Assignment One: Design for an interactive instructional system
As with all effective 'presentations', the development process in Interactive Media begins with an assessment (or identification) of need; that is, it is realised by users or managers that a system (or presentation) is required, or that an existing system is flawed. This should in turn lead to a thorough assessment of these needs, and of the characteristics of likely users; out of this process will generally arise some form of requirements analysis, outlining the functionality of the system (what it is required to do). In the case of hosted software systems this analysis can be entirely formal, using one of a number of methodologies for defining tasks, activities and interactions. In the case of multimedia systems it is probably still more likely to be done 'informally', with a greater emphasis on interface elements (what the system will look like) than hosted software requirements usually have.
In this assignment - which you are expected to work on in the 'third hour' of the practical sessions, as well as elsewhere - you are to define and develop a design document for a Flash-based system that will explain and demonstrate to a user the process of setting up a small home wireless network. You should assume that the potential audience for this system are home computer users who almost certainly have a limited understanding of network concepts and hardware. Like all users they must be assumed to be goal-oriented; they are interested in how to do things, rather than in the principles behind the technology. If any part of the system does not clearly relate to their final goal (which is to have a working wireless network as quickly as possible) they will ignore it; as such, it is both a distraction for them, and a waste of effort on your part. This analysis - what to include, and why; where to start and where to finish - is a key part of the design process.
The design document...