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Purpose

Due to the emergence of various advanced technologies, there are several businesses who have been benefited from it many ways. Today, The Businesses Are Adopting The Digital Technology That Is Not Only Helping The Companies To Expand Their Business But To Also Promote Their Services Globally. Apart from the business perspective, these technologies also become the medium for spreading news and information in a comfortable way so that the people can be aware about something where they are and at any time. According to the author [1], the introduction of mobile based and desktop application attracts the attention of the market and the local people, everyone is now developing their own application so that their information or services whatever they are providing can be delivered to their targeted audience quickly and efficiently.

The human and the technology have a symbiotic relationship with each where the societal trends and behaviours have their driving impact in the technological innovations. A group of volunteers from the local African Lives in Northern England Project has been thought of using a digital technology-based application which help to bring forth the fairer future to the African lives [2]. The application will present the lives of the African Lives in a digital way so that the myth that the North East is exclusively white and monocultural can be dispelled, and the success and presence of the people of African descent in the North East. By developing a mobile based application positive influences and awareness of the African lives can be spread.

The purpose of this report is present the application design concept with the help of which an application will going to be developed for the African Lives in Northern England. The report will discuss the core understanding and knowledge regarding the qualities and skills required for the application design including the appropriate methods and prototyping material which is essential for designing and developing the interactive prototype of an application. After that the report will present the design and development process and the rationale for the design decisions. Then with the help of secondary research some of the design artefacts will going to be evaluated that proves to be beneficial for the presenting the purpose of the prototype. Lastly, there will be a critical reflection on the value of the designed artefacts that will be used for addressing the social change challenge.

In the section the overall approach of the report as been discussed where how the appropriate application design concept has been discussed. The report will start with the detailed discussion on the design concept of the application which will be going to be designed later. After that all of its aspects will be elaborated that will include the concepts of user interface design whose principle plays a very important role in application design and development. After the required skills and qualities for the application design will be discussed. After that the methods and the prototyping materials will be identified and discussed. Lastly, considering all the addressed information will be used for designing the prototype design of the application on the African Lives in Northern England.

Background

In this section the detailed discussion about the application design concept will be discussed that will include the design and development process, methods, and prototyping materials, design artefacts, and a critical reflection on the value of the designed artefact for addressing the social change challenge.

According to the author [3], the user interface design mainly focuses on predicting what the users require in order to do and guaranteeing that the interface has the elements which are easy to understand, use, and access in order to facilitate those actions. The User Interface together brings the concept from the information architecture, visual design, and interaction design.

By the using the concept of user interface design the proposed application on the African Lives will going to be designed. UI bring forth the appropriateness and effectiveness of the usability of the application to the users [4]. The design is made by the consideration of various principles so that the consistency of the design can be achieved. As there will be link of several screen in the application so having the proper consistency within all the screen will provide a positive experience to the user.

Everything is started with the understanding of the targeted users that include their skills, goals, tendencies, and preferences [6]. So, if the designer has the proper understanding of their targeted user, then it will be easier for them to design an appropriate interface. Below some of the important considerations are highlighted [5]:

  • Use of common user interface elements and create consistency:By utilizing the general elements in the UI the users will feel comfortable and are able to get the things easily. It is also important to create the patterns in the design, layouts, and language throughout the site in order assist in facilitating the efficiency.
  • Keep the overall interface simple:The most appropriate interface is clearly visible to the users. All the elements which are not required and clear language are use on the labels and in the messaging.
  • Page layout must be purposeful:Consideration of the spatial relationship between the items on the structure and page based on the importance. The placement of the items carefully can assist in drawing the attention of the user to the most essential part of the information.
  • Think about the defaults:By anticipating and thinking about the goals carefully that the people bring to the site, the designer can be able to create the defaults that will minimize the user burden [9]. This become specifically important when it comes to the design of the form where the designer have the opportunity to have the fields which are filled-out or pre-chosen.

The area of application design requires the appropriate skills and the quality work so that the anticipated outcome can be achieved. The designer must have both the hard and the soft skills which can be developed by the practical experience. According to the author [7], to be accomplished in user interface design it is important to develop the skills in some of the specialized areas such as the graphic design, UI design software, and design tools. The transferrable qualities that will demonstrate the critical thinking of the interpersonal flexibility and skills are also play a vital role in the UI design [8].

In prototyping there are several methods and prototyping materials are used based on the type and requirement of the prototype. In this all the important and most preferrable methods and prototyping materials will going to be addressed. Designing a prototype requires proper consideration of the application purpose what it can be properly elaborated to the user [10]. Here, the prototype methods play the important as it helps to showcase the workflow or the activities of the actual application that will be going to developed later. There are various methods and prototype materials that can be used for prototyping such as [11]:

  • Diagrams and Sketch
  • Paper interfaces
  • Storyboards
  • Role-playing
  • User driven prototype
  • Physical models

Discussion on Application Design Concepts

From the above-mentioned methods, the most preferrable one is the diagrams and sketch, storyboards, and paper interfaces. These three are the most commonly used method that can be seen nowadays in prototype design. By using the diagram and sketch, the proposed application on the African Lives in Northern England will going to be designed.

According to the author [12], the prototype materials are generally the resources or the platform which are needed for making the design. There are various prototype materials available nowadays but it depends upon the user what they are preferring for designing the prototype. Below some of the prototype materials are highlighted such as:

  • Figma
  • InVision Studio
  • Adobe XD
  • Webflow
  • Origami Studio
  • Balsamiq
  • Sketch
  • Fluid UI

From the above list of prototypes material, the easiest and preferrable one is Balsamiq. Because of its simple UI and easily understanding features and functionalities, this application helps the user to design a professional prototype design within a very less time. Due to its features, for the proposed application design on the African Lives, Balsamiq will going to be used for making the interactive prototype design.

In this section an appropriate design and development process has been discussed which is important for making the proposed prototype so that all the requirement can be meet [13]. There is certain process that are used for designing and developing the prototype design such as [14]:

  • Need findings àwith the help of the user research methods the constraints get established
  • Ideation àIn order to generate the potential ideas and the select the promising ideas subsequently
  • Prototyping àIn order to create the model and approximations depending upon the ideas which has been identified.
  • Iterative refinement àDepending upon the testing the prototype gets generated.

The design decision which is considered is based on the provide scenario of the African Lives in Northern England where with the help of this digital technology the myth that the North East is exclusively white and monocultural will be dispelled, and the presence and success of people of African descent in the North East will be highlighted. Based on the scenario it has been seemed that if there will be mobile based application then the African people would be able to get the knowledge and information of the African history and about their ancient people. So, an application will be designed that will showcase all the events, information about the ancient people, events, and all the important publications. So, will be a consistency among the screens and the user would be able to switch to different pages by using the options in the navigation menu.

The designing artefacts are the type of way of presenting the actual application in a responsive prototype design. There are mainly three artefacts that are generally used for designing the prototype such as the wireframe, mock-ups, and user journeys. With the help of these the viewer will get the appropriate understanding about the actual application and how the application will work. Below all the three has been discussed in detail:

  • Wireframe àAccording to the author [15], wireframe is the visual representation of the actual application where only the blueprint is shown. Blueprint means only the outer structure of the application will be presented such as where the test will be present, where the image and the navigation menu will be present, a so on. This is generally used to provide an overview of the overall application
  • Mock-up àAccording to the author [16], mock-up is the same as the wireframe but there is only difference which is, here, all the sample details of an application will be present. The user will be able to use the prototype just like they use the actual application. Here, comparing to the real application, all the fields will already be provided with the sample information.
  • User journeys àAccording to the author [17], user journey is the type of flowchart design where the workflow of a user will be shown such as how the user is interacting with the application and what steps he/she is taking in order to accomplish a certain task.

User Interface Design Concept

Till the time we are not doing all the experiments with the design it possible that there are some values but we don’t have the appropriate picture on how we should act or relate something. According to the author [18], the certain values would not survive the exposure to the real choices but the other values will. Such type of process of sorting ourselves out can be unconscious, nonverbal, and intuitive but it is important. If the situations are not approached properly with the values that are right it is difficult to feel the good about the fact what we do. In designing the prototype that will be responsible for social change, there are certain challenges which can be addressed by the design artefacts.

  • It is having been found that the social medias are now integrating in the application so that the associated information can be displayed or viewed by the user. The design of the application comes with the social media icons which allow the user to social sites of that particular application.
  • People are now influenced by the social life so much that every specific details are now available of a user. The designs are altering the pattern of a certain problem or experience and change its perception visually so that the user won’t get the bad influence.

Getting the restrictions of what design can accomplish need not deter the idealistic designers of the younger ones who need to roll out an improvement. It just moves them to comprehend the genuine reasons for the issues they are tending to and search for long-term arrangements that join plan with primary change instead of fast proper fixes. I would provoke the coming age of designers to battle for change in the constructed climate and to face challenges: causing an intense proposition for change that to recognize the complexity of issues while challenging the status quo. The design may likewise have the option to moderate the side effects or encounter issues like disinvestment, stigma, crime, or segregation by modifying the examples of the built climate or changing its insight outwardly. However, design can't address monetary downfall, neediness, discrimination, or racism; these issues are underlying, characterized by our feelings of laws, economic practices, policies, values, beliefs, and fears.

In this report my contribution is to elaborate the concept of designing of an application and to identify the most appropriate methods, and prototyping material for designing the proposing the application. I have also contributed in researching the social change challenges that can be solved by the design artefacts which I have proposed.

Conclusion

The design concept is the most important part for making the prototype design of an application. There are various aspects which are essential to consider to achieve an appropriate design and usability of the application. In this report the entire process of design and development of a proposed prototype on African Lives in Northern England has been discussed in detail. The prototype method which is considered for the proposed application design is sketch and diagram, and the prototype material which is considered is Balsamiq which is the prototype designer tool. There are different vital aspects of user interface design has been discussed in this report which will help the designer later to develop an appropriate prototype design of the application. So, I conclude that all the above statements are true and would help to success in the appropriate designing of the application. This report will also be used for further research and for other prototyping designs.

Best practices for designing an interface

References

[1] Kim T, Park S, Yeo J. Study on the Design Process of Screen Using a Prototype Method. InAdvanced Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering 2018 Apr 23 (pp. 471-478). Springer, Singapore.

[2] Ting DS, Carin L, Dzau V, Wong TY. Digital technology and COVID-19. Nature medicine. 2020 Apr;26(4):459-61.

[3] Alves T, Natálio J, Henriques-Calado J, Gama S. Incorporating personality in user interface design: A review. Personality and Individual Differences. 2020 Mar 1;155:109709.

[4] Bødker S. Through the interface: A human activity approach to user interface design. CRC Press; 2021 Dec 16.

[5] Punchoojit L, Hongwarittorrn N. Usability studies on mobile user interface design patterns: a systematic literature review. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. 2017 Nov 9;2017.

[6] Ejaz A, Ali SA, Ejaz MY, Siddiqui FA. Graphic user interface design principles for designing augmented reality applications. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications (IJACSA). 2019;10(2):209-16.

[7] Lux E, Adam MT, Dorner V, Helming S, Knierim MT, Weinhardt C. Live biofeedback as a user interface design element: A review of the literature. Communications of the Association for Information Systems. 2018;43(1):18.

[8] Railean EA, Railean, Zhang. User interface design of digital textbooks. Singapore: Springer; 2017.

[9] Samrgandi N. User Interface Design & Evaluation of Mobile Applications. International Journal of Computer Science & Network Security. 2021;21(1):55-63.

[10] Faiz MN, Rahadi NW, Prasetya NW. Online Presence System Development Website-Based using Prototype Methods. Applied Technology and Computing Science Journal. 2021 Jul 31;4(1):1-9.

[11] Prawira M, Sukmana HT, Amrizal V, Rahardja U. A Prototype of Android-Based Emergency Management Application. In2019 7th International Conference on Cyber and IT Service Management (CITSM) 2019 Nov 6 (Vol. 7, pp. 1-6). IEEE.

[12] Urbieta M, Torres N, Rivero JM, Rossi G, Dominguez-Mayo FJ. Improving mockup-based requirement specification with end-user annotations. InInternational Conference on Agile Software Development 2018 May 21 (pp. 19-34). Springer, Cham.

[13] Pereira JC, de FSM Russo R. Design thinking integrated in agile software development: A systematic literature review. Procedia computer science. 2018 Jan 1;138:775-82.

[14] Sakulviriyakitkul P, Sintanakul K, Srisomphan J. The design of a learning process for promoting teamwork using project-based learning and the concept of agile software development. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET). 2020 Feb 18;15(3):207-22.

[15] Bunian S, Li K, Jemmali C, Harteveld C, Fu Y, Seif El-Nasr MS. VINS: Visual Search for Mobile User Interface Design. InProceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2021 May 6 (pp. 1-14).

[16] Bajammal M, Mazinanian D, Mesbah A. Generating reusable web components from mockups. In2018 33rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE) 2018 Sep 3 (pp. 601-611). IEEE.

[17] Dudley JJ, Kristensson PO. A review of user interface design for interactive machine learning. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS). 2018 Jun 13;8(2):1-37.

[18] Souleles N. Design for social change and design education: Social challenges versus teacher-centred pedagogies. The Design Journal. 2017 Jul 28;20(sup1):S927-36.

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