Week 1 Lecture: Introduction to Interactive Design

This lecture broadly defines interactivity and interactive design. Much of this is done through examples, definitions and facts some from different designers. Most of if not all the points made are important for an interactive designer to know.

Interactive Design Facts

Interactive design started with the first non static screen. This field decades since then has evolved into many areas and continues to do so. This field encompasses everything from form fields to links and buttons. In the present day there are many common interactions such as: vending machines, books, mobile phones, online shopping and conversations.

Interaction has 5 key areas being:interactivity, information architecture, time and motion, narrative and interface.

Interactivity is about 2 or more things working together to have a total outcome greater than the effort put in. Being mindful of the many recognizable necessities and desires during an interaction can help with this.  Interactivity is also very different from production value. This is because TV shows and films can be rich in this area but still offer no interactivity.

Interactive Design Examples/Definitions

Verplank (2014) in an interview states that interactive design is about interacting with and getting feedback from the world. Verplank (2014) also states that interactive designers have 3 questions they must always ask. These being:

  • How do you affect the world?
  • How do you feel/get feedback from the world?
  • How do you know?

Interaction Design.png

The above chart (Interaction Design, 2002) shows how different disciplines of interaction design influence and contribute to each other. An important lesson here is to help ease human and machine interaction by being mindful of human information perception when designing. This is because onscreen interactions are very different from physical object interactions and some things may not be as straightforward.

further diagrams.png

Further unnamed diagrams shown above map various things including: engagement levels of certain interactions and how medium or screen size relates to required user reactivity.

continuums of interactivity.png

The chart shown above (Continuums of Interactivity – information interaction design: unified field theory of design by Nathan Shedroff) maps certain requirements of interactive products and how their level of control affects interactivity. Neither end is necessarily good or bad. This chart instead should be used to judge whether if interactivity in comparison is appropriate for a project. This can help determine medium, availability of choices and usability to create with a product.

New Riders.png

This next chart (Experience Design 1, New Riders, 2001) shows how data when meaningfully arranged can turn into information, then knowledge and eventually wisdom. This is very important as it is the main goal of most if not any interaction.

The Most Important point

While most if not all point of this lecture are important, I believe this one to be the most so. It is important to understand your audience. As Gillian Crampton Smith says: “designer concerns matured from only worrying about usability, towards the more complex and subtle issues of subjective and cultural contexts.”

This is combined with other issues like: abilities, interests, needs and expectations. By understanding such issues a designer can make a properly and well structure product. This creates a highly appealing experience ensuring a product or service reaches a wider audience both in the present and future.

Reference list

Valère Auger. (2014). Bill Verplank Designing Interactions.  [Video File]. Retrieved from: https://vimeo.com/83683447

Interaction design [Image] (2002). Retrieved 24/02/2014 from https://vimeo.com/159653223

Unnamed diagrams [Image]. Retrieved 24/02/2014 from https://vimeo.com/159653223

Continuums of Interactivity – information interaction design: unified field theory of design by Nathan Shedroff [Image]. Retrieved 24/02/2014 from https://vimeo.com/159653223

Experience Design 1, New Riders [Image] (2001). Retrieved 24/02/2014 from https://vimeo.com/159653223

Foreword – “What is Interaction Design?”. Retrieved 21/02/2014 from http://www.designinginteractions.com/chapters/foreword

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