In Work

Canon Redesign

Posted by on Jan 30, 2011 | No Comments

Improving interactions without increasing costs.

Project Brief
Time: 3 Weeks | Work Force: Solo Project
Role: You name it I did it

The goal of this project was to use a variety of research methods to aid in the process of redesigning the physical interface and the graphical user interface (GUI) for a digital camera, which in my case is the Canon SD1000.

The methods used in this project were: heuristic evaluations, paper prototyping as base line user testing and as a participatory design technique, participant observation, and sink or swim testing.

The catch was, it had to be a camera that we owned. We were not allowed to change the physical size of the camera. And we were not allowed to change the size or screen technology. The goal of these restrictions was that we had to improve the usability of the camera without increasing the production cost.

Paper Prototyping
Through the use of paper prototyping as a testing tool and a form of participatory design I identified key design opportunities.

The d-pad needed an additional form of directional reinforcement. Users failed to map the center button of the d-pad as preforming two functions. The functions menu failed to present users with cues to the next step and whether the desired option was available.

Physical UI Redesign
Physical changes include:

  • Adding a dedicated function button and a back button.
  • The buttons that interact with one another are grouped for easy access.
  • Engraved arrows on the outer ring of the d-pad cue the user to its directional functions.

GUI Redesign
Within the GUI I eliminated the use of dual points of interaction buy adding a drop down level to the main functions. For the play mode GUI I added a graphic cue for the type of media so users wouldn’t get confused between photos and videos, and added a full video control that mapped onto the d-pad.

Validation Testing
After the initial redesign of the UIs and the making of the testing model, sink or swim testing was performed to determine the success of the redesign and to find any potential problems before the design was finalized. The redesign exhibited good learnability shown by users navigating faster with each additional flow. One problem was identified in sink or swim testing. Users stumbled over the use of the word mode on both the button and the in the GUI as a section, which was corrected in the final version.

What this project means to me
The project was a good opportunity to learn the basics of IxD, as well as new testing and participatory design tools. Now that I have some IxD tools under my belt, I look forward to pushing UI design in my future projects.

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