This course was eye opening to me, not because I learned so much, but because so much was reaffirmed for me. I’ve known the importance of good design and usability in theory, but have never taken a class where the actual processes have been laid out for me to dig through. Being able to pick apart websites and compare them to their competition was fun. Reading Moggridge’s book was tough due to the amount of knowledge it held, but once done I looked back and appreciated the overall knowledge and timeline of technology presented. Often I find myself searching for the whole process or view, saying to myself “please just start from the beginning for the sake of us newbies;” Moggridge’s book is comprehensive. For example, it detailed the evolution of the mouse and the rise of Macintosh, two every interesting points.
To be more specific about my learning in this course, I came across two eye opening things. One, I wasn’t aware I found video games so interesting…yes strange I know. Not simply interesting because they’re a form of entertainment, but interesting in the development of them. They are the apex of creativity, with so little recognition going to the creators. I can relate the video game industry to my knowledge of the movie industry, which I worked in for the better part of my 20’s. I find the breakdown of gamers (casual, hardcore, etc) very interesting as well the marketing tactics that go into hitting those different groups. I see the evolution of the gamer from nerdy school boy to female socialite fascinating and see this progress attributed to console changes in products like the Wii and Xbox. In my first journal entry I note the “shift in perception of video games, meaning the tight conception of “gamer nerds” is splintering and experiences are becoming shared. This sharing aspect might have been a contributing factor to the inclusion of women into the video gaming experience, as well as the research linking increased female participation to casual gaming.”
The second eye opening tidbit I’ll take away from this course is stumbling upon the four concepts for marketing to Generation Y: immediacy, literacy, individualism and interactivity. This came up in a search for topics related to web presence while writing my final research paper. Forrester, the source, looks at Gen Y marketing successes in popular companies and created a common set of rules from reoccurring strategies. Marketing for that generation relates to the shift in the video gamer demographic as well as the boost in social networking. Our guest speaker from Zune has most likely taken these marketing tactics into consideration while building the Social, Zune’s social networking persona. Gen Y marketing in entertainment is a path I would like to explore as I continue in the MCDM program.
In line with the Forrester research I found, usability testing is a concept and practice I can take away from this course and use for work. Knowing the structure and process for testing something’s usefulness is interesting and allows me to appreciate the “behind the scenes” people more. When people are at work they often get caught up and take for granted that everyone understands their role and work and don’t realize that others might not share that same knowledge. Reading Jakob Nielsen’s book about Usability Engineering helps me better understand the people I interact with at work and paints a more holistic picture of our overall processes.
Hayes, E. (2005, September). Women, Video Gaming & Learning: Beyond Stereotypes. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 49(5), 23-28. Retrieved October 5, 2008, from Academic Search Complete database.
Maeda, J. (2006). The Laws of Simplicity. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Moggridge, B. (2007). Designing Interactions. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Nielsen, J. R. (1993). Usability Engineering. Chestnut Hill, MA: AP Professional.