Alongside our Typography assignment we have also been given the project of ‘interactivity’. First off, i decided to look at what exactly ‘interactivity’ is.

In computers, interactivity is the dialog that occurs between a human being (or possibly another live creature) and a computer program. (Programs that run without immediate user involvement are not interactive; they’re usually called batch or background programs.) Games are usually thought of as fostering a great amount of interactivity. However, order entry applications and many other business applications are also interactive, but in a more constrained way (offering fewer options for user interaction).

On the World Wide Web, you not only interact with the browser (the Web application program) but also with the pages that the browser brings to you. The implicit invitations called hypertext that link you to other pages provide the most common form of interactivity when using the Web (which can be thought of as a giant, interconnected application progam).

In addition to hypertext, the Web (and many non-Web applications in any computer system) offer other possibilities for interactivity. Any kind of user input, including typing commands or clicking the mouse, is a form of input. Displayed images and text, printouts, motion video sequences, and sounds are output forms of interactivity.

The earliest form of interaction with computers was indirect and consisted of submitting commands on punched cards and letting the computer read them and perform the commands. Later computer systems were designed so that average people (not just programmers) could interact immediately with computers, telling them what programs to run and then interacting with those programs, such as word processors (then called “editors”), drawing programs, and other interactive programs. The first interactive human-computer interfaces tended to be input text sequences called “commands” (as in “DOS commands”) and terse one-line responses from the system.

In the late 1970’s, the first graphical user interfaces (GUIs) emerged from the Xerox PARC Lab, found their way into the Apple Macintosh personal computer, and then into Microsoft’s Windows operating systems and thus into almost all personal computers available today.


After researching this, i then decided to focus on researching Interactivity in Design. Which i quickly came to realise we use in everyday life all of the time. We interact with things like

  • phones
  • tablets
  • ATM
  • Television
  • Game Consoles
  • Computers
  • Microwaves
  • Radios
  • Cars

Almost everything in our lives has some form and design interactivity. I found the piece of information below on Wikipedia and found it quite useful.

In some cases Interactive Design is equated to Interaction Design, however in the specialized study of Interactive Design there are defined differences. To assist in this distinction, Interaction Design can be thought of as:

  • Making devices usable, useful, and fun, focusing on the efficiency and intuitive hardware[3]
  • A fusion of product design, computer science, and communication design [3]
  • A process of solving specific problems under a specific set of contextual circumstances[3]
  • The creation of form for the behavior of products, services, environments, and systems[4]
  • Making dialogue between technology and user invisible, i.e. reducing the limitations of communication through and with technology.[5]
  • About connecting people through various products and services[6]

Whereas Interactive Design can be thought of as:

  • Giving purpose to Interaction Design through meaningful experiences [7]
  • Consisting of six main components including User control, Responsiveness, Real-Time InteractionsConnectedness, Personalization, and Playfulness [8]
  • Focuses on the use and experience of the software [9]
  • Retrieving and processing information through on-demand responsiveness [10]
  • Acting upon information to transform it [11]
  • The constant changing of information and media, regardless of changes in the device [12]
  • Providing interactivity through a focus on the capabilities and constraints of human cognitive processing [13]

While both definitions indicate a strong focus on the user, the difference arises from the purposes of Interactive Design and Interaction Design. In essence Interactive Design involves the creation of meaningful uses of hardware and systems and that Interaction Designis the design of those hardware and systems. Interaction Design without Interactive Design provides only hardware or an interface. Interactive Design without Interaction Design cannot exist for there is no platform for it to be used by the user.


Our task is to make our Jellyfish world interactive, we only got this project a few hours ago and already we have some interesting ideas floating about such as,

  • an interactive board game (getting the eco-warriors out of the jellyfish and escaping)
  • Animating a character and having a conversation with it.
  • Bringing the characters into an online game
  • Creating a facebook Page

and many more ideas still to come.


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