Week 2 : Interaction – Interactivity

Summarisation of the lecture

interaction/interactive design

  • interactivity
  • information architecture
  • time and motion
  • narrative
  • interface
  • “designing interactive products to support people in their everyday and working lives” – Sharp, Rogers and Peerce, (2002) interaction design, John Wiley&sons, Inc. New York, NY, USA.
  • “designing a space for human communication and interaction” – Winograd (1997) Beyond Calculation: the next 50 years of computing, Springer-Verlag
  • Balance of engagement and reactivity

interaction design – Bill Verplank

(Source: http://www.designinginteractions.com/interviews/BillVerplank)

designing interaction for users- 3 key questions:

1. how do you do ?

design based on two models:

  • handle – continuos control
  • button – discreet control

2. how do you feel ?

  • cool medium – draws the viewer in
  • hot medium – can’t be changed

3. how do you know ?

  • map – options displayed for user, map of interaction
  • path – user knows what to do, clear path


  • Cognition – how humans perceive the world
  • Interactivity – capable of acting on or influencing each other

Continuums of interactivity

Scale from passive to interactive with the amount of each of the following criteria.

  • Feedback
  • Control
  • Creativity/ co-creativity
  • Productivity
  • Communications
  • Adaptivity

Gillian Smith- What is interactive design

(Source: http://www.designinginteractions.com/interviews/GillianCramptonSmith)

  • shaping everyday products
  • computer – minimal connecting between physical and virtual
  • users need to know- where you are, where you can go, what you can do and what is going to happen (people need to know how they can interact)
  • designing what the product looks like AND how it behaves
  • fusion of visual, sonic, time-based elements and movement.

Reflection on lecture content

Interaction design covers a broad array of concepts and design forms. Bill Verplanks 3 key questions (look above) are an interesting and simple way to assist in securing all necessary aspects of user interaction when designing a product. Finding a balance in interactive design elements is the key to securing a positive experience for the user.


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