Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Embargo Period

10-5-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)

Department

Design

Advisor(s)

Cameron Tonkinwise

Abstract

The range of digital interactions we see in our devices today falls short of its potential to create more nuanced and dynamic interactions. By unlocking our notions of how interaction design elements (described as the building blocks of interaction design) can be used, designers could create richer multi-sensory experiences that more thoroughly explore what digital experiences can be. For example, how a designer could create a thoughtful auditory or haptic experience that supports—or is independent of—the visual interface. This thesis attempts to reimagine designer’s approach to translating digital interactions across experiences with an experiment in prompting reflection-in-action. Practitioners are asked to collectively reflect-on and reflect-in through an online design exercise. This method of causing and capturing focused reflectivity has designers describe different ways interaction design elements contribute to intention in experiences. Responses are captured on a website, becoming a survey of interaction elements as contributors help build a ‘thesaurus’ of what design elements can do. This thesis also describes the sociolinguistic and rhetorical theory that informed the design experiment. The goal of this work is to extend designers’ ability to translate design elements into different sensory experiences through engaging with communication theory perspectives.

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