Printer Interface Redesign

interface design

In my interaction design class, one of our main projects was to choose an interface and redesign it to make it more intuitive, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing. I chose the printer interface used by all Notre Dame students which, according to my initial generative research, was difficult to use and had functionalities unknown to most students because of the complexity and confusion of the interface. Though my designs were by no means perfect, this was a major learning opportunity, and one which helped me to realize how much I actually liked interface design. I had a lot of fun on this project, and I would definitely look forward to doing similar projects in the future. The Wordpress blog I maintained for this course is found here

Generative Research

I first conducted generative research with both an experienced and inexperienced participant to pinpoint design flaws. To do this, I put together a series of task flows that reflected the major functionalities of the system, then had them accomplish the task without any instruction. Making copies seemed to be one task that both participants had difficulty completing, and the fact that the screen required the participants to use buttons not even on the screen also exposed a flaw in the system.

Participatory Research

We then took a day of class to conduct participatory research to see what students looked for in a redesigned interface. I interviewed a total of four participants who created their own versions of a "device that enables you to print, copy, and send documents". Not only did students present much more clear and simple interfaces, but they also highlighted functionalities not present in the current system, such as support for images and structuring of the system into more of a cloud or drive format.

Sketching & Wireframing

My sketches took into account what I had learned from my research, and I added more visual elements and graphics to make the various functionalities clear. Especially for students trying to use the system quickly, shapes and visuals make using the system much easier than having to sift through various confusing levels of text.

Final Concept Boards

I designed two exhibition boards to display my process and new design that addressed the problems I uncovered. For more information and photos of my process, click each board to view in more detail.

Evaluative Research

I took my designs back to users, who simulated completion of the same tasks from my generative research using the updated interface. I recorded their screens as they used it so I could implement it in my video record as seen below, but also to locate further areas of improvement. The illustrated instructions in paper handling were initially ignored out of habit as they are absent in the existing interface, though helpful when I reminded my users they were there. A next step would be to eliminate this problem and thereby make my system even more intuitive.