Amazing Animation

Shannon Halgren, Tony Fernandes, Deanna Thomas, Claris

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University April 21, 1995


Last year Claris Corporation produced their first software product for children. Amazing Animation allows children to create movies, video games and interactive school projects using pre-drawn stamps and backgrounds as well as sounds. The development of the interface for Amazing Animation was a challenging, unique, and a rewarding experience for the Interface Design Group at Claris. Given the constraints of a very tight timeframe and working with a user population we were unfamiliar with, our group was able to make numerous improvements which had a tremendous impact on the product's usability. This having been our first time designing for and testing children, we learned volumes about this unique user population. Design assumptions and testing methodologies used in adult products must all be reworked for kids. Our talk will describe the progression of Amazing Animation's interface and will point out the lessons learned about testing and designing for kids along the way.


Shannon L. Halgren
Shannon is a Usability Engineer in the Interface Design Group at Claris Corporation. Her job is to manage usability testing at Claris. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Human-Computer Interaction Psychology at Rice University in Houston, TX. Shannon designed and helped conduct the usability tests associated with this project and participated in many of the interface design decisions.

Tony Fernandes
Tony is manager of the Interface Design Group at Claris. The group is responsible for the UI design of Claris' Windows and Mac products. He participated in the field testing of this product as well as in the development of design solutions to the problems encountered.

Deanna Thomas
Deanna is a Visual Designer in the Interface Design group at Claris Corporation. Her job is to create visual information be way of icons, navigation in dialogs and product identities for Claris. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio at the San Francisco Art Institute and her Master of Fine Arts at University of North Texas. A six year veteran of the Apple community, her involvements with visual interface also include (of late) PowerTalk & AppleSearch. Deanna provided the visual interpretation of our design brainstorming sessions and gave Amazing Animation much of its look and feel.


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