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.


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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.


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.


Lecture | Week 1

Lecture  |  week 1

This weeks lecture was based on Web 2.0 and convergence. There are many ways that technology has been used over the past years and there has been a spike in mobile technologies such as the iPhone, iPad etc. Much of the emphasis of the lecture was based on convergence, web 2.0 and convergent media. All of which apply to how the media is used by consumers and how it affects the future of design and the internet. Convergence is the crossover between content (media), communications networks and computing / information technology. These are known as the ‘Three C’s of Convergence’. Web 2.0 is a way architecting software and is based on a set of principles and practices.

The internet has grown exponentially as a result of increased user participation and mobile devices. Consumers are able to easily navigate web platforms such as online communities, which make it easier to collaborate and share. This has become the new scaffold for the internet and the audience have become so involved in the design process (when designing for the internet) as a result of the interactive technologies that have surfaced. Currently the web is a ‘flow of content across multiple media platforms’ (lecture notes, wk 1, 2014) such as social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc), search (search engines such as google), and mobile (iPad, iPhone). Web 2.0 and convergence are two major components of the present and future of the internet. 



From this lecture, I learnt what Web 2.0 and convergence mean how they apply and are crucial to interactive design and what they mean for the future of design. The information that resonated with me the most was how Web 2.0 and convergence are affecting design and how, I, as a future designer, must handle these changes and adaptations to the internet. I will not be designing for just one screen or one audience, but for a range of different medias including mobile. As a designer, I must become flexible in all areas to successfully navigate and design for them. My goal in the future is to engage the audience to participate in these new web platforms. Personally, I think this is the most important aspect because it is my future and the future of my work which is being discussed, and without this knowledge, I will not have the capabilities or skills to successfully design for the future internet.


                                     ~ K