Communicating Design, Visualizing non-linear task flow

24 Sep 2008 - 4:34am
6 years ago
8 replies
1619 reads
SemanticWill
2007

Here is a question for you all.

I am exploring ways of using task flow diagrams as a means of conveying, in
an abstract manner, a recursive and interative user task flow that is not
linear - meaning the user is presented with a screen/canvas where their are
n number of dimensions/facets with attributes that a user can assign to some
artifact(x) to generate a new custom artifact (y).
How would you do it?

As an example - how would you visually communicate the user interaction with
the FaceYourManga flash application where you are building a custom avatar?

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.128 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill | gtalk: wkevans4
twitter: semanticwill | skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

24 Sep 2008 - 5:34am
Todd Warfel
2003

I'd use a prototype.

With a task flow, you'd need to illustrate a series of trees and loops.

On Sep 24, 2008, at 6:34 AM, Will Evans wrote:

> How would you do it?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

24 Sep 2008 - 6:56am
SemanticWill
2007

Well, yeah (you are the prototype guy!) - but within the constraints of a
diagram, i was wondering if anyone explored and abstract visual vocabulary
for communicating recursive iteration. No prototyping allowed! :-)

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 7:34 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:

> I'd use a prototype.
>
> With a task flow, you'd need to illustrate a series of trees and loops.
>
> On Sep 24, 2008, at 6:34 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> How would you do it?
>>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.128 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill | gtalk: wkevans4
twitter: semanticwill | skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

24 Sep 2008 - 7:42am
Scott McDaniel
2007

An approach I've been using is sort of a bastardized version of "page
description diagrams" explained by
Dan Brown here:
http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/where_the_wireframes_are_special_deliverable_3
with some elaboration here:
http://www.dmxzone.com/showDetail.asp?TypeId=2&NewsId=3991&LinkFile=page2.htm

It helped an approach where, in our case, we had a completely
component based application where
everything had persistent features on a module basis, but it was fully
customizable on the front-end
and the application functions would vary within certain parameters.

It's not an abstract visual vocabulary, but I found it jumped both the
hurdles of client understanding
and designer understanding fairly well (I used our salespeople,
project managers and graphic designers
as guinea pigs) while still communicating to our engineers how things ticked.

Scott

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
> Well, yeah (you are the prototype guy!) - but within the constraints of a
> diagram, i was wondering if anyone explored and abstract visual vocabulary
> for communicating recursive iteration. No prototyping allowed! :-)
>
> On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 7:34 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:
>
>> I'd use a prototype.
>>
>> With a task flow, you'd need to illustrate a series of trees and loops.
>>
>> On Sep 24, 2008, at 6:34 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>>
>> How would you do it?
>>>
>>
>>
>> Cheers!
>>

--
* It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And
it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible. - Randy
Pausch

24 Sep 2008 - 8:34am
Todd Moy
2007

Will,

If I were in this situation, I would probably be using something like
a UML activity flow diagram, a collaboration diagram, or JJG's IA
vocabulary.

In the past, when I ran into similar problems (recursion, parallelism,
multiple paths, etc.) I usually found that my confusion was based upon
thinking that the page was my most granular level of detail.Once I
threw that idea away and thought about activities and states, then I
found diagramming the orchestration to be easier.

Ultimately, of course, the question is who will be consuming these
diagrams--and what works best for them.

-Todd

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 9:42 AM, Scott McDaniel <scott at scottopic.com> wrote:
> An approach I've been using is sort of a bastardized version of "page
> description diagrams" explained by
> Dan Brown here:
> http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/where_the_wireframes_are_special_deliverable_3
> with some elaboration here:
> http://www.dmxzone.com/showDetail.asp?TypeId=2&NewsId=3991&LinkFile=page2.htm
>
> It helped an approach where, in our case, we had a completely
> component based application where
> everything had persistent features on a module basis, but it was fully
> customizable on the front-end
> and the application functions would vary within certain parameters.
>
> It's not an abstract visual vocabulary, but I found it jumped both the
> hurdles of client understanding
> and designer understanding fairly well (I used our salespeople,
> project managers and graphic designers
> as guinea pigs) while still communicating to our engineers how things ticked.
>
> Scott
>
> On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 8:56 AM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
>> Well, yeah (you are the prototype guy!) - but within the constraints of a
>> diagram, i was wondering if anyone explored and abstract visual vocabulary
>> for communicating recursive iteration. No prototyping allowed! :-)
>>
>> On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 7:34 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:
>>
>>> I'd use a prototype.
>>>
>>> With a task flow, you'd need to illustrate a series of trees and loops.
>>>
>>> On Sep 24, 2008, at 6:34 AM, Will Evans wrote:
>>>
>>> How would you do it?
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Cheers!
>>>
>
>
>
> --
> * It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And
> it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible. - Randy
> Pausch
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

\

24 Sep 2008 - 10:20am
John Gibbard
2008

Earlier this year I had exactly the same problem (involving repeated
browsing and posting on an interactive map) and corresponded with Dan
Brown about it. The long and short of it was that I demonstrated this
using clusters of 'pages' linked by a circular arrow to show
'within page' recursion. A difficult thing to describe but if
you'd like to drop me a mail I can send you the specific diagrams.

John.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33428

25 Sep 2008 - 1:13am
Yohan Creemers
2008

Most often I use the UML State Transition Diagram for complex
(non-linear) interaction.

By selecting a tool, clicking on an object or dragging a bounding
box, the user brings the application in a certain state. Each state
has it's own options for interaction.

Here an example of a diagram for 'editing objects in Visio'.
http://www.ylab.nl/ref/interaction.htm#std

Another one for 'ATM Usage'
http://tinyurl.com/uml-std-atm

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33428

25 Sep 2008 - 9:31am
Benjamin Ho
2007

Non-linear and recursive?

Sounds like a circle of pages/boxes with a central hub/access point.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33428

25 Sep 2008 - 9:32am
SemanticWill
2007

Yes

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 11:31 AM, Benjamin Ho <benoh2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Non-linear and recursive?
>
> Sounds like a circle of pages/boxes with a central hub/access point.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33428
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.128 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill | gtalk: wkevans4
twitter: semanticwill | skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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