Page 44



C. Establishing an Application Framework Valued computing tools can tame complexity by structuring workers’ interactions within comprehensible, consistent, and cohesive overall frames. Designing such a clear organization requires deliberate and critical exploration of an onscreen tool’s potential “shape” and “routes.” During application envisioning, product teams can synthesize common structural needs with their own resonating design ideas in order to sketch guiding models and larger interaction approaches for their products. Early ideation about these application structures can “set the stage” for teams’ evolving functionality concepts by both shaping and reflecting divergent ideas about potential user experiences.


Once product teams have generated a critical mass of sketched ideas about their application’s potential roles in work practice, they can begin to meaningfully envision appropriate concepts for their product’s high level “form.” This overall form can communicate how a tool will basically work, and it can inherently define a framing range of useful interaction constraints. Teams can use these foundations to reshape their envisioning of key scenarios for mediated work, driving top down, systemic consistency and a larger design strategy across their proposed functional areas. Sketching concepts for an application’s framework does not entail exacting definition or design. Instead, it involves working through important constraints with only as much detail as is necessary to realize and communicate potential design concepts. Although many of these important constraints can arise organically from the ideation process, teams can also derive key constraints for their application’s framework from well characterized challenges that are often manifested in computing tools for knowledge work. This category contains 10 of the 100 application envisioning ideas in this book: C1. Intentional and articulated conceptual models C2. Application interaction model C3. Levels of interaction patterns C4. Pathways for task and activity based wayfinding C5. Permissions and views tailored to workers’ identities C6. Standardized application workflows C7. Structural support of workspace awareness C8. Defaults, customization, and automated tailoring C9. Error prevention and handling conventions C10. Predictable application states Product teams can use these ideas to explore notions of how their product could frame — both conceptually and in a literal interaction design sense — the knowledge work practices that they are striving to mediate. Although it can be safely assumed that early ideas about an application’s framework will grow and change during the envisioning process and throughout product implementation, teams can deliberately preserve the essential character of the framing form that they have chosen to pursue. The central notion of this category is most closely related to the “Exploring work mediation and determining scope” (A), “Defining interaction objects” (B), “Clarifying central interactions” (G), and “Aiming for aesthetic user experiences” (L) categories.

Working through Screens (Tabloid Size)  

Working through Screens: 100 Ideas for Envisioning Powerful, Engaging, and Productive User Experiences in Knowledge Work This heavily illus...