P-Comp Blog 1

“…good interactivity design integrates form with function.”

This quote from Chapter 1 of The Art of Interactivity Design perfectly sums up what I hope to bring to all of my designs in this class. As a cinematographer I find a great a parallel to this idea (ignore the fact film itself is not interactive for a second). Often I would see my peers, going after the prettiest shots they could. They would call out, “doing it for the reel” which consisted of potentially abandoning the director’s vision, so they could steal a few shots for their portfolio. And while I could do plenty of reel-hunting in my time, I always try and stick to the director’s vision. I stick to what is going to keep the viewer not only interested, but following the story arc/focusing on pivotal details/focusing on specific characters. I don’t care if there is a pretty shot with the sky outside, if it has nothing to do with the film. I spend my time trying to design an experience for the viewer. And while it might not be the prettiest, it keeps the audience engaged in the stories vision and point of view. And the greatest films in my opinion are those that focus on good form and function. We must understand the story we tell, the interaction we design, and everything around it. And if they service each other we can create real art that is meaningful and reaches its goal.

And while film might not reach the author’s definition of an interactive process, Virtual Reality and other mediums are opening the doors for us to tell stories in more immersive ways. These principles will be very important to telling those stories. Maybe, focusing less on the “awe” factor in VR and instead on the new ways users can now interact with character/plot/theme. Also the design should focus on using more than just hands and pointers.

Bret Victor poses the idea in The Future of Interaction Design, that we should not be limited to interacting with only our hands. And while it is number one way we interact with technology, we should be designing for new types of interaction. For example, recording spatial awareness and eye gazing.

Questions I have going forward:

How can virtual reality stories move us in ways that two dimensional screens cannot?

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