UX & Interface Design

Lesson 1: Contextual Research, Affordances, and Signifiers

Introduction to Contextual Research

A primary goal for this class is to build your ability to understand users. A key to this is getting out of the office and spending time with people.

To help us understand user research, particularly contextual inquiry we'll read portions of Contextual Design, 2nd Edition by Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer. While you're welcome to obtain paper copies of this book you can access it for free through our library's access to Safari Tech Books. Off campus you'll need to enter your full 14-digit id number from your id card.

Read Chapters 1—2 (Introduction, User Data Drives Design) from Holtzblatt.

Affordances and Signifiers

Next let's switch topics a little bit to look at the "Design of Everyday Things," a concept, book, and teaching series by Don Norman, one of the great user experience designers of our time.

Begin this free Udacity course by Don and his colleagues.

Watch through the content in Lesson 1 of Norman's Udacity course

Note that the videos will introduce a "course" that we're not going to complete in full, but, rather, will simply enjoy the instructional content from Norman and his colleagues. You do not need to complete any of the activities there for a grade in this course, but some of the inline quizzes may be helpful as review of the material.