Start, Play, Go, Begin

Motivation through frustration

Why did I bring myself to study an MA in User Experience Design?

There are a lot of User Experiences already in play out there shaping the world we live in. People rely on UX for work and play, not overlooking the fact that since the Covid-19 pandemic began, we as MA students (somewhat ironically) shall be learning how to create User Experience journeys via a web platform, providing us with our own UX experience within our education journey.

Huge access issues arise when using apps and websites, for many users, the desired outcome of interacting with software may not be what they set out to achieve in many cases. Software that is relied on for travel, important financial decisions and life planning can put stress and a strain on society with seemingly simple interactions failing or confusing their path at times. We have to use many separate UX journeys to make progress seemingly in the modern world.

Many users with disabilities are suffering or unable to use software down to things like CAPTCHA (a simple interaction puzzle added to forms and interactive elements to prove that we are in fact a human and not a robot) as explained on the WW3 accessibility site under a paragraph named ‘The Accessibility Challenge’ “While online users continue broadly to report finding traditional CAPTCHAs frustrating to complete, it is generally assumed that an interactive CAPTCHA can be resolved within a few incorrect attempts. The point of distinction for people with disabilities is that a CAPTCHA not only separates computers from humans, but also often prevents people with disabilities from performing the requested procedure. For example, asking users who are blind, visually impaired or dyslexic to identify textual characters in a distorted graphic is asking them to perform a task they are intrinsically least able to accomplish. Similarly, asking users who are deaf, hard of hearing, or living with auditory processing disorder to identify and transcribe in writing the content of an audio CAPTCHA is asking them to perform a task they’re intrinsically least likely to accomplish. Furthermore, traditional CAPTCHAs have generally presumed that all web users can read and transcribe English-based words and characters, thus making the test inaccessible to a large number of non-English speaking web users worldwide. Frankly, a design pattern that expects multiple attempts from users as a matter of course is arguably inaccessible by design to persons living with an anxiety disorder as well as to many living with a range of other cognitive and learning disabilities

How can we ask that people use software to progress in so many ways on this planet?

Image used from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Daniel_Blake#/media/File:I,_Daniel_Blake.png

I, Daniel Blake is a 2016 drama film written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach. It stars Dave Johns as Daniel Blake, a middle-aged man who is denied Employment and Support Allowance despite being declared unfit to work by his doctor” In one scene he enters the unemployment office in person, looking for help to fill in an online form, only to get an employee reprimanded for her goodwill in helping him. This film provided me with a lot of motivation to get into UX in order to learn how to create achievable journeys for users to access support when they were required to in order to survive in the modern world.

Many technology users are seeking familiarity in chaos, we all enjoy a favourite in this world, a meal, a piece of music, a television episode so why not a favourite UX journey? Can I set out to create this for all users? I hope to see a crystal mark type campaign for plain English but for UX journeys with increasing regulation brought in to help those who struggle with day to day living yet are having to use technology as part of the process.

Starting again

I have used Kanban and Waterfall methods within work previously as a web developer / UI designer, these subjects are covered in the first week of the course. My experience of these ways of working was very technical focussed at the time and I was usually relaying my frustrations at visual design guide anomalies in standups rather than forging design logic improvements to help users eventually.

Having built front end web user interfaces for many years, I am often wondering what the user is going to feel upon interacting with websites or apps post build? especially when the website was created from a simple aesthetic visual design process rather than a UX map or pre-planned path.

Once in a role as a UI designer, I was told not to incorporate traffic light colours into a design as it can unwillingly lead to a false flag outcome for users, my manager knew that I was relying on surveys to create the user journeys rather than actually knowing the user’s eventual outcome, so he wanted me to be aware of my colour theory.

I am glad that I have the full spectrum of work experience that allowed me to see the process of creating websites in a non-UX environment as this lead me to where I am today.

Fellow brethren

It is great to see the range of backgrounds that fellow students are involved in, and that others share the understanding that UX is fundamental to creating a better tomorrow. The avatar task that we were asked to do gave me a chance to show my interests with tangible objects that I own, it was a challenge to filter what was most important to me visually.

Moving forward

Looking at my motivation, frustration and ambitions listed in this journal entry, what do I hope to achieve over the next 12 weeks within the development practice module?

I am keen to further hone my communication skills through design practice and to improve my own communication skills by working in team based tasks. I am excited to learn the correct methods of planning & research involved in UX design.

I aim to add at least one journal entry to my blog to track my progress in real time and my understanding during the MA.

I aim to read a wide selection on the reading list for the course and sign up for interactive design membership.

References

W3C Group Draft Note, 2021, Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA, 1.2 The Accessibility Challenge viewed 2nd June 2022, https://www.w3.org/TR/turingtest/#the-accessibility-challenge

I, Daniel Blake, Wikipedia, viewed 2nd June 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Daniel_Blake

Sharon Percy In I, Daniel Blake, viewed 2nd June 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-rTAd5k3q4