Envisioning is about:

  • Understanding : clients & users
  • Communicating
  • Evaluating and Selecting

Techniques for doing this

  • Restating client requirements
  • Scenarios of use
  • End user profiling
  • Mood boards
  • Storyboards
  • Navigation maps
  • Flow diagrams
  • Sketching
  • Design space analysis

Restating client requirements (brief)

  • Different words = different perspectives
  • Clients don’t always know what they want
  • Client’s don’t always know what is possible
  • Restating their requirements:
    • provides opportunity for discussion
    • clarifies misunderstandings
    • better basis for a  contractual agreement

End user profiling

  • Not enough to say ‘anyone’, or ‘children’,etc
be specific (anyone interested in buying a car and with the money to do it, children between 7-12 in the London area, etc)
address any issues users might have (kids – feel safe, feel cool, etc)
  • If your interface/website/object has multiple audiences:
profiling will reveal potential clashes of interest
you have a place from which to start making decisions/trade-offs
Alternative methods for gathering data about users and for presenting profiles
Observation: ethnographic approaches; ethical issues (discussed later in module)
Creating fictional ‘personas’ to use in scenarios

Mood/Style Boards

  • Widely used in interior design/advertising http://www.bbc.co.uk/homes/design/colour_moodboard.shtml
  • You can generate them, or you can get users/clients to generate them
  • Capture feelings of a place or of a design:
  • anything goes (images, text, colours, textures, website screen shots, etc)
  • use removable sticky stuff so you can alter board


Technique from film-making:
scenes/frames from the user experience point of view
communicate the feel of the ‘flow’ of the design
Can be used in prototypes/scenarios (see later weeks..)
storyboard normally contain a sketch of the visual elements + descriptions of animations, interactions (e.g. dialog boxes), sounds, and any other media.

Navigation Maps

Represent how the user navigates through the design:
not same thing as directory structure!
Box per page/key moment:
where can you go from here
include backwards as well as forwards flows
Frequently, drawing them helps spot:
orphan pages
dead ends
structure is getting too complex and users will get lost