CS6022 Principles of Interactive Media Design 2016

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URL: http://tinyurl.com/CS6022-2016


Principles of Interactive Media Design

  • Lecturer: Gabriela Avram

Course Material

No set book. Reading lists and References will be made available for Seminar topics.

Course Objectives

This course has 2 major objectives, related to the two themes we will be pursuing over the term :

  • (1) Investigation of key concepts and methods in the IxD field - you will deepen your knowledge and understanding of certain key issues in the Interaction Design field, such as design thinking, interaction experience, and critical sensibility; and
  • (2) Planning your Research Project - you will learn about the requirements for planning a successful Final Project, with advice on choosing topics, analyzing issues, developing argumentation, structuring your research, use of different research methods, planning your work, and report writing.

Track 1 will examine and explore a number of key themes related to interaction and design in a variety of settings. It will involve a student-led group seminar/presentation. A number of themes, issues and domains for further study will be provided, but you may, after consultation, add to this list. It will be the responsibility of the group, in consultation with the instructor, to provide a brief 1-2 page information note on the material analysed together with reading links for the class in advance of each seminar session.

Track 2 relates to your project development work. Lectures will offer support in planning your research, discussing project write-ups, and research methods. Near the end of the course you are required to give a short presentation on your project ideas and plans. A short project report (max. 3K words) is also required, which should serve as a useful outline for your Final Project Report due at the end of the Summer.


Track 1 - Exploration of various IxD topics(Monday 13-16)

Track 2 - Research methods (Friday 12-2)

Group seminar(Monday)

Selection of Topics & Dates for Group Seminar

  • To be done in consultation with Gabriela
  • list of topics is provided, but new topics can be added
  • Group Seminars: Weeks:

Examples from previous years

Suggested Format for Seminar Sessions

  • The presenting group must present key ideas from specific readings. Brief 1-2 page note on topic (outline + comments) and resources to be sent to class at least 2 days in advance of seminar.

Topics Schedule

Week 5

  • 22.02.2016 - Designing functional products for public spaces/Universal Design - Clodagh O’Mahony, Sarah Killian, Manasi Shetye

For our seminar on Monday 22nd Feb, we will be looking at public spaces and best practices for designing for them. We will be analysing the relationship between people, places and objects. We have divided objects in public spaces into three categories, necessary, community and interactive art installations.In each case we will talk through what the objects in this category are, who are the users, where they are used and why they are necessary. We will also discuss some of the methods used in researching and designing them. Following our talk, we will have two activities, one short game to encourage empathetic design, followed by a longer, more design-based activity, to highlight the need for user centered design.

Week 6

  • 29.02.2016 - UIs and User Centred Design Techniques for AR + VR- Allen Wixted, Stuart Murphy, Conor Souness

Our seminar introduces the areas of augmented reality and virtual reality in regards to design of User Interfaces and the User Centered Design techniques . The various current applications of the technology will be explained and in-depth techniques for interface design will be discussed. As the seminar is centered around designing for users, users' perceptual limitations and problems with VR/AR will be discussed in an effort to cement good design techniques. Following the seminar, there will be two activities. The first activity is a group design session and the second is a prototyping session.

Activity: AR User Interface Design Session and Digital Prototyping

Our activity is split into two halves. The first 30 minutes are a design session in groups of 2. Each group will randomly pick a genre of AR and design the interface for that application on paper, then acetate sheets. The second 30 minutes will be recreating the low-fi prototype on the digital prototyping package: justinmind. The same groups will implement their designs on a shared computer

You will need to sign up and download it free here: justinmind We will be using the Google Glass template.

At the end, each project will be saved to the student share and shown on the screen with a brief description from that group explaining why they designed the interface that way.

Week 7

  • 7.03.2016- Seminar by Laura Maye

Week 8

  • 14.03.2016 - John O'Dwyer and Gary Whelan
  • Characteristics of video games as an interactive medium

We are attempting to explore certain characteristics associated with videogames that have been removed from the videogame context and reutilised as elements in other, non-game, fields such as products, services and applications.

We will take a look at the branch of Psychology that is ‘Positive Psychology’. In particular we will focus on the concept of ‘Cognitive Flow’, an area of study associated with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi where he attempted to evaluate the condition of optimum cognitive flow and research influential factors upon the psychological state. The findings of Csikszentmihalyi are used extensively in game design.

We will then take a look at the realm of gamification. Gamification has been loosely defined as ‘The use of gaming elements in non-game contexts’ (Deterding et al.) so it is worth examining its characteristics given the area of interest of this seminar. We will be primarily concerned with gamification in terms of HCI and shall be referring to the work of Sebastian Deterding in this area.

Before we show some real world examples and applications of these game characteristics, we will show a 7 minute short film depicting a possible future where gamification and virtual reality augment daily life.

After our presentation we will be demonstrating the two different applications of the Microsoft Kinect sensor. One station will have an Xbox game set up and the other station will have an interactive installation set up where users are invited to partake in the manipulation of graphics and audio.

  • Week 9 -Easter break
  • Week 10 - Bank Holiday

Week 11

  • 4.04.2016- Enhancing the quality of life by wearable technology - James Hogan, Dingke Ma

Our seminar on Monday 4th April will introduces some things about wearable. We decided our presentation into two parts. Firstly, we will be showing a s of wearable, such as digital jewelry, smartwatch, sensor-embedded clothing and analysing why and how they enhance the quality of our life. Another part, we will be discussing why consumers do not buy wearable devices and how to change this situation via the wearable design.

Our workshop: Wearable design Please design a wearable in group of 2 or 3 with the provided materials.

  • Week 11 - 8.04.2016 - Social Media and Art - Fiona Hanley, Amy Richardson, Jonathan Ross Redfern

The Seminar on Friday will be centred around the Topic of Social Media. Social media has three main recognised social platforms be it Facebook, snapchat or Instagram. It has become a fascinating new human phenomenon. In 2016 alone, research showed that over 2 billion people have used the Internet across the world. Of those people, nearly 80% have signed into a social networking site in the past year to connect with others, curate their personal images, and share information with people across the virtual universe. Given these facts, social media has been a growing medium in visual art over the past 20 years. In the 1990s, artists who couldn't find commercial success began sharing their work on early webpages. Today, artists regularly tap social media as a way to create a shared experience, crowdsource participants and ideas, and explore the dynamics between the virtual and IRL.

For prep, we'd appreciate if you could do the following.

1] For the class workshop we would like if you could create an Instagram account via the app store on your phone. It is free and easy to download.

2] https://www.instagram.com/amaliaulman/?hl=en ß this is an Instagram Artist Amalia Ulman. She focuses her Instagram account solely on the basis of her Art work.

3] http://www.apollo-magazine.com/can-art-exist-on-social-media/ ßthis is an interesting article focusing on artist’s lives are they now lived through images that, formally at least, are indistinguishable from art, this relationship is now harder to read than ever.

4] http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/instagram-cake-mistake/ ß This is also another interesting article based on Instagram disabling a mom’s account for posting this photo of a cake. Quite a funny article but an interesting read.

Week 12

  • 11.04.2016 - Space and Place in Art and Digital Environments -Shauna Shanahan (15111717), Nicole Roche (10118608)

Our seminar on Monday will explore space and place in art and digital environments. It will look at the differences between place and space and how artists have incorporated both into their practices. We will discuss how art and digital technologies can alter or augment a space or place and provide examples of both. We will also look at the different ways in which the audience or users interact with and respond to these environments and how interaction can transform a space into a place through the assignment of meaning.

For preparation we would appreciate if you could read and watch the following:

Space and place - art as a transformative experience: Duane Hoover speaks about the transformative nature of space and place. He discusses how human interaction can transform a space into a place through memory and the attachment of meaning. He uses his experiences at the Burning Man festival to provide a backdrop for his explanation of how artists can create "spaces" within their artworks or artistic practices with the intent that viewers or participants alter the space, transforming it into a "place" by giving it purpose and imbuing it with personalised characteristics and meaning.

Space and place - art as a transformative experience: Duane Hoover at TEDxTexasTechUniversity


Suggested Topics

  • The Role of Metaphor in Design
  • Design Sensibility. What does it mean to be a designer?
  • Sustainable Interaction Design - what does it mean?
  • Getting to Grips with Experience Design
  • Getting to Grips with Interactivity
  • The relation between Art & Design
  • Mobility & its implications
  • The Quantified Self Movement; Lifelogging: memory & forgetting - Ideas & consequences
  • The role of the body; Emboddied Interaction
  • Space & place in new environments
  • The relationship between making and design
  • Designing with Communities
  • Design for the Elderly
  • Infrastructuring

Application domains:

  • Thinking About Interactivity in Museums
  • Learning in the Digital Era
  • The expanding role of technology in healthcare

Social Media

  • Social Media as Operating System
  • Transparent lives
  • Mediation and transparency

Games, Virtual Worlds, Modding

  • Characteristics of video games as interactive medium
  • Designing for sociability in massively multiplayer online games
  • User-created content, modding, and gamer communities

HCI related

  • The "interface" between humans and technology
  • The purpose of computer-based technology
  • What is the user experience of using an artefact?
  • The users' role in design & methods: e.g. cooperative evaluation and participatory design
  • Various user interfaces: graphical, tangible, audio, etcetera

Course Schedule

It is important that people identify a topic/theme as soon as possible, and start preparing.

  • List of tentative themes and dates for the first presentation set by end of Week 2 (Feb 3rd).

Project Sessions

Suggested format for Project Sessions

Project Sessions Scheduling

Final Presentations:

Monday 18 April 2016

  • 1pm-1:30pm - Manasi Shetye, Gabriela Avram
  • 1:30pm-2pm - Clodagh O'Mahony, Nora O'Murchu
  • 2pm-2:30pm - Sarah Killian, Chris Exton
  • 2:30pm-3pm - Conor Souness, Chris Exton
  • 3pm-3:30pm - Allen Wixted, Chris Exton
  • 3:30pm-4pm - Dingke Ma, Nikola Nikolov

Friday 22 April 2016

  • 12pm-12:30pm Amy Richardson, Gabriela Avram
  • 12:30pm-1pm Jonathan Ross Redfern, Brenda Romero
  • 1pm-1:30pm = Stuart Murphy - Brenda Romero
  • 1:30pm-2pm = Shauna Shanahan - Supervisor = Mikael Fernström
  • 2pm-2:30pm Fiona Hanley, Mikael Fernstrom
  • 2:30pm-3pm John O' Dwyer - Kerry Hagan
  • 3pm-3:30pm Nicole Roche - Giuseppe Torre
  • 3:30pm-4pm James Hogan - Gabriela Avram
  • 4pm-4:30pm Gary Whelan - Mikael Fernstrom

Structure for presentation

  • Title slide - Tentative name for the project, your name&student number, your supervisor's name
  • Introduction - what is the project about, your motivation for doing it; previous ideas you had;
  • Literature - main themes from the literature you have studied so far (with correct in line citations and a final slide with References)
  • Similar projects that inspired you
  • What methods are you planning to use for user research? (interviews, low/medium fidelity prototypes testing, observation etc)
  • What technologies are you planning to use
  • What skills do you bring to the project; what else do you need to learn
  • Plans for the summer - milestones and deadlines; Gantt chart recommended

Make sure you included explanations on:

  • What is your project about
  • Why it is important
  • Who it is for
  • Where it should be used.
  • When would it be needed
  • How would it be made

Structure for final report

The final report is due on 6 May 2016, 5pm

  • Introduction
    • what is your project about
    • motivation
    • users group
  • Literature review/Background research
    • areas explored/ key words
    • literature review (major themes and findings in the papers and books you have read)
    • similar projects you have looked at
    • where will your work be situated in relation to all this information- what do you hope to achieve?
  • Methodology/ User studies (1-2 pages - what do you intend to do)
  • Technologies involved (1 page, bullet points)
  • Plans for the summer semester (diagram or list from your presentation)


  • Group Seminar: 25%; Please send Gabriela a brief report (2-3 pages) and slides one week after the presentation;
  • Project Talk: 25%; - Week 13; send slides to Gabriela afterwards;
  • Report: 30%; - Week 14- Due on 6 May 2016, 5pm- email to Gabriela as Word document.
  • Reflection on progress on blog or personal diary: 10%; - Grading will be done on week 13; Send Gabriela a link.
  • Attendance & Class Interaction: 10 %. Contributions in group seminars will be taken into consideration (at least 2 during the semester).
  • Class participation for all seminars/presentations is expected. Failure to attend >80% of presentations will incur penalties.

Some references

Blogs of imedia class students





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