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Week 5 – Interface Design Review

1 Apr

Interface design is the design in-between the user and the interactive acting as the point of interaction. The quality of the interface directly effects the interaction or experience the user gets out of the design. An interface that is not noticed by the user is the best interface you can have because it lets the user feel like they’re a part of the design like most first person video games. A poor interface design leads users to ask “what do I do now?” resulting in their boredom and frustration.

Old forms of interactivity was with the eyes and ears included things like television, radio and magazines which act as a source of knowledge, heavily restricted to ‘read only’ information. Contemporary forms of interactivity evolved into reading and writing interactivity, breaking off into different types:
Hyper-textual navigation is navigating on the internet by starting with a word in google. The results come up and you have a choice of where to go. These pages have even more links which lead you to even more or additional information. Underlined words on websites act as a link and are called Hyperlinks. This form of navigation lets you ‘choose your own adventure.’
Immersive navigation is a designed space or 3D world embodied by the interface. Rather than taking you somewhere else, it lets you experience something different and exhilarating like first person shooter video games.
registrational interactivity is Web 2.0 like I previously blogged about. It includes things the user can respond to in the form of videos, personal photography, or by commenting. It depends on other users’ in a collaboration and system allowing users to write back.
interactive communications are simply face to face connections achieved by video calling someone on a mobile phone or live chat sites on the internet.
Here are the fundamentals of screen-based interface design:
Visual focus: use contrast to show which element they should view first, animation and roll-overs to indicate clickable items, include visual cues to help user navigate and use style sheets to differentiate between information and keep things consistent.
Problem solving: highlight potential pathways, develop multiple navigation toolbars to give the user a wider choice and consider time in the design i.e. don’t make things take too long.
Contextual: more important information up the top, less important down the bottom and provide no more than 5 links or ‘clicks’ to get to the information.
Conceptual: use familiar imagery for the interface, for example play, stop, pause and use text tags for imagery used in a new context.
Wholeness: group content and relate elements with others by using colour, contrast or shapes. This can help produce a structure for the interactive.
Linear or nonlinear: linear is a site structure that would contain different links on each page where the user would need to go back and forth to fins what they want. A nonlinear structure would act as a circle where all information can be reached from each page.