Week 1 Lecture: What is Interactive Design?

What is Interactive Design and what does it ask of us?

Like the foundations Walt laid for the glitter that is now Walt Disney Enterprise so too does Interaction Design’s hardwiring enable the unicorns of the Interactive Design realm to reign open a meaningful display of hardware usage. It is an intelligent multi faceted interface so animatic its purpose provides a palpable experience between user and technology. It has the ability to retrieve and process information instantaneously.  Constantly changing in information and media Interactive Design asks us to focus on the capabilities and constraints of our cognitive process.

Interactive Design in Life

A field greatly influenced by the Fluxus movement Interactive Design plays on an anti-commercialism rather do-it-yourself aesthetic. Bill Verplank best explains its current presence in time.

‘as Interactive designers we need to answer three questions, about how people act, how they feel and how they understand‘. See his diagram below for a healthy digest.interaction-design-material-form-and-metaphor-14-728Verplank’s stimuli illustrates how as designers we can handle and push the world, a world of continuous control and navigate easier movement through the progression of the machine in time. The question ‘How do you feel’ is how we get feedback from the world to feed the machine. Effectively it allows us to distinguish between fuzzy or cool media and hot or distinct media. For example Verplank discerns early Tv as a cool medium with its fuzzy image. Cool media will always draw you in. It welcomes activity. How do we know? Well for example as we design interactions with computers in them we must communicate legible user interfaces so we know what they are going to do.

There for it is cumbersome of us to route a product overview in an needs to know what to do moment to moment basis.  As such these emergency user pathways build confidence and cultivate a greater the knowledge of expectation between a product and its user appropriate to the goals of the experience.

Bill Verplank Interview. Designing interaction, Chp 2: My PC Mit Press, Cambridge, 2007.



‘Designers of digital technology products no longer regard their job as designing a physical object—beautiful or utilitarian—but as designing our interactions with it.’


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