Interactive Design

In class the other day, we had a guest speaker come in and talk to us a bit about interactive design. Being a design major myself, I found it very insightful. It is interesting to see how many things we interact with throughout our lives that are actually carefully designed. It seems as though we  are constantly studying one another. We are looking for ways to improve the usability of devices. The guest speaker gave us some examples of how we are doing this.

  • Eye Tracking: This involves studying the eye movements of people viewing websites. It allows the designer to get a better understanding of how people  perceive the content. By finding out where people spend the majority of their time looking, a designer can modify their layout to improve user satisfaction. This also helps in determining where to place content. Apparently people read in an “F” pattern so it is important to get your main content out first, near the top of the page.
  • Augmenting Reality: This concept blows my mind. I am not a smart-phone user, nor much of a tech-guy, but this is a fascinating concept. I used to wonder if these kinds of technologies would ever surface. Now that they have, I am very intrigued by how they work. It’s almost like were beginning to fuse reality with the digital space. By giving people the ability to access information, in real time, and be able to interact with that information, we open a doorway to an infinite amount of possibilities. My only scare is that we might try to take this too far. I don’t really want to live in a world where people are constantly connected to machines. Something about it just creeps me out.

The example below is more of a video game concept but it still uses an “in-game hud” to control the drone.

  • Designing for the non-user: I can’t remember if she covered this topic directly, but a lot of the information hinted toward this concept. This is more along the lines of designing for people who are unfamiliar with the product. Basically, making it so someone who has never seen it before could use it. The iPhone was the example provided. It is so well designed that a toddler could pick it up and figure it out. However, I feel like this concept goes way beyond phones and other digital devices. In the lecture, she mentioned how attractive color schemes “seem” to work better. This can be applied to almost any aspect of our lives.

Overall, I think the presentation was great! I am excited to see where we will be in a few years, both in design and in the development of new technologies. My guess is that they will be more interconnected than ever before. It’s not like “design” is a new concept. But the thought of using it to help aggregate information and increase usability sure is.

Go Go Gadget…

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~ by soyouthinkyouknow on November 17, 2011.

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