Week 4 : The static and kinetic screen – using what you know

Summarisation of the lecture

Design is ever evolving. A designer needs to ever expand their understanding yet always remember to utilise their past knowledge.

“Making complicated things easier and more pleasurable to use.” – Andy Polaine

To ‘de-complicate’ an interaction a design should be given a clear visual hierarchy.

Understanding visual hierarchy

Designing a visual hierarchy can be done following two concepts, info graphics and visual-spatial design. Info graphics concentrates on navigation, mapping, information architecture. Whilst visual-spatial design/gesalt psychology focuses on signifying what elements are most useful and significant using visual markers.

Graphic design > information design > interactive design

Methods (for creating visual hierarchy):

Point of View (POV)

  • draws you in and holds viewers eye
  • focus point
  • leader of hierarchy
  • most important element
  • entry point for eye flow
  •  POV (1st level of viewing) > sub points (2nd level) > sub sub points (3rd level) > …


  • visual ecology
  • POV should not overtake whole composition
  • POV should not be weak/hidden (wouldn’t be a POV then)
  • no right or wrong use of POV only appropriateness to a purpose/brief


  •   difference between visual elements within a work
  •   difference between light and dark areas


  • lightness/darkness of a colour


  • relative size of graphic form(s)
  • closely related to perspective and depth


  • can establish order


  • legibility – how clear text is visually
  • readability – how understandable text is

“Good designers treat text as content, great designers treat text as user interface.” – Cameron Moll

Here is a link to Cameron Molls website: http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/001266.html

Here is a link to Andy Polaines website : http://www.polaine.com 

Reflection on lecture content

It is interesting how the basic concepts of print and static design have been carried over to the interactive space. This new medium opening up new ways to play with visual rules, and a greater need for a visual hierarchy. Things like eye flow and distinguishing the interactive/kinetic elements from the static are done using a visual hierarchy and are highly important when designing an interactive. Interaction designers need to focus on creating simple, clean and effective designs.


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