Process + Context

Part One: Design Process Overview


  • Idea: The thing that is yet to exist to be created.
  • Metaphor: What it is like, comparison other things.
  • Model: A physical from for the idea, or (digital), not completely realised.
  • Reproduction: Another model, if there are errors, improvements are made.
  • Error: Can occur at any stage, try find it early.
  • Scenario: Think of how the design will work theoretically.
  • Task: What role will the design fit.
  • Manipulation: Tweak around, a fix as you go, even during the final stages of design.

This chart will help generate potential solutions when faced with a design problem.


  • A flow chart helps to find what goals and potential problems needs to be solved. Keep it simple with sticky notes and scribbles.
  • Start with sketches, to prototypes then push it further to test functionality in a scenario of which the interface device will be used.
  • What are the needs of the people? How would they normally interact with the design?
  • Study, observe, test.

Part 2: Context

When designing an interaction we need to understand:

  • What people are trying to do
  • How they may try to do it
  • What gets in the way or helps
  • Where they might be doing it

Context of use/ Context for use. When you figure out what these are you can create interactive designs that cater to this.

Questions to consider in helping to create context scenarios:

  • What is the situation? Do they want to check their balance in their bank account, do they want to transfer money? Do they want to be entertained?
  • What’s the setting or environment in which the interface or the device will be used? Is it public or private? Is it conductive?
  • Who will be using the device or interface? Think about the age group, what device it will be on when someone would use it.
  • Will it be used by one person, or multiple people?
  • How long will the interface be used?
  • Will the person be able focus on their task, or will they be distracted/interrupted while using it?
  • How long will it be of use.
  • How simple or complex is the interface.
  • Does it need to be used urgently or will they be able to take their time in this situation?

The purpose of understanding context during the process of developing an interactive design is to allow insight on what the user/ target audience needs or wants. Stimulating hypothetical contexts will allow you to discover and tackle multiple problems before even sketching a design. Further thought could lead to deeper insights, improving the user quality and experience.



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