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Week 4 – The Static and Kinetic Screen

23 Mar

Summary

Static refers to the motionless aspects on a screen or everything to do with a printed magazine. Kinetic describes motion and change over time which relate to elements on the screen found in interactive design. Focusing on Andy Polaine throughout the lecture, we understand his idea of what interactive design is and how we can use basic design knowledge for interactive projects.

As stated in the first module, his idea of interaction design is how each element of an interaction relates to one another in order to make something thought of as complicated; easier and pleasurable to use. The elements are as follows:
– what they do i.e. does it let you create music or does it make you create a virtual sandwich
– what they look like i.e. is it bright and colourful or does it contain disturbing footage of a crime scene
– what they look like they do i.e. does it look like it should tell you how to light a Barbecue or is it full of shit, blowing you up
– the experience of using them i.e. do they feel like an athlete playing FIFA on Xbox or are they annoyed at a computer voice telling them to turn around

Static graphic compositions reinforce the idea of making something complicated simple. Each element is treated differently and accordingly to help the viewer navigate around a designed page starting with more important to least important information. This is known as Visual Hierarchy as seen in the second module. Eye tracking can help measure the effectiveness of a design by measuring the time and path of someone’s eyes when looking at a static design showing the designer what captures the viewer’s attention and what doesn’t.

Here are some basic visual hierarchy methods:
– point of interest i.e. the starting point or leader of the visual hierarchy, the most important information. This needs to stand out the most achieved by the below examples.
– contrast i.e. the highest level is black and white with no tone
– tone i.e. darkness and lightness of a single colour, darker being the more noticable
– scale i.e. the use of size to symbol importance, the larger the more important. It also relates to things in the foreground/background where the larger things would be in the foreground
– colour i.e. categorizes information with the help of other methods such as tone, colour, scale, etc
– typography i.e. the legibility and readability of text based on scale and colour and the language and sentence structure respectively

Reflection

All these elements and methods come down to who the audience, which is the first thing that needs to be thought of when designing not only interactive but anything. It allows the designer to use this information to create an interface for a selected target audience making it easier and understandable.