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Friday, December 09, 2005

Storyboarding Interesting Moments

In a previous post, I discussed the idea of an Interaction Matrix. I described its purpose as documenting the event states that occur within drag and drop, inline editing and other types of interactions.

However, the term event states is a rather dry and sterile way to think about this really important concept. In fact the term comes from the programming world (which I lived happily in for many years.)

Recently, I was at a talk where Nate Koechley presented about the new vocabulary of user experience in the world of Rich Internet Applications. He used the term Interesting Moments (which was coined by Eric Miraglia) to describe the event states within an interaction that are points of user engagement or interest.

I really like that term. Wish I had thought of it first ;-)

Thinking of storyboarding interesting moments within an application, an interaction, or a widget simplifies our thinking.

It actually turns event states inside out and focuses them instead on the user. It asks the question, "What is interesting to our user?" and "What is needed to engage them (invitations) and aid them (feedback) through our story?"

Nate also pointed out that designers have the role of director. As such we have a cast of characters (our interface elements) and the timeline (interesting moments) on which to play out our interface.

Let me know what you think...

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6 comments:

James Governor said...

ambient findability? it goes back to my thoughts on what makes Zimbra so powerful, and why I believe Yahoo is also moving to an ajaxian position based on user interface in a way google is not. it is not about replicating "rich clients" - its about inveigling information into the context in which the user wants to recieve it. information in context. which is why i really like your use of hover in this search context. better UI for sure.

http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/archives/001061.html

James Governor said...

would be GREAT if you could take a look at the post and reply bill, if you can find a minute.

Bill Scott said...

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Yahoo! has so much content & user context that it needs/wants to expose. This is pushing us to be more innovative in support just in time contextual information.

Joshua Porter said...

Hi Bill. This sounds akin to what we at UIE call "seducible moments", when a user is vulnerable to something new or related. A seducible moment often happens after a user has successfully done something, like place something in their shopping cart, or completed a task. Here's an article explaining it in more detail.

And I certainly agree that we're building a vocabulary here around web apps, a very necessary one.

Bill Scott said...

Good article. The idea of seducible moments raises it slightly higher than that of interesting moments. While interesting moments are focused more on the possibility points of interaction, seducible moments are focused on engagement. One is more at the event interaction level, the other is at the engagement level.

Thanks for pointing me to the article.

I-COM Software said...

Hello Bill,

Thank you so much for the Visio Wireframe stuff. This is exactly what I was looking for working on new projects.

Thanks again.

Fred @ I-COM Software