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The Elements of User Experience July 20, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in prototyping tools, theory, visual design.

We recently are having lots of discussions about how to integrate visual interface design into the entire design process. As we at IxDS follow our own understanding of  co-creation as discussed by Sanders, especially in the field of service design, we are now trying to understand how to apply this process also to visual design.

Jesse James Garrett, founder of Adaptive Path,  suggested in 2000 the following model:

(image source)

Well, I think Garrett did a great job in naming these different elements of user experience, however I am not sure whether these elements should be carried out in such linear order (time) as suggested. I rather think that Visual Design needs to be approached in parallel to the other challenges – and not at the end!

Garrett puts the decisions on User Needs and Site Objectives at the starting point of the process, which I agree on. In my point of view those decisions – developed together with all stake holders – are the base not only for the Interaction Design etc., but also for the Visual Design.

So, when we work on such a challenge, we continuesly develop the visual design, using our own “prototyping” approaches according the needs of each phase. As with the interaction itself, also the visual design needs to be prototyped with increasing detailedness.

Garrett claims in this illustration that Visual Design is rather “concrete”. I am not sure that he is right in this point. Many qualities of Visual Design can be discussed and represented (prototyped) in a very abstract way, as e.g. colors or emotional qualities.




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