A while ago, a designer friend of mine tweeted, “Boundaries are pretty interesting places” and it got me thinking about what we do. Creating innovative and useful solutions requires us to understand UX boundary areas – areas of tension between people and their technology. Doing this well requires recognizing and understanding the 3 layers of UX tension:
- Interface Itself
- Person-Application Interactions
- Interaction Ecosystem
During my presentation, I will review each of these areas, and demonstrate how they influence design decisions within the framework of our redesign of an application that controls Atomic Force Microscopes. Originally created by and for the scientific community, the Atomic Force Microscope software had a steep learning curve that required years to master. Physicists and chemists with a long history of using the application, needed to be able to transition seamlessly to the new design. New academic users and technical support staff who were familiar with the purpose of an atomic force microscope but not with the application also had to be considered. Finally, we were designing for a new group of commercial users, who would only be using the device for specific, industry¬-related tasks, rather than long ¬term scientific research.