A 4 minute video from Human Interface Design shows an audience responding to some confusing user instructions. The video highlights the importance of understanding how users will typically use a piece of software or hardware.
One section of the PDF Human Interface Design includes a section titled ‘What’s it all about’ which discusses some of the disasters that occur when the user interface is confusing or inefficient.
Encourage students to discuss, in pairs, some examples of software/equipment that is hard to use or confusing. (Examples could include programming the TV, changing the time in the car’s clock display etc). The website Bad Designs has some good examples of products that fit into this category. There are some good examples in the PDF titled Human Interface Design of disasters related to poor user design and related interfaces.
Have a class discussion about this topic.
Encourage students to identify the attributes of good design. Some of these might be:
Students might wish to prioritise the elements that they think are important using some type of Diamond Ranking Template.
Share the learning intentions with the class. (Language and terms used will vary according to year level.) Tell students that they will:
There is a set of activities and worksheets that underpin each of these elements within Human Interface Design.
Human Interface Design includes an activity whereby students design a set of icons to represent a set of actions. Ask students to do this in pairs and then swap their work with each other to critique by applying the criteria that they have developed for design.