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. 


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 – http://gla-class.mercedes-benz.com/com/en/#!/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 http://www.jonathanyuen.com/_main.html. 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. http://www.apple.com/au/iphone-5s/



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.