requirements Engineering.

On the contrary, learning about mood boards was very new to me. It was a really interesting activity which helped you to imagine the look and feel of your future product. Furthermore, making a moodboard for other people’s persona proved a little challenging as it taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and think from someone else’s perspective.

My moodboardMy personal Moodboard

Moodboard - Alex UnderwoodAlex Underwood’s Moodboard that I created

Week 2 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

This week I learnt:

  • How the human eye works. I learnt about the importance of rods and cones contained in the retina of our eyes. Rods help us see in the dark while cones can tolerate more light and are able to detect different wavelengths.
  • That cultural differences can change the way how we see and perceive things.
  • That our brain works in strange ways when it comes to vision. It has this tendency to group things that we see based on similarity, proximity and common fate.
  • About Jennifer Tidwell’s design patterns. I was already familiar with a few of them but it was interesting to learn more about them and what they are called. It was helpful to go through a practical example of Commonwealth Bank website and observe the various design patterns they have incorporated there to make their webpage more user friendly.

Week 1 – What I learnt this week! – (aabi0651)

This week I learnt:

  • The importance of mental model in the interface design process.
  • Donald Norman’s Principles in interface designing. Got to see they can be related to design of everyday things that we see all around. Same goes for Gestalt Laws and Principles. I have never heard of them before so it was really interesting to relate them to the things we see everyday.
  • That we should never trust SMASHING MAGAZINE!
  • The true in depth definition of the term “minimalistic design” and that you should think twice before uttering this unholy word.
  • That Mr. Nik will literally crucify any student whom he has caught plagiarizing!

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