Sunday, November 23, 2008

Interaction Design Basics: Presentations from Bill DeRouchey

Since I kicked off my interaction and experience design curriculum a few months ago I've been following Bill DeRouchey's blog, which is aptly titled Unfortunately, shortly after I started following his blog Bill stopped posting, his last contribution taking place on August 28th.

Earlier today I checked out his site to take a look at some of his older posts to find out if he had any older nuggets of wisdom to impart - this is in opposition to my usual practice of remaining on my side of an RSS reader. I was happy to find several presentations that Bill has developed for conferences on the topic of Interaction Design. Here is a quick overview of three presentations that I found very informative (if you are already an interaction design pro you probably won't find these very interesting. That said, they are great for novices like me).

In his presentation, Language of Interaction Design Bill provides an overview of basic interaction design concepts. In this presentaiton Bill makes a strong case regarding the fact that a language of interaction design already exists. By "language" Bill refers to the fact that people have already learned to attach specific meaning to colors, shapes, etc. Therefore, designers need to take these language into account when designing interactions. For example, designers should use green to signify a start button and red to signify a stop button.

Another interesting presentation created by Bill is entitled History of the Button. Here, Bill provides a high-level overview of how buttons evolved from late 1800's when Kodak first put a button on a camera to today when the button is a virtual area that is defined by the content on a computer screen - "clicking" a button has evolved to "touching" a surface. Soon the button will be the environment as we start seeing more gesture-based interfaces. To wrap up the presentation Bill reminds us how all of these "buttons" will need to be designed.

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