Definition | Instructional Design

Instructional Design

Instructional design is the practice of creating an instructional experience for users of a certain product, service or system. It creates instructions to enhance user experience, create efficiency in skills and time, effective uses of graphic elements to alleviate problems with the instructions and to make it appealing. Instructional design determines the current needs and state of the audience or learner, which then defines the end goal of the design. There are five phases of instructional design models, according to This system is called ADDIE which consists of:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation and
  • Evaluation.

1. Analysis

This step allows the researcher to determine the learning goals, objectives and problems associated with the audience. Their needs, values and current knowledge about the product or topic must be considered and evaluated. This stage allows the teaching method, barriers and timelines to be identified, evaluated and decided upon. During analysis, many learning theories are tested in order to determine the most effective use of instructional design for the target audience.

2. Design

During design, the information gathered from the analysis phase begins to develop into a specific plan of action. In doing this, a systematic process is developed which produces specific learning objectives for the audience. A mock up of the design is created as a result of the process completed beforehand. Testing and further research into the target market are carried out to assist the later stages of the design production. During design, many decisions are finalised and creates a narrow, focused path where plans begin to form.

3. Development

This is the section where the last two phases meet and are turned into a fully functioning instructional design. The plan that was made in analysis and design is given a physical form where further testing is done to ensure it is ready to be implemented into the market. This instructional design is similar to that of the final product.

4. Implementation

This is the action phase. All previous research, testing and development come together to create the final instructional design. Instructors of the product are given the material and are taught how to convey the message to an audience, ready for distribution. Once this is completed, the instructional material is placed out in the market ready for the learners.

5. Evaluation

This step is where the information is gathered from the learners after delivering it to them in the implementation phase. It is then evaluated for efficiency, knowledge, user experience and more. The two types of evaluation used in this step are formative and summative. The formative evaluation is derived from all previous phases in the process. Throughout each step, the end result is then evaluated which provides feedback for the creator and designer of the plan. The summative evaluation process involves the evaluation of the plan based on the previous syllabus, including feedback from the target audience – the learners – and the instructors. Based on the information found from this step, the plan is then revised and can be sent back to ensure all the necessary issues are seen to and fixed.

Instructional Design is an in depth process requiring extensive evaluation, testing and research to ensure the most effective user experience for the target audience.


Definition | Information Design

Information Design

Information design is the way in which information is presented, offering a clear and concise set of instructions for the user. It is about displaying information in an effective way for the user, as an alternative to attractive or artistic methods. Information design is found in many different formats and can display any type of information. Designers and design companies alike can specialise in this area of design such as the company Fathom. As described on their website, “Fathom Information Design helps clients understand and express complex data through information graphics, interactive tools, and software for installations, the web, and mobile devices”. Companies such as Fathom, help clients to effectively express their data or information in an effective way th


Information design can also be displayed in forms of a graphic, appropriately called an infographic. Infographics provide audiences with an engaging piece of material which also informs them about something usually, statistics or information that can be easily broken down and supported with illustration or computer generated graphics. One example can be found at which displays information about mobile phones during 2013. This infographic is quite large and contains a lot of information. As it is on the internet, it can be that big because people will scroll through it. However, if it was print, it wouldn’t work as well.

Another website allows users to create their own infographic and tell their story. An infographic is just the presentation of information in a visually pleasing way and there are no limits on what can be displayed. has a range of infographics for audiences to view.



Lecture | Week 5

Lecture  |  Week 5

This lecture was all about the interface and how we as designers must navigate through this to effectively create a successful interactive design by using the fundamentals and principles of interface and interaction design.

There was a lot of information about examples of interface design including navigation, buttons, search engines, blogs etc and how a designer designs them. Today, interactivity has surpassed the passive consumption that used to dominate the world, and has passed into the sharing and communicative phase of interactivity. It is a means by which we share information, collaborate and communicate as if it was real life interaction. Contemporary interactivity uses

  • hypertextual navigation
  • immersive navigation
  • registrational interactivity and
  • interactive communications.

These have all aided the definition of interactivity as the new media. The new types of interactivity have all been categorised into the above definitions.

There are also six fundamentals and principles that designers may adhere to, or break when designing for interactivity. These include

  • visual focus
  • problem solving
  • contextual
  • conceptual
  • wholeness and
  • linear/non-linear.

These principles provide loose guidelines for designers to ensure a product is designed with a specific user in mind. These all aid the proper design for users, ensuring a pleasurable experience. As stated by Nicholas V Luppa in the lecture, for an interactive design to be successful, there must be ‘good, clean, clear navigation’ as it is ‘critical to the success of any interactive experience’. The interface design must be so transparent that the user will not even realise that they’re using it. The transparency of the navigation and interactive design is the key to its success.


There was a lot of information to take in from this lecture, but it was all useful for when I begin designing my own project. I found this lecture will really help to understand my target audience and design an appropriate and successful interactive product. I will definitely be utilising the fundamentals and principles taught to create a well designed and transparent navigation system which aids my products structure and the user experience. Although there was a lot of information, it was all relevant to the upcoming project, which I found useful. There were two really inspiring interactive websites that were mentioned in the lecture which I found incredibly easy to use as they were designed well.

whalehunt1 whalehunt2





Lecture | Week 4

Lecture  |  Week 4

Week 4’s lecture titled ‘Static and Kinetic Screen’, was based around the idea of interaction, how it works and how users use interactive programs.

Static can be defined as motionless, where objects on a page or layout do not move.

Kinetic is defined as changing over time or through motion.

We studied Andy Polaine’s insight into interactive design and his approach. Polaine states that he likes to ‘play’ with interaction and interaction design in an attempt to successfully convey his intended meaning to the users. He describes interactive design as a way of ‘making complicated things easier and more pleasurable to use’. Polaine also defined interaction design as a way in which all the elements of a particular design work together and function. These were categorised into

  • what they do
  • what they look like
  • what they look like they do
  • user experience.

This refers to the way the product/design does as a function, what they look like, what they look like their intended purpose would be and how the users engage with the design.

Eye tracking was also discussed as a way of determining what users see and what they focus on most in a website or other interactive design. Oddly enough, the tests that were conducted, concluded that the largest portion, coloured red with large bold text, was ignored by all the users that were tested.


I found this lecture useful, in that it defined interactive design and how a designer of a website or other design, would be able to test their product extensively with real users who engage with the product. I liked hearing how an interactive designer defines interaction design. I also liked that Andy Polaine seemed like a passionate designer who believes in ‘playing’ and trying new things to successfully design a product that works and is easy and pleasurable to use.

Eye-tracking, using a system called Gaze-Plot is a method of tracking where the user looked and how long they focused on certain elements within the design. This is an invaluable method of testing and allows designers to correct interaction errors, make it more ergonomic, reconfigure the layout, change colours etc. The opportunities of this type of technology are endless. 


Lecture | Week 3

Lecture  |  Week 3

Today’s lecture stemmed from user experience when engaging with interactive design and how designers combat the necessary hurdles when designing for interaction. Many methods were discussed as well as how to successfully plan and execute the design.

Elements of user experience are key when designing for interaction. There are two sides – Web as software interface and Web as hypertext system. These have become increasingly complex as internet interaction expands exponentially. Web as software interface begins as a task-oriented system and gradually develops into concrete systems of visual design. However, Web as hypertext system begins as an information-oriented which goes through a series of changes to become a completed and successful system.

Also discussed was how scenarios, paper prototyping and card sorting work and how they can assist the production of interactive design.

Scenarios, a major planning technique for interactive design, is utilised to allow the designer understand a person’s interaction with a system. It focuses and narrows the design efforts based on user requirements. To write a scenario, the information can be guess work but for a more accurate and correct end product, information should be derived from data gathered during activities with the user.

Paper prototyping enables draft interaction designs and screen designs to be simulated and tested before any coding or any major design work has been achieved. There are 4 methods to paper prototyping which are defined as 1. Concept Design, 2. Interaction Design, 3. Screen Design, and 4. Screen Testing. These all allow the designer to appropriately test their product through quick and inexpensive methods on the user for a definitive solution to any problems that arise.

Card sorting is another quick method of exploring how people group items so the the designer can develop maximising structures that expand the probability of users finding certain places. This is a common technique when defining web structures.



I found this lecture quite invaluable because of the easy methods it provided when making weighty decisions about a design process, especially around user experience. The upcoming project I will be undertaking will be needing much of these techniques to be a successfully and appropriately designed interactive medium. Personally, I work on paper before beginning to design a lot so these processes will allow me to convey what I want and how I want to my target audience. I will be able to gather their insight about my product without having to design anything to complicated. User experience is a key aspect when designing for interactive mediums so my target audience is a major factor I must consider for my project to be a success.


Definition | Interaction Design

Interaction Design

Interaction design is all about creating a coherent bond between man and machine to assist the daily lives of everyday people. It is about shaping digital tools for people’s use. The main focus when designing for interactive media are the questions as defined by Bill Verplank in his video. (from the lecture) These questions are ‘how do you do? how do you feel? how do you know?’. These are the basic platforms on which interaction has been designing. By asking these questions to either the target audience or yourself as the designer, it allows for the best possible design work for interaction. Interaction can come in many different forms such as reading a novel or a book, engaging in conversation, through the use of a mobile phone including apps, watching a movie etc. However, all these have varying degrees of interaction based on their interactivity and engagement with the audience.

An example of an interactive website is Mercedes Benz The Forgotten Road Trip –!/roadtrip. As you scroll down this website it includes pictures, videos, text, voice overs and music to give the story of The Forgotten Road Trip. The videos start automatically and will not let you progress down, until it has finished. You cannot pause the video or skip ahead, requiring the audience to watch and make a judgement on the video and the way it has been presented. There are also more interactive elements where the user is required to make the character complete an action by clicking and sliding along the line provided. This image is the home page which from here you scroll down to reveal the story. This image also moves.


Another example of an interactive website is Jonathan Yuen’s which can be viewed His website displays his work as a designer. It is extremely interactive by only responding by mouse overs to certain spots on the page. These dots have been coloured red with a + to signify that there is more content once it has been scrolled over. The only way to progress is to continue to scroll over the red dots. Included is a lot of animation done in Flash which move in different ways whenever something is scrolled over. This allows the audience to feel engaged.


The last example of a type of designed interaction is the mobile phone. Phones, especially the iPhone and related products have become the forefront of interactive design, relying solely on the user and the interaction with it. Only content that is wanted by the user is on there, including apps, music and more. Consumers are able to use their phone in any way they wish which is most likely a reason for their popularity.



Lecture | Week 2

Lecture  |  week 2

This week’s lecture was based on interactive design and interaction. There are 5 key design elements that contribute to the design of interactive products which include

  • interactivity
  • information architecture
  • time and motion
  • narrative
  • interface

Interaction design is defined as “designing interactive products to support people in their everyday and working lives” (Sharp, Rogers and Preece (2002)). Interactive design is all about engaging users through site interaction just as it was defined in the above definition from Sharp, Rogers and Preece (2002). There are many disciplines and practices that contribute to interaction design. These include academic disciplines such as ergonomics, engineering and computer science. The practices include graphic design, information architecture, interface design and information systems. There are also some interdisciplinary fields that contribute such as human factors, human and computer interaction, and cognitive engineering. Human factors are important because it relates to how we interact with the site which is in close relation to ergonomics. However it is also about how humans and machines fit together.



From this lecture I now understand interactivity and interaction design and the amount of expertise goes into the design to arrive at a successful and fully engaging product that assists the humans working and daily lives. I found it interesting how so many disciplinary fields and academic studies are applied to create a fully functioning product that is easy to use and facilitates our lives. I also know understand that interactivity and interaction design is not just based on one key element but is instead the result of 5 major design principles that were mentioned above. Interaction and interactive design is all about how users engage with the products and the bonding or forging together of man and machine.