Interaction Design project | 05 Individual Responsibility & Ethics
Teamwork and collaboration
With a great resource of online collaboration tools and a really friendly, skilled bunch we managed to upkeep and deliver some high quality work while working remotely.
Around our scheduled class time we would stay in touch weekly, on Saturdays online via MS Teams and utilised Miro and Figma’s commenting features. On weeks with heavy workloads or a presentation due we scheduled more frequent calls. With different working hours our group was mindful and respectful of one another to not overload each other or schedule unrealistic goals.
In general, most of our work in Miro and Figma was a group effort. I learned a lot about design patterns and taking initiative from Tom, I learnt a lot about planning and testing from Michael. I admired Jaesin’s intricate work especially the time, detail and dept she put into small tasks such as the task analysis. Áine’s energy and attitude was always positive, she seemed to always have some really interesting indirect research to share. I will explore new ways to collect inspiration from now on.
Infinite scrolling are dark UI patterns are examples of terms we steered away from in our designs. Áine sent around a website called Tarot cards of tech which were not only nice to look at but helped us be mindful of the impact our design could have on other people, communities and the planet. They give an insight into the long term effects of designing an addictive product. With this in mind we were careful to not force actions on users or give them continuous content.
With a background in design I usually strived for a beautiful end goal. Through my career I have found that a beautiful interface is not valuable without the psychology and functionality behind it. I wanted to put conscious effort into research and understand what a users expectations and wants were.
Other than this personal goal I mapped out our project goals to start off our time together. Throughout the project we were able to refer back to these making sure we were aligned. I found working towards something kept focus and motivation.
The initial research stage was something all of us were learning together. When it came to sketching and wire framing some had more technical abilities and a better eye than others. Understanding and utilising what our individual skills were helped us achieve a successful end goal. Using a design system allowed most of our designs to be similar in patterns. Tom was in tune with standards and patterns and took initiative in a lot of design decisions. This worked well for the group and avoided a polite ‘design by committee’ Frankenstein.
During the paper prototyping stage I sketched out a new feature. I called it ‘Discover’. My idea was to make watching as little clicks, as simple as possible. This feature went through many iterations, back and forth between myself and Tom, with feedback from the rest of the group. It went from being a stand alone tab with trailers, to two separate buttons, to two completely new features called ‘Pick by Mood’ (Tom’s) and ‘Smart Pick’.
The design of this wouldn’t be as it is without using leaning on some of Tom’s iterations and getting the feedback from the rest of the group. This feature allowed me to really delve into a users behaviour, utilising my research to its full potential and understand standard UI patterns I once overlooked.
As a take away from this experience I have learned a lot about people behaviours and how to ‘give the user what they want’. I have learnt the importance of using common standards with patterns. From here I feel achieved a personal goal of not only striving to create something beautiful. But to create something through primary and secondary research, that I know the user will want to use and know how to use it.
Working collaboratively within a group with aligned goals I believe we each help each other to achieve the best possible group outcome. I hope this comes across in our work and blogs and I look forward to working with them again in the future.