Monthly Archives: September 2012

Bill Moggridge, “People,” p. 664-681.

The method that I chose from the article “People” by Bill Moggridge, is “look” “A day in the life”. A lot of designs derive from the creators want to improve something that affects them directly or someone that they know. The title of the article is most appropriate being that “People” are who you will be marketing to; in most cases. I believe that the “look” “A day in the life” method encompasses a lot and provides a great deal of unbiased information that’s important to a design. Observing people in their natural state gives the designer insight of how the majority defines improvement as opposed to the creators view only. With designs related to improvement, a product may inconvenience someone in a different way than the creator of the new design. With the “look” method, observation not only provides another approach to the look and feel of the design, but it allows the new and improved product to appeal to a group that may see the cup as being half full as opposed to half empty. The article mentions the ego of designers with I think has a negative effect on the overall outcome of the designed because it may limit the acceptance of an opposing option. With designing something that is meant to appeal to the majority, the goal is to obtain information of how the existing product affects people from different groups and walks of life other than your own.

An example where the look method will play a huge role is the creation or improvement of an app. People tend to use apps for different reasons. For a designer creating a new app for navigation, the initial thought is that people are looking for functions that allow more accurate routes and easier to read maps that will get them to their destination quicker and easier. That will be great for the people that use the navigation primarily for directions. The navigation serves as more than just a map that gets you to a destination. People use this technology for many other reasons that would be unbeknown to someone who does not observe this outside of an office or lab. If you ride with someone that uses this device on regular bases, you will discover that more people may rely on the device to provide information such as distance, the time that it will take to get to a particular destination or all that’s in between. These are areas in this example that the designer may not invest a lot in because of lack of Intel that these features are just as important to improve on as the primary function of a navigation system.


Read Donald Norman’s “The Psychopathology of Everyday Things,” p. 1-8.

I can certainly agree with many of the points made in the article “The Psychopathology of everyday things”. I think that most designs today are made with visibility as the primary outcome as opposed to usability.  As technology grows the want of more functionality in a smaller package also grows. On the upside,  the consumer can receive more with less human interaction, however to take full advantage of the product they will need to be a bit more mechanical or technologically savvy then maybe 10-15 years ago. Most of the designs mentioned in the article was quite basic such as a door or microwave oven, and I can see the design flaws could possible confuse people; however not to the point that they could not quickly figure it out through a little trial and error.  I can also relate to the example with the phone system. I’ve worked in telecommunications for the past 10 years and I have seen firsthand how the technology has changed. When people get use to a product and how it works, an upgrade is not always a good thing or welcomed.  The example the hold button complaint is a very real and common issue. As the technology improved, there were many changes made to the look, size and functionality of the devices. Some people were use to a big bulky brown phone, with a red bulb on top of it. The stylish sleek designs were reserved for only the few that could afford them. As technology grew the nice sleek designs along with the features became more affordable; therefore many companies upgraded to these devices. When the upgrade occurred, the bulky brown phones with the red bulb, was replaced by the sleek ergonomic black phones with maybe a smaller flashing indicator light; or no light at all. Although the newer phones provided the same functions and more, the reluctance for change could have played a role in the inability or unwillingness to learn the new technology. With new technology there is more programming skills involved which dramatically decreases the usability factor. I certainly agree that simple products should be workable without needing a manual, but unfortunately that would be at the expense of the new technologies that our lives easier.

Remy’s 9/5 homework | step count : 3457

I’m tied between the Fly on the Wall, A Day in the Life, and Shadowing methods. I’ll pick A Day in the Life.

It sounds simple enough to me, follow around the people for whom you’re designing something for, and get to understand their needs.

While not necessary for all projects, I feel that this method gives the most context on my target. I learn about their routines from the beginning to the end of the day, and can therefore figure out how I need to make what I’m designing will fit in their lives. That is of course assuming that my product is designed for all day use, and/or my subject plans on using it all day.

So what device would be suitable for continuous use? First thing that comes to mind is a phone. Or a radio. Any sort of communication device. These things need to work consistently, and when problems arise it’s best to be present in order to observe the subject and the device. What if there isn’t a device yet? What if we’re trying to figure out what their communication device needs to do? The Day in the Life method may be a little overkill. However, it does help to know what information needs to be relayed whenever the design’s target is communicating with someone, and how the target organizes their own information. A designer must know what someone is used to in order to blend improvement with familiarity and intuition.

But what else? Communications are an easy one. We’re hooked on them all the time. Lets say that New York City hadn’t yet implemented computers in their cabs for entertainment and payment. The best way to understand what the device has to do is to ride in a cab all day. Why all day? You get in a cab, specify your destination, drive, get there, and pay the driver. What more could there be? Well that’s what you have to find out. There are probably different things that every passenger wants that you wont learn from one cab ride. Credit card payments, a map, news, the time. Everyone’s needs and desires are different, and you need to be present to pick up on all of them, rather than rely on just asking them what they’d like.

HW #2 – Designing Interactions

In his book “Designing Interactions”, Bill Moggridge has a section called “People”, which talks about four different techniques in which a designer can observe potential users of the designer’s project. The four techniques are learn, look, ask, and try. After reading the excerpt, I feel the “Look” technique would be most beneficial to a designer in his or her projects. Each of the four methods within this technique (fly on the wall, a day in the life, shadowing, and personal inventory) can yield a lot of information about the target user(s). If I had to pick one method and use it in a project, I would have to pick the A day in the life method. I believe, in order for this method to gain as much information as possible without the user changing his or her daily routine, is to observe the user from afar and not let the user know. This way the observer can collect data about the user without the user changing his or her routine.

I would most likely use this method on a project that involves a portable device, like a cell phone or mp3 player. I believe this method would be best on a project like this because the observer can see how potential users use their portable devices on a daily basis and what features are being used. For example, does the user use wifi when available, or GPS, etc. After the information is collected, the observer will have a better understanding of what features should be in the product and what features are not necessary.


Bill Moggridge use four techniques in his “People” article. These four techniques are learn, look, ask, and try. All of them have their good points and can really help out within a project. The one that I personally like the most is learn(observation). With learn we can observe people and see what are their real needs. Depending on what project you are doing, some of these observation might  involve close observation of the  subject and the other might need to be from a distance.

The project that I will like to use this technique for is helping third world country people improve their future. As we all know many people in third world country have lack of food causing themselves and their children to have lack of nutrition. There are a lot of charity groups that donate money to help out the poor but does everyone really understand what they really need. Yes, money can solve their lack of food resource by providing them with certain amount but what happens when it runs out? What happens when no one can afford to donate anymore, then what? I think we can  see what type of nutrition they are lacking the most and what is needed for survival.  After we figure that out, we can see what crops are best suitable to grow in their environment that come closes to the nutrition value that they need. Once that is decide we can go and teach the less fortunate how to grow the crops. This way, we can make sure they can survive and have a better life. This also cause a positive effect to their children. Most children don’t get a chance to go to school because they have to do whatever work they can to help put food on the table. Even if that means giving up their education and working long hours for pennies a day. If their family members learn how to grow their own crops, they would have a chance to go to school.

HW #2: 09.07.2012

Captain’s Log:

So in the excerpt of “Designing Interactions” by Bill Moggridge, he talks about different techniques for studying people and how they interact with things in their life. In the excerpt, he speaks specifically of 4 different types of ways of studying people: Learn, Look, Ask, and Try. After reading, I felt the “Look” type of study would be the most beneficial in a study, especially the “A Day in the Life” method. Basically, this method entails that the observer follow the subject for an entire day and document how he or she interacts with certain designs. Obviously,  the observer would have to view the subject  from far  away since if he/she  was close to the subject, the subject might change their behavior in response to them knowing they are being observed. Something this study would be useful for specifically would be seeing how people try to interact with  certain devices or objects, such as televisions, washing  machines, revolving doors, the metro-card machine in the subway, etc..

A project I would use this method for would be how  people use their cellphones and what they use them  for. I did a study on this subject before but my method for obtaining information was just  asking  people  a series of questions. I realize now that people can  say things they use  their phone for  but they  really don’t. So by  observing,  I think I would be able to get  better results.

AR Flash Shadow

The project is to display a ghost version of the user.

To interact with this project, the user will wear a special kind of glasses that will display certain information. For example, the user’s heart rate, how far he or she has ran, how fast they are running, and current time.

Members of the group: Michael Perez, bluestar, Jonathan Alicea, Philip Zak.

Week 2 – Paper Prototype

Group of Ahmad, Remy and Justin

The project is a devices that exposes structural vulnerabilities with sound. It emits vibrations with maps out the building and exposes faults.

What you interact with is the device interface; once you emit the vibration the device visually maps out the building on it’s screen.

Team Unicorn – Project 1 – Restraining Order Alert Watch

Teammates: Ian, Rosa, Gabby



Ideal Operation:

  • The watch has a device in it that responds to the person who you have a restraining order defense against’s devices with WIFI or Bluetooth capability
  • At increments of 100, 75, 50, and 25 feet, alarms are given, getting progressively more urgent the closer the offender gets; the police are contacted