Week 2 – Interaction & Interactive Design

11 Mar


According to Winograd interaction design is “the design of spaces for human communication and interaction.” Bill Verplank says an interaction designer has three questions they need to ask. The first is how do you do? – or in other words how you will get the user to affect the world i.e. pushing buttons or the ability to grab things to manipulate it. The second is how do you feel? This refers to the look of the design. Do you want it intense or soft etc. The third is how do you know? This is aimed at the audience you are designing for deciding how you will let them know what to do next – or will you just assume they know.

You interact with a number of things everyday and each thing has a different level of engagement and reactivity e.g. a good book is more engaging than reactive because it is interacting with your brain and an online shopping website is more reactive because it allows you to actually do something physically.  When designing the interactivity of something it is important that you design the quality of the navigation. A fire alarm system needs to be very simple and clear although a computer game can be very intense and over the top, two different things relating to two different ways of interaction.  


When designing the interactivity of something whether it is a product or website I think it is important we know who we are designing for and what the user expects the interactive thing to do. We need to consider whether it should be engaging or complicated to get the user to use their brain or whether it should be simple and easily navigated so anyone could use it.


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