Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Interaction Guidelines

What is an interaction guideline?

Interaction guideline is a document that captures the behavior of an interface. This includes all tiny and minute details for all sort of controls (buttons, dropdowns, links, etc.) that a developer will require to design with perfection.

Why do we need an interaction guideline document?

Use cases primarily captures business flow. However, in this project BAs are capturing screen flows and are writing screen field properties too. Since, the screens were designed by UX folks and not BAs, obviously we know better about the screens than anybody else. After all, prototype is our baby.

Things like dynamic panels - when to display and where to display; when to display a value as a drop down and when as text; what is the meaning of secondary sort, whether the sort is forward and reverse both; when an element becomes a link and when it is text?

For e.g. Number of Share is a numeric link but when the value becomes zero and there is no number to be displayed, display as text.

For e.g. What if the address of the user is not on file, how the information will be displayed there?

There are many such instances that will go unnoticed and undocumented, if we did not create interaction guidelines.

Who are the intended audience?

All team members reading the usecases and designing the system are intended audience.

Myth: We can do everything with the usecase

We went with the same myth in one of our projects and stumbled upon. UX team were asked to create interaction guidelines at the very last minute. Hope you guys do no repeat history and learn from mistakes. By the way, I do not churn pages and pages of interaction guidelines for fun :)

Of course, I have better ways to pass my time.

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