Tag Archives: interaction design

Lu and Properties of Digital Environments

Lu (2005) proposes there are four properties of digital environments, plus an additional two when you combine some…I have mapped some examples of what I believe would fit within these properties…feel free to let me know your thoughts and if you have any to add reply to this post 🙂

Property Summary/Description (Lu, 2005) iTV Examples
  • “…patterns of rule based behaviour”
  • “…rule generated behaviour. We can induce the behaviour.”
Procedural + Participatory
  • Murray (as cited Lu, 2005) states “interactivity is best achieved by maximising the procedural and participatory properties” (p. 116)
  • “…patterns of navigation and boundary definition”
  • “navigating in 3D”
  • “…patterns of segmentation, categorisation and agglomeration”
  • “information storage and retrieval”
Spatial + Encyclopedic
  • Lu (2005) advises the effect of this combination is ‘immersion’.
  • CSI App Lu discusses


  • Lu, K. (May 2005) ‘Chapter 5: Principles of interaction design for iTV: synthesizing the investigation’ in Interaction design principles for interactive television, A thesis presented to the academic faculty, Master of Science in Information Design and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Task Oriented Design

The question of the week embedded in each of the readings seems to be what is interaction design. Calde & Cooper (n.d.), Rheingold (1992) and Hurst (2002) focus on knowing not just who the user is, but also about knowing the goal the user wants to achieve, and designing for that goal to be achieved. Rheingold (1992) states that “We ought to be asking what tasks people need to accomplish, what tools are most appropriate for those tasks” (p. 7). This could be labelled as goal directed design or task oriented design.

Calde & Cooper (n.d.) propose the following steps to achieve goal directed design:

  1. Interview and observe customers
  2. Discover their goals
  3. Create an archetypal user
  4. Design something that satisfies the archetypal user

It is important to note that Calde & Cooper (n.d.) were talking of their clients in the above process. The steps in isolation, would be able to be used for clients walking into a shop, using a vending machine, using a website to make a purchase among other commerce transactions. There is no specific context, nor is there any information about how to make the product interactive. It is more about the designer knowing who the user is and what the goals they would like to achieve are, then designing for the user to complete the set goal/s.

Similarly, Hurst (2002) provides goal oriented design steps. Hurst (2002) states that “users either click toward the goal, or they click the Back button” (p.1). In order to make sure the user completes their required task, rather than clicking the Back button, Hurst (2002) proposes the designer to:

  1. Identify user’s goals on each page
  2. De-emphasize or remove any page elements (or areas of a site) that don’t help to accomplish this goal
  3. Emphasize (or insert) those links, forms, or other elements that either take users closer to their goal, or finally accomplish it

While the above steps are more suited the context of the online world than Calde & Cooper (n.d.), I believe Hurst’s (2002) model is also suited to the e-business world where there is a targeted group of people and there could be clear goals on each page or site and the user is driven to those goals. Only have on the page what you require on the page. Remove what is unnecessary. Assist your user to complete the task they need to complete!

I am interested to know your thoughts – I selected two iPhone pages (the first two that came to mind) – what is the goal of each page? Is it obvious? Which one meets the model of knowing the user and their goals, then designing for that user and their goals?


Measuring Interactivity

We were asked to look at questions relating to what is iTV and for me – the interactive part is key…primarily because of a statement that I am so often told (not asked) when working in web content: “I want the site to be interactive – put a video on the page”. I looked outside our reading list at an article by Levy to answer ‘what is interactivity’ and have looked at how Levy might measure interactivity (see page 228).
I have created an interactivity check list based on Levy (1997):
  • Does the user have the ability to personalise the message? (eg/ aggregator of RSS)
  • Is reciprocity practiced – that is sender and receiver roles interchangeable? (eg/ WebChat)
  • Does the user participate in virtuality – processing of message in real-time? (eg/ live)
  • Is telepresence experienced by the user – that is, their image is in the message? (eg/ Video Skype)

By completing the checklist, a ‘video’ in itself does not meet the first three items of interactivity – there needs to be more than just a video on the web for interactivity to occur. There may be some element of the fourth item ‘telepresence’, for example the viewer seeing themselves present in the message. In Levy’s definition of interactivity, iTV would need to meet all four items to be regarded as interactive.

It would be true to say that there would be differing levels of interactivity between video/episodes on demand as compared to two-screen iTV such as Fango on your iPad while you watch a television show. Given the expectation of interactivity with Fango and my interactions this week with Fango, it would meet Levy’s definition.
The user is able to personalise the message through linking in with their social networking accounts, asking questions of others that are ‘checked in’ and even the ability to ‘check in’ is part personalisation. Recirocity is practiced through social networking and asking/answering questions through chat. The whole process is happening in real-time, while the user is watching the television they are talking about. And telepresence is experienced through their avatar, chat, communicating with like-minded people and checking in to shows they relate to. Insert clause here – while it seems as though I am a fan of Fango, I think I want to look at Fango for the final project as there is so much potential in what it is trying to do, but for some reason it is not hitting the mark based on viewership of a program and actual number of persons checking in to Fango…
I am interested to find out if there are other definitions of interactivity and/or what other iTV products/services are available that could be mapped to Levy’s checklist. What ones do you know of? Feel free to reply with definitions you are aware of, and/or mapping of your own.
  • Levy, Pierre. 2007. Interactivity