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Assignment - Human Computer Interaction
Create paper that describes the process of evaluation and why it is vital for the design and creation of effective interactive products and technology. Be sure to describe the conceptual, practical and ethical issues involved in evaluation.
Answer - Interactive Design and Discussion
Evaluation is one of the critical phases in the design of the products and it is very much needed to perform evaluation in the most effective and efficient manner to arrive at designs that are highly effective in meeting the objectives of the final requirements. Evaluation succeeds both the conceptual and physical design processes. In the conceptual process of the design, there is much to do with the evaluation of the actual design; where in the actual idea of the objectives of the design are made like what makes up the ideas, what objectives are going to be met with the intended ideas. What are the key elements of the conceptualization? What it needs? What it not are some of the aspects that will be considered in the conceptual design and the same will be evaluated for its compliance for the intended objectives, constraints and external factors as well. Once the conceptual design is done, the next step is the physical design, where in the actual product will be evaluated for the sake of its conformance with the expected final outcomes and directive features. Typical aspects like the material selection, the shape, size, functionality, interactions with the surroundings etc will be decided in the physical design and evaluation will check for the compliance and conformance of the same with the intended objectives. In the same phase of evaluation, apart from performance features, other aspects like the approximate cost, the complexity in the manufacturing process, the possible time for completion are some of the aspects that will be considered in completing the process. Evaluation does consider each of these aspects before finalizing the physical design(Preece et al., 1994). The following part of the report will discuss about the conceptual, practical and ethical aspects of the design and it will also include its significance in designing and creation of effective interactive products and technology. The discussion is spanned to emphasize the significance of the evaluation process in general, typical features that will be evaluated in interactive designs and technologies, how and what it evaluated in the conceptual designs and the physical designs. Also ethical perspectives are discussed in the evaluation stating their significance and relevance in the current objectives of the design process.
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Evaluation process and its significance
When prototyping viz., low fidelity prototyping and high fidelity prototyping works for the design and development of the models of the concepts as well as with focus on other aspects like functionality, features, possible shape etc, evaluation is the actual part of the design process, which works for critically analyzing the design for the required alignment with the final objectives. Only when the outcomes of evaluation are as expected, the design can be either approved for further development in the case of low fidelity prototypes or it will be allowed for either modifying or confirming the final model in the case of high fidelity prototyping. In any case, evaluation is the critical phase of the entire process that will evaluate the design and finalizes the same. However the actual prototyping selection will depend on the strategy being employed. Priorities and the actual design under consideration, the complexities in its configuration, the extent of design options available etc will decide the selection of the final strategy of evaluation process(Jing Yan,2015).
Evaluation in the context of interactive products and technology:
(i) Evaluation is quite versatile and will provide numerous options for interactive products. For example in the case of a simple interactive model design, the different options available for design and versatility of each of these designs can be compared using the principles of evaluation. Further evaluation will help to identify the most effective and appropriate technology for the intended outcomes.
(ii) At conceptual design phase level, evaluation works on to provide insights into the aspects like whether is approximate integration done for integrating technology available in the product model?
Whether there is further room for integration of technology in the model?
Whether the product interface can be made more effective?
Whether the design has provided basis for the overall design of the product?
(iii) Further evaluation process and subsequent findings will enable the professional collaboration among different design groups and it will also work for enabling the support and mutual assistance between different design teams working in the product design. Evaluation and the feedbacks obtained from the process will enable synchronization of the effects of the different teams to make up the changes in the model as per the necessity and standards. Evaluation works as a collaborative enabler for diverse skills and expertise groups that do work in the design process. Both at the level of the conceptual design level as well at the level of physical design level the evaluation process will work for contributing to the final design process(Lazar et al, 2017).
(iv) In the case of interactive design products and tools design, evaluation will work for providing the feedback on the emerging designs and these designs in turn will enable further refinement and finishing the design in accordance with the final needs of the product.
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Aspects of evaluation
Evaluation of the physical designs will ensure some common design principles and their conformance in the actual design process, some of these focus aspects include,
Striving for consistency, whether it is really necessary to abandon the data or any other aspect of functional significance in the design can be evaluated for their consistency and incorporation in the final design.
Evaluation will ensure whether the specific interactive design product or technology has features that can make sure the frequent users are provided with additional advantages like frequent usable short cuts etc.
Whether the error feedbacks are made properly to include the error messages on the screen comprehensively so that they can be rectified to take up appropriate actions.
Design dialogues to complete the processes.
Other features like simple reversibility of the action, proper control of the interactions and features like short term memory reduction etc can be evaluated and ensured that the design is well in congruence with the needs and is acceptable as well.
Evaluation for standards
Evaluation process will also ensure whether the pertinent standards and protocols of the design are followed in the actual design process are not. Each of these standards are developed in time with consolidation of the design experiences and they are of use in making up the required final evaluation of the design and to make it fit for the intended usage as per the requirements. Typical standards like ISO 9241, ISO13407 and 14915 are some of the standards employed in this scenario to evaluate the conformance of the designs. Specifically in the case of interactive tools design, focus on aspects like menu design, icon designs, screen designs and information display designs can be evaluated to find whether the final design in focus is as per the standards and conformance are not.
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Evaluation of the designs and ethical aspects
It is possible to have a large set of design alternatives from where a particular best choice can be selected. In such instances when there is equal observation is available in terms of functionality as well as in terms of technology usage, ethical aspects and compliance of the same can be considered. Evaluation of the designs which are otherwise similar can be made on ethical basis to finalize the one for the final objectives. Evaluation will help in this regard to finalize the right selection from all aspects. Typical moral and ethical concerns may include metaphors and models of human activities which may include aspects like human activities, work practices, organizational cultures, social identities etc into the design. Such concerns are expected to differentiate the moral conformance of the products from this perspective.
Evaluation is the ultimate phase that works on to analyze the design and will provide valuable feedback and insights for further improving the design process and functionality. More specifically the evaluation will work for the evaluation of the conceptual, prototype and the ethical perspectives of the design. All these aspects in turn will decide the appropriateness of the design and will enable further improvement of the design for meeting the final objectives of the design process. Apart from functionality, usability and interface features, in interactive designs evaluation will also make sure the conformance of variety of standards and will work to ensure that the entire design is as per the expectations of the standards. The final design and its effectiveness will be ensured only through evaluation process. A comprehensive evaluation will make sure the design is evaluated from multiple aspects and this in turn will minimize the change overs and time for design process as well. In any case the role of the evaluation and the complexity of the same will depend on factors like fidelity of the design, the included complexity in the design, the phase of the design process, the actual process, intended functional objectives, working environment etc. In any case, evaluation of the interactive designs makes up one of the important element of the design cycle.
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