Interactive Design

During this class Todd talked to us for the first half of the lesson on interactive design. This is how things are designed and how they work. It also includes how easy it is to figure out how to use it just from how it is designed. We were shown this video during the class which is a good example of a design that looks good and works well but is not that easy to use if you do not know how it works and is not that intuitive to learn.

Todd also talked about affordances. These are actions that a certain object lets us do. For example we know a door knob can turn to allow the door to open. This is an affordance to people that know how a door knob works but those that don’t may not be able to figure it out straight away. Another similar example is doors that have a bar on one side and a metal panel on the other. People that have come across this before will know to pull on the bar and push on the panel to open the door.

As Wikipedia says an affordance is an action possibility of which a person is aware. Until the person is aware of these affordances they are known as hidden affordances. For an affordance to be perceptible there has to be knowledge available to the user either through prior knowledge or instructions like push or pull to open the door. Affordances are now often applied to Human-Computer Interaction to describe how easy it is to use the interface and discover new ways to do things on the interface.

For the second half of the class we were split into group and told to design a product. Here is the product we came up with. It is a jacket that allow the wearer to control the volume of their connected smartphone and easily transfer your social media details with a handshake as long as both people have a jacket.

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