Final Reflection

When I first signed up for this class, I was expecting a class on how to use various cs based design tools (such as bootstrap in css or creating fluid user interactions in an app) but I’m so happy this class was way more than that. I loved how the class was not a tradition lecture like the other HCI classes that I’m currently taking (Human Computer Interaction, Introduction to GUI, Mobile Software Design) and was a lot more conversational and interactive. I learned so much about basic design principles, human computer interaction, and working on a team where every member has a different background.

One of the biggest takeaways I got from the course was collaborating with students outside of cs. Working with design students opened up a whole new world for me. At first, it was difficult in explaining the limitations of the technology and trying to explain it without using technical terms, but as the project went on, it became really fun brainstorming and generating ideas from a whole new view point.

It would have been really interesting if the design students and the cs students switched roles for a class, where the cs students are put in charge of creating the wireframe and designing the front end while the design students create an outline for the program (basic classes, methods, doesn’t have to have be syntactically correct), so that both parties get a different point of view.

In conclusion, I can honestly say that this has been one of the most influential classes (in terms of influencing my career path) I have taken so far as a sophomore. I kind of wish I can take the class again to develop another project since the whole process of design, evaluate, re-design, etc. was so much fun.

Readings

I know that for many people, the second they hear ‘AI’ they begin blowing it out of proportion, by picturing the robots from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. But in reality, it surrounds what we do already on a day to day life, which is why it works so well as a design medium. Since it was introduced gradually into peoples lifestyle, first as online bots, then later to in-home smart devices such as Google Home or Alexa, people did become frightened by it. While describing the challenges of using AI as a design material, the one that resonated with me the most was that AI should not overstep it’s boundaries. For many people, all it takes is one instance of an AI that went farther than expected for them to denounce AI and reject all technology based off it. Even if the problem was resolved, they would have lost their trust in the technology completely. This is why they must be Designed for “..transparency ..opacity .. unpredictability .. learning .. evolution .. shared control” (Holmquist, 5).

 

Whenever reading about or using Machine Learning tools, I never considered the user experience aspect of the technology. I always assumed that ML would only be on the backend, never to be touched by users other than through API calls. Before I read the scholarly article by Dove, Halskov, Forlizzi, and Zimmerman, I pictured an application (which was what the user interacted with) that sits between the user and the machine learning back-end. One of the largest difficulties of using it as a medium appears to be the lack of understanding of the medium itself. Participants that were surveyed by this did not understand what Machine Learning was, in that the “Participants uniformly described difficulties in understanding what ML was and how it worked”(Dove, 282). In a way, that is how I saw it as well at first. I would choose from a list of available algorithms, upload some data, and suddenly receive results that were relevant to me. But after learning the science behind it, I can see more areas this technology can be applied to, which is exactly must happen with the UX designers as well, which this article concludes.

Assignment 1 Readings

Sengers:

In response to Sengers assertion that Computer Science engineers are akin to Taylorism which reduces the “fun” of programming, I have to say that I personally enjoy programming but understand Sengers’ point of view. Also when Sengers provided the assertion that “Instead of representing complexity, trigger it in the mind of the user”, it really caused me to realize that an amazing , complex program with a non functioning user interaction, the program also becomes non functioning despite it’s high level code. I remember reading articles about mobile application designs where apps that would have a huge number of functionalities would cause frustration among it’s users since the users would have a difficult time finding the function they are looking for (due to the large list of functions and the limited space of displaying options).

Wright:

During Wright’s definition of the “Four threads of experience”, it really connected with an article I read about the psychology behind programming certain types of mobile games where the goal is to get the user hooked and addicted to the gameplay. For example, the sensual thread references the design of the mobile game, where a pleasing color palate and animation may put the user at ease. The compositional thread could the be branching story line of the game that keeps the user wondering “what if I preform his action”. The emotional thread could be the joy and satisfaction the user receives when completing a difficult puzzle (where the puzzle may be impossible at first, but as time goes on, the solution unlocks. This causes the user to receives a certain amount of joy for the amount of time they invested in the puzzle).