Personal reflection- Rebecca Williams:
Overall, building this website as a group has been very helpful in guiding me through the different aspects of interaction design as well as what needs to be taken into consideration when creating a good website which is a vital skill in this career path. Coming from a fine art background, I have never had any experience in graphic design or digital design in general therefore this module in the ‘principles of interaction design’ has been a step by step guide to this topic.
At the start of this project I researched what makes a good and bad website to gain a better understanding of the different factors in websites that improve their usability. In terms of good design I looked at train-line, as this is one I have used before and found very easy to navigate as well as aesthetically pleasing within the brand. However, on the other hand my example of a bad website was a charity website called ‘Evolve’ that I have previously worked with. Their website was the perfect template for a website that doesn’t take into consideration how the users will use it and just focuses on the design aspect, it is very colourful and I think a more simplistic approach could have been taken with this site.
I then began researching into 3 of the principles of interaction design which were Usability (making a website user-friendly), Accessibility (website that everyone can use) and Consistency (elements are in the same place throughout the site). Through research, I found out that it is crucial to make a website useable and simple to understand because as soon as a user gets confused trying to navigate the website they will click off and won’t click back again. Accessibility is a very important aspect as well as it creates a website that can reach more people then it would have otherwise, examples of this are including a button that reads text out-loud for people who have poor eyesight. This is an extremely important feature that I hadn’t considered before. Lastly consistancy is the next principle I looked into and it explains how important it is that the theme and design should remain the same across the website to ensure users recognise recurring features such as home buttons and to ensure users relate each page to the websites brand. This will help the user get less frustrated with the overall running of the website, which in turn, will improve their experience.
Looking into and downloading MAMP / WAMP was also crucial to our project as before doing this project I had no knowledge of this software or how to use it. After each member of the group downloaded it on their own laptop it would allow us to access and make changes to the website without being online as well as change parts of it without affecting the main site. This is extremely useful because trial and error methods are one of the main ways to developing a site and I know possess the skill to download MAMP/WAMP for other projects I will work on in the future.
To conclude, I believe this project has been very helpful in fully understanding the principles of interaction design. It has also been very satisfying to complete as we now have a finished website to show for it rather then just knowledge that we haven’t put into practice, this has made it very feel very engaging and enjoyable. It was challenging to begin with as it is completely different to anything that I have done before, however, after thoroughly researching the different aspects of this project I was able to gain a full understanding of what to do which made it much easier.