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Interactive Design

24 Mar

Interactive design is designing something, whether it be an interface or object, that can be manipulated and changed by a person either physically i.e. with their hands, or by using an electronic extension of the design such as a computer mouse or controller.

The internet, or websites, is the main thing I think about when the words ‘interactive design’ come up because there are hundreds of thousands, probably millions anyone with the internet has access to. The user interacts with the internet by generally clicking on buttons to go where they please or typing in words in the search bar to easily find what they are looking for. There are many many websites on the internet although each relating to various categories. There are online shopping websites and websites for only information; there are also websites that do both and also sites that allow the user to interact with another person as discussed previously, referring to Web 2.0. These sites create a different interactive experience to what they would normally do. For example information websites provide the information previously found in a book which changes the interactivity associated with getting the information. Instead of physically opening the book and flicking through pages, one just clicks buttons. Instead of going to the shop, handling the object, handling the money then handing it over, a few clicks on the mouse and the object is delivered to your door.

This is an application called ‘Incredibox’ which allows the user to create their own song using a variety of given beats, melodies, simple voice recordings and other sound effects. The process involves the user selecting a sound from the bottom and dragging and dropping the sound they want on top of the figure in the white screen. Each time a sound is added another figure pops up allowing you to insert another. The song can have a maximum of seven sounds. The sounds are categorized and colour coded and each one has their own symbol helping you to distinguish between the various sounds. The design also allows you to record your song for thirty seconds so all that time you’ve spent perfecting a song hasn’t gone to waste. Click image to go to application.



Every video game is a piece of interactive design. The start-up menu is designed in a similar way to a website allowing you to navigate your way to the ‘start game’ button and of course the game play itself is the user interacting with the character or objects within the game. As seen here I have used Uncharted 3 as an example where game design is starting to evolve into something more like an interactive movie giving the user a much more intense experience (click image to go to game trailer). Various controllers for video games such as the WII controller and the very old idea of a gun controller greatly affect the user’s experience when playing a game as it puts them in the position of the virtual character. Together, movie like graphics and realistic controllers produce an intense and joyous experience through interactive design.



Web 2.0

17 Mar


Web 2.0 refers to places on the internet that provide the luxury of allowing users to express their ideas through writing, photography, video and in any other way you can think of within a certain social network, the most popular being Facebook and YouTube. This is rather appealing to people as it allows the user to read and write rather than just read what is there.

 This very website we are using now is among the many websites considered as web 2.0 because its main focus allows users to express their ideas and opinions through their writing. It allows anyone to have a blog within the same network allowing people to search for and comment on what they want.

YouTube is a very popular website that allows anyone in the world to put their own video on the Internet. There are hundreds of different kinds of videos that can be uploaded to this website each expressing different opinions, emotions and talents. It allows users to comment on and rate any video they see (or 99.9 percent of them) and recommends videos based on the users’ history with the website. (click picture to go to my channel)

Flickr allows users to upload their photos, illustrations or pictures to the internet very much like YouTube allows users to upload videos to the internet. This site encourages people to upload any photo, design piece or picture they want to share with the world and also comment and rate on others they have seen. Users can also give out awards to express their fondness of the photograph or picture.

Week 1 – Web 2.0 & Convergence

4 Mar


Web 2.0 refers to places on the internet that provide the luxury of allowing users to express their views and ideas within a certain social network, the most popular being Facebook and YouTube. This is rather appealing to people as it allows the user to read and write rather than just read what is there. This may be a strong reason why the internet has become so much more popular than television and radio.

As future designers we will need to start thinking about the ways we can make the consumer more involved in the things we design online and not just making something look nice. Websites should be more than just an information source but somewhere consumers can give feedback and interact with the product.

Convergence is how the three C’s (Communications Networks, Computing Information Technology and Content) cross-over to form the World Wide Web. It also refers to how different types of information are being viewed on all types of technology as well as technology being used for things it wasn’t originally designed for e.g. phones being used for games and the internet. This will affect us as designers as we will not only be designing things on the internet for use at home on a computer but also for things like phones and iPads.


The knowledge that consumers want to express themselves is important to us as designers as it allows us to think of more creative ways to get them to interact with websites allowing them to create and give their opinions. Knowing what they are doing on which piece of technology will help us when designing an interactive website.