Precedent Design Mimo

To understand and to learn interactive design it is important to look at precedent designs, as a designer this allows me to see what works and what is effective. Precedents are also a source of inspiration for my own interaction and interface design, I can gain inspiration from both look and feel and the navigational and functional elements of the design.

Mimo

The precedent I chose to look at in depth was Mimo, this app is designed to teach people coding on the go, in bite size pieces. It covers a range of topics ranging from programming for beginners, HTML, CSS, Java, making website, apps and more. You can download Mimo here https://getmimo.com

 

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Mimo’s logo/app icon

 

Target audience

The target audience that I identified when looking at this precedent includes coding beginners and intermediate coders who want to learn more. The app not only targets users who want to learn about coding in general, it also caters to users who want to learn a specific task e.g how to create a website. The short courses that the users complete are ideal to target users who are on the go and have limited time to spare. Due to factors above the primary target audiences for Mimo include young adults/students (18-25) as they have a deeper knowledge and experience with technology however a secondary audience could include older adults who want to broaden their skill set.

Assumed knowledge

This app assumes that the target audience has basic literacy and technology skills. If the user chooses to do a more advanced course it assumes that they have basic prior knowledge of that topic.

User interactions and interface

The user interface is simple with 4 categories displayed across a bar at the bottom of the app with the current category highlighted in green. It uses a simple hierarchy that allows users to choose their topics and level and get started. The main navigation includes back arrows and drop down menus. When actually learning the code the interface uses a simple continue button and a progress bar is used to indicate where the user is in the course. 

 

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Screenshots from Mimo, 19th of April 2017

 

Visual design

The overall design has a semi-minimalistic feel and is fairly clean. The icons are simplistic and use the Mimo’s signature colour green with purple accents. The illustrations have a flat style to them and add colour to the interface. The type used is a clean, fairly rounded sans serif font, the hierarchy used includes bold variations for title, medium variations in a lighter colour for subtitles and medium-light variation for the main content.

 

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Screenshots from Mimo, 19th of April 2017

 

Improvements I would suggest

Overall the app is easy to use, informative, enjoyable and very much suited to its target audience. A suggestion could be to have a web based app so that the user can learn about coding and then put their learning into practice as they are using Mimo on their computer. Another suggestion could be to use actual examples of final results in the teaching of the coding so that users know where they are heading.

Process and Context

Lecture pod 2 explores the process of creating an interaction and how important it is to understand the context in which users will use the interaction.

Process

When creating an interaction it is important to start with low tech methods e.g. pen and paper. By sketching out ideas, writing out descriptions and creating flow charts it is easy to completely understand the activity or problem that you are designing an interaction for. Once you have completely understood the issue and explored ideas through pen and paper then it is necessary to use more high tech methods to fill in all the details and work towards creating the final product.

Bill Verplank’s 8 step process

Bill Verplank approaches an interaction design process within 8 steps as illustrated below.

process

[Bill Verplank’s interaction design process]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.billverplank.com/Lecture/

Context

To design successful interactions it is important to fully understand the context of which they will be used in. To gain this knowledge many questions should be asked and scenarios in which people will use the interaction should be created. There are many different questions a designer should be asking, such questions include:

  • What are people trying to do?
  • How are they trying to do it?
  • What gets in the way or helps?
  • Where they might be doing it?

Most important idea from this pod

When designing an interaction it is important to follow a good process that involves a lot of planning, thinking, researching, looking at precedents and exploring the context of an interaction. Without these things an interaction will not be as successful as the designer would not have put in the proper time to learn and explore their ideas to their full potential.