We talk about haptic technology and how it’s going to be amazing soon.
The only limit that we’ve had up until recently was that if you wanted to create interactive content you needed a client application running on your local machine. To create Flash you needed to purchase, install and use the editing tools locally. Which brings me to the point of this post. I only recently found out about a new crop of web based IDEs (Integrated Development Environment). In no particular order.
You can create and edit .Net , Silverlight and many other types of projects. This is the best damn thing ever. I hope someone at Microsoft buys these guys.
All your stand website editing power with Git and Mercurial integration. Paid accounts offer many must have features but the free version can get you up and running quickly.
Now for the design side of things
It’s not nearly as new but the design side has been very well covered too.
The current leader in desktop design has an excellent head start on the web with their Photoshop.com service
Aviary is quickly becoming a designers hub online. What started as a Photoshop lite application for minor photo tweaks has quickly evolved in to one of the best collections of creative applications that run in the browser.
My personal favorite web based photo editing tool. I became hooked on Picnik thanks to its early Flickr integration that made it so easy to jump right in and edit my photos already on Flickr.
Need some inspiration? Go an check out Enter Action. The text is in german, so I’m not sure what the some of the stuff is about. The videos are in english or have english subtitles.
Check out this great video introduction to using Sketch Flow from Mix earlier this year:
Stop what you are doing right now and go check out the MoMA’s Design and the Elastic Mind online exhibit.
Initial research around the application, service. Interviews of stakeholders and customers. Reviewing competition.
Gathering information in outline form can be an extremely helpful way to quickly collect short bits of information like product names and then group and sort them under different headings. I almost always start my projects here. It really helps me see the logical connections between the information and helps me ask questions about the classification and naming systems that are already in place.
UI Flow Diagrams
User interface flow diagrams are created to model the interactions that a user has with a product or service. The diagram primarily will reflect the behavioral view of a single use case along with some optional pathways.
Paper prototyping is a variation of usability testing where representative users perform realistic tasks by interacting with a paper version of the interface that is manipulated by a person ‘playing computer,’ who doesn’t explain how the interface is intended to work.
A wireframe is a basic visual guide used in interface design to suggest the structure of an interface and relationships between its pages. Typically, wireframes are completed before any artwork is developed.
Functional Requirements document
This documentation describes the behavior of a system. The documentation typically describes what is needed by the user as well as requested properties of inputs and outputs.
It is a technique used to evaluate a product by actually testing it on users. This can be seen as an irreplaceable usability practice, since it gives direct input on how real users use the system. This is in contrast with usability inspection methods where experts use different methods to evaluate a user interface without involving users.
Use cases describe “who” can do “what” within the system being designed. The use case technique is used to capture a system’s behavioral requirements by detailing scenario-driven threads through the functional requirements.
Observing how people interact with products, services and experiences in order to come up with new solutions. User studies can help reframe a problem in a new way. They can also help see things that have gone unnoticed before.
Details how content is/should be used on a site, how to increase value
Records type/location of site content, recommends action for each item
Plans how content should be re-purposed/created for a site, who should do it, etc.
Outlines how search should work for a site, what technologies can be used, how it integrates with other sites
Search Interface Design
Plans how the search system will ingest queries and produce a Search Engine Results Page, plus the interface design for that page
Outline how to design a taxonomy(ies) for a site, and how they will work
Meta Data Schema
Detailed model of the taxonomy(ies) using customer data
Enterprise Content Management Strategy
Overall plan for how an ECM can be used on a customer’s site
Plan that details content types and content elements within a content management system
Content Publishing Workflows
Details the entire lifecycle of content for a site, from creation to archive