VIIM-A is a method for mentally unpacking Interaction Design problems. It is probably most useful when applied to Software related design projects but it can be used in a variety of Interaction Design contexts.
VIIM stands for Visual, Interface, Interaction and Motivation.
In most Interaction Design projects the entire project context can be broken down into the following elements:
- Visual – the things you see, including colour, form, layout, graphic design
- Interface – the things you touch or manipulate, including buttons, pull downs, handles.
- Interaction – the things you do. Verbs. Doing words. For example: uploading
- Motivation – why you do the things you do. For example: because I am hungry.
A is for analysis.
The amount of analysis that is appropriate for an Interaction Design problem varies based on the project particulars from a simple breakdown to an elaborate multi user study.
Below are some examples of the most basic VIIM Analysis. These examples have a repeatable format that is easy and quick to do. There are four rows of four images, each row corresponds to Visual, Interface, Interaction, Motivation.
The first row, the visual row is easy. Simply take photos of the current situation capturing what it looks like.
The second row is also easy, take photos of the parts you touch – the interface. You may wish to bring the Interface photos into Photoshop to add a semi transparent overlay to highlight the areas that you touch, a button for example.
The third row, the Interaction row is a little more difficult. As the Interaction happens over a period of time you are trying to capture what the person is doing. The four images are now a short storyboard. It is useful to add captions to help explain what is happening.
The fourth row, the Motivation row is more abstract and more difficult to photograph. Why does someone feel the need to book an airline ticket or cook a meal? A caption under each image helps to tell the story.
The four VIIM parts are inter-related and co-dependent. A visual change can quickly escalate into a change to the interface. A change in the interface can impact the style of Interaction. A change in Interaction would not really be required unless there was some change in the expected use case. A change in the user motivational perspective or use case can have a profound impact on all aspects of the design.
Toaster VIIM-A (Kym McMurran)
Uniflow University payment system for printing VIIM-A (Stephen McDevitt)
Creating a Word doc for University assignment VIIM-A (Martin Tyre)
This is updated from an 1998 diagram:
The Icon duck thing is from Cyberduck but could be any icon
To all students who worked on the Future of Security project last semester, here is a nice promotional video. I guess this one is heading for Crowdfunding
So, I figured out what I will be teaching next semester: This is what it looks like:
DES134 Introduction to Interaction Design Techniques
I wrote this module but I have not taught it before: it will cover the following items: Story structures, storyboards, icon design, information design, data, information, decision. This module is with Year 1 Design students and sounds like fun.
DES320 User Centered Design.
This one is for Year 2 Design students. This is a project based module. I anticipate that we will get some new product and or service inventions developed here. I am going to squeeze in something about Roy Stringers Navihedra also. Exciting.
DES809 Design Entrepreneurship Awareness
This is a Masters of Design Module. The module is a series of 5 lectures including: Anto and Rob’s Gold Rush story and Intercept the Strategic Vector. There is a day of Elevator Pitches also.
I will be supervising a few BDes final years, don’t know who or how many yet. I also have a two MDes supervison students. That’s it, should be a busy 12 weeks. Starting, 27 Jan.
Snapshots from the VIIM-A activity
module plan and assignments
This project will search the domain of mobile phones for Product, Interaction and Graphic Design opportunities.
Phase #1: Empathy with users.
The project will rely on a “model” of two users; the student designer self and an invited person (a close friend, brother/sister, parent?). A model of the two users will be built using essays, photo’s, recordings, movies, powerpoint, prezi, keynote, etc. The model will be presented in four “chapters”.
Chapter 1: Character empathy. The user character will be will presented. Age, gender, occupation, home, relationships, hobbies, talents, etc
Chapter 2. Chronology: A 24hr chronological account of the users life (based on one of the Design Search Themes below)
Chapter 3. Activities: What life activities are taking place when the phone is being used for the theme element listed below.
Chapter 4. Places and contexts: What context is occurring when the phone is being used for the theme element listed below. Where is this happening?
These four chapters (multimedia presentations) will combine to form the “model”.
In Phase #2 the model will be tested and searched using methods described in another post (later)
Design Search Themes
- Calls: Making a call/taking a call/during the call/missed/conference
- Texts: Receiving a txt/sending/reading/deleting/forwarding/multiple texts/managing
- Photos: Taking a photo/viewing photos/sharing
- Time: Checking the time/alarms/stopwatch/setup/zones/network time
- Games: Games that are onboard when you get the phone/new games/network games/leader boards
- Twitter: Tweeting contexts, the idea of passive open rhetoric
- Facebook: Instead of calls and texts
- Contacts: Transferring from last phone/creating a new contact/editing/managing/getting new lists/sharing/extra
- Music: Playing music/organising music/buying/sharing/headphones and speaker systems/connectivity
- File transfer: Using the phone for file storage/sharing skydrive/icloud etc
- Shopping: What happens when you go shopping with a mobile?
- Privacy: What aspect of privacy matter on your phone? Do you protect anything?
- Home screens: Ringtones, backgrounds, wallpapers, widgets
- Movies: Playing feature movies/TV Series. Downloading movies, sharing
- Dual Screen: While watching TV/Playing games
- Making Movies: Effects, Sharing/Youtube/FB
- E Mail: Managing email, reading/responding
- Navigation: Using maps, turn by turn, finding your way GPS apps (speed, running apps, etc)
- Apps: managing apps, free, purchased
- Calendar: Using the calander to plan an event/life
- Places that phones are in: Pockets, bags, tents, bedrooms, kitchens, cars, classrooms, etc
- Web Browsing: Google
- Charging the battery: how is it done, when, where, how often
- Reading: Books/newspapers/magazines
- Settings: Altering the settings in a phone. How is it done, why, how often. Phone experiences while roaming.
- Passwords: Remembering
- Voice note recording:
- Voice activated commands/siri:
- Timetable: keeping timebales for travel, etc.