Review: Scott & Neil’s Designing Web Interfaces Master Class

Scott & Neil’s Designing Web Interfaces Master Class

The Designing Web Interfaces Master Class by Bill Scott and Theresa Neil is, well, a class about designing web interfaces, discussing the common interaction design elements of successful web pages, and also those dreaded annoying/confusing design elements that designers sometimes use. Watching the class has put a lot of these design elements into perspective for me, and given me a much better grasp of the big picture of interaction design and program interfaces. Overall, the Master Class is worth a look. I’m at a point where I’m interested in learning and absorbing a lot of information about user experience and interaction design, so this is a nice overview of the entire concept of user interface.

When you have these types of talks, it’s important for structure to exist. The class is presented as a class, meaning a lecture format. This is ok, but I think for a video it’s much better when you have more involvement from the class. With this human interaction during the video, the viewer will become more immersed in the topic. You have a pdf copy of the class, which allows you to quickly go through the content, refresh your memory on what was said, it’s nice complement to have with the video.

What I Took Away

The Master Class gives you a technical and philosophical overview of user interface and interaction design. It’s not to show you how to code interfaces, but from a global design perspective, what user interactions exist on different web pages, what works, what’s confusing and difficult for users, etc. This is for people who are designing programs or web apps and want to understand what elements of user interaction are good for the user and what should be avoided for your project. I can imagine coming back to this video over the next year to rewatch certain parts like I do with the Vincent Laforet CreativeLive HDSLR workshop. Now that I know about camera sliders and the basics of getting a move production together I have a whole new appreciation for film, and due to the Master Class, also for interaction design.

Some of the main points I took away are that user interaction means patterns, and anti-patterns, what works within the context of a design interaction problem and what has been used and what works and what doesn’t. So, you can expect to know and understand how to apply different user interaction design principles to solve user interaction problems. Once you get through the video you’ll start to look at webpages with an eye to user interaction design (incase you hadn’t before). You’ll likely start to get pissed off at poor design and prais elegant interaction design on webpages and software you use. You’ll see the user interaction concept from a global perspective.

In Summary

The video is for sure more philosophical and conceptual than practical. If you want to know how to code this or that slider interaction in PHP or iOS, this isn’t the video you’re looking for, that’s another subject. That’s how to implement the design, this video is focused on developing a strategy, and it’s important to mention that it doesn’t matter how well you can code something if you don’t have a strategy for creating a useful product for you users. Many user interaction problems are not new, and it’s important to see what problems have been solved. It’s about removing barriers to common workflows.

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