Week 1: Introduction to Interactive Design


The first lecture pod was an in depth introduction to interactive design and the various focus points of the field. Although interaction design has various definitions, it also has a primary focus on ‘design for people’. This being said, interactivity is predominantly based on the interaction between two or more subjects and the levels of reactivity and engagement between them. Examples of basic interactivity includes good conversation, playing a video game and online shopping. In comparison, watching a movie creates a more passive experience in comparison to a medium that involves high levels of interaction such as video games. Therefore, there are low rates of interactivity between the mind and the devise as the most level of interaction that can be experienced is changing the channel or leaving the theatre. In contrast, playing a video game offers very high levels of interactivity as the user is able to customise and create their own storyline as they progress through the game.     

Throughout the process of interactive design, one must consider how the audience is going to act, how they feel and how they understand. Gillian Crampton Smith, explains her own perception of interactive design as she states, ‘it’s about shaping everyday life through digital artefacts for work, play and entertainment’. Interaction design also allows information to transform into knowledge and further into wisdom. This is initially instigated from the exploitation of data for humans.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-6-09-46-pmWaterson, S. (2016). Introduction to Interactive Design [Video file]. Retrieved from vimeo.com/159653223

Bill Verplank also depicts his findings as he claims that one of the most essential aspects that requires attention is the cognitive condition of their audience as it is how humans process information and how they perceive the world. This could affect interactivity if one party is not conscious of another’s cognitive state and could result in confusion or even conflict.


Auger, V. (2014). Bill Verplank Designing Interactions [Video file]. Retrieved from vimeo.com/83683447

They key design areas that contribute towards the design of interactive products include interactivity, information architecture, time and motion, narrative and interface. These aspects must be considered in order to create a successful and effective interactive design.


Crampton Smith states facts that are of great importance, portraying her observations that interaction design outlines the quality of the way we interact with computer based systems. Ideally, one must aim to create an interaction of high quality which would involve a clear, direct and unambiguous approach from the primary subject towards the audience. This is important because in order for one to achieve a successful interaction through their design, they must ultimately create a quality experience and therefore must be considered throughout the developmental stages of their designs.


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