Week 1: An Introduction to Interactive Design


Interactive Design is a wide and complex field that creates experiences based off of many areas of research to establish a meaningful relationship between the user and the design/product. Winograd (1997) describes interactive design as “The design of spaces for human communication and interaction.” In other words, the relay of information through an experience.

Interactive Design focus on areas of research primarily centered around:

  • Cognitive ergonomics and engineering
  • Human cognition, emotion and behaviour
  • Questioning how people do, feel and know
  • Design elements such as layout, colour and typography

Key points to know about interactivity is its multiple definitions which are 1 of 3 things:

  1. A program or related system that responds to user activity (computer science)
  2. Work together so that the total effect will be greater than the sum (2 or more)
  3. Ability to act on or influence each other.

Interaction is something as simple as having a conversation, playing a game or driving your car. These interactions can be evaluated as a continuum of interactivity by calculating the amount of control, choice and ability to use the experiences. To utilise every aspect of interactive design, you must conduct research and consider these 5 key areas of interaction design:

  1. Interactivity
  2. Information architecture
  3. Time & motion
  4. Narration
  5. Interface


The importance of research and evaluation is emphasised during the lecture pod. Upon reflection it becomes apparent to why research is so important; because much like many other fields of design, research is a vital key to the success of a project. It determines the success or failure of a project. Especially when working in a field which requires the application of human behaviour.

For more on interactive design, watch the video below!


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