Class Outline

Thinking about design

Screen design




Design is for an audience

What are you saying to who

There is no right design

There are expectations

Expectations are formed by use

Expectations change over time

Designers play with expectations

Design has fashions


Thinking about design

Design of the interface

Design of the screen

Interaction design

Design of the architecture

What information goes where

Technologies to use

Interface and navigation options and control (programming)


Screen interface

Layout (of information)

How information is arranged on the screen

What do you put where


How do you identify information


How do you let them go elsewhere

What are their choices


What information to make available


How do you sign your page

Colour, Graphics and Animations


User Questions 1

Design as a dialogue answering questions

Where am I?

When you click on a link you go somewhere new

You have expectations about where you go

You are disoriented

Good design reassures you as to where you are and orients you

Signature graphics and titling is important

What can I get from this page?

You have expectations about content

You want information you expect

Good design makes content available without distraction


User Questions 2

Where can I go from here?

You may not be in the right place

Good design helps you get there

You may want more information

Good design helps you find it

Good design anticipates questions and answers them

Designers try to surprise you



Simple Example

Google: Very simple Web page

Complex Example

McMaster External page

McMaster Daily News page

University of Toronto Home page


Questions to ask about a design

Is the audience clear?

Does it have a point?

Is the content appropriate for the audience?

Is the design appropriate for the audience?


Questions to ask about screen design

Is there a clear and consistent titling scheme?

Is there a recognizable graphical logo?

Is there a clear and consistent location for content?

Is the content easy to access?

Is there a clear and consistent navigation system?

Can I find what I want quickly?

Can I find out who did the site?

Does it load quickly?


Created by Geoffrey Rockwell, September, 2003