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.



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.



Definition | Convergence


Convergence is the crossover between content (media), communications networks and computing / information technology. This is also described as convergent media or the three C’s of convergence.

There are many layers to convergence which as describes by Lessig can be defined as the

  • physical layer  |  network through which communication devices are connected to one another
  • code layer  |  code or software that operates communications hardware devices, including protocols, and the
  • content layer  |  content which is delivered through the communications infrastructure.

These ‘layers’ refers to how the internet connects not only devices but also people through communication medias and the software that operates these communications. We are connected through many different facets of the internet and it is how we interact with these in the way they have been intended.

The flow of content is available across many media platforms which include social (interactive medias where user participation is vital such as Facebook, Twitter etc.), search (such as Google), and mobile (which refers to the devices which are currently dominating the world like the iPhone, iPad etc).

There is also a whole culture that has been adopted around convergence, and is appropriately named convergence culture. It is based on media convergenceparticipatory culture (social media) and collective intelligence. These are all combined to create a brand new culture that is associated with the new way in which users are interacting with the internet and new social technologies.



Definition | Web 2.0

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a new way of describing the basic platforms that compile majority of the internet.

It is not a technology, but instead describes a way of architecting software under a set of principles and practices. These principles are defined as an idea of the web as a platform.

The platform encompasses online communities, collaborations, sharing and other user oriented interactive sites. These interactive sites allow the web to be navigated by a large audience in an attempt to connect, share and collaborate with other internet users. This recent spike in user interaction is the reason for the internet’s exponential growth in recent years.

Some examples of online collaboration sites include tumblr, Twitter, Facebook , Instagram and various other blogs or online communities.

Tumblr allows maximum interaction not only with content but also with other people. There are many interactive features such as asking other members question through an ask box, the ability to ‘like’ or reblog content that people have previously submitted. There is also the opportunity to ask other users questions anonymously. The image below shows the various functions that facilitate the interactivity within the site. You can post text, photos or quotes and links. You can also chat, share music clips and add videos.

tumblr interaction

Another interactivity site is Facebook. One of the most common forms of web interaction, Facebook allows you to communicate with anyone. The saying on the home page is “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life”. As a Web 2.0 platform, a vast majority of the population have Facebook accounts and have created an online communal based interactive site that allows people to connect, share and collaborate with other internet users.

facebook quote

Another form on web interaction are blogs. Blogs allow ordinary to people to share anything on a daily basis. Fashion blogs for example, allow people to share their style, clothes, tips etc to the wider internet community. Those people who follow are able to post comments, and ask questions, like pictures. There are also links to online clothing websites (another online interaction site) allowing people to get that exact, if not similar item of clothing. The use of tags allows users to find similar posts. The image below demonstrates the use of tags, links to other websites, and also similar items of clothing that can be purchased from different stores.