Faculty: Bill Verplank and Nicholas Zambetti

January 13-17th , 2014

Keywords: notation, sequence, fiction, narrative, mental model, metaphor

General Introduction

Interaction Design can be surprisingly fictional: it imagines scenarios and invents stories. So it shares with novels, poetry, cinema and dance, for example, some central ideas and techniques — notably narrative, plot, simile and metaphor.

Like other inventors of fiction, interaction designers often suffer from the equivalent of writer’s block. One answer to creative reticence or paralysis is forced speed-designing: down and dirty, fast and furious.

As well as the poetic aspect, Interaction Design can also take a more technical, analytical view-point in order to identify emerging frameworks and to understand different contexts. This course was a breathless series of paper, pen and Post-it exercises exploring the observation and analysis of interaction facts and the invention of interaction fictions.

Students spent time notating and imagining interactive sequences & critiquing and inventing mental models. The course covered a number of topics using different learning methods including lectures, sketching, discussion and body-storming. Through this, they learnt about the relatively short but rich history of interaction design, and current thinking surrounding the discipline.

A lot of time was spent on the discussion of the role of metaphors and paradigms within interaction design and the importance of them to make the successful products and user experiences.