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Introduction to Interaction

Introduction to Interaction

Explores the foundational methods and skills involved in creating dynamic, interactive experiences across a wide variety of platforms and devices.

The class is full of new technology to explore, fun experiments, and challenging ideas to think about.
—Shinichiro Kuwahara, MDES ‘21

Objective & Outcomes

This course teaches foundational skills, concepts, and tools involved in prototyping accessible interactive designs that react to changing users, context, and functional needs. Students will prototype and refine interactive experiences for varied interaction contexts including traditional graphical user interfaces, multitouch applications, gesture and body sensing, multi-user collaboration, wearable technologies, and conversational voice input.

Students will use a variety of domain-specific prototyping tools to craft these experiences alongside several tools for working with data, testing the efficacy and accessibility of interactive experiences, integrating dynamic content and coded elements into static designs, and communicating dynamic and variable designs to diverse audiences.

Throughout the course, students will develop three major interactive prototypes in a series of increasingly scaled projects alongside several narrower exercises. Major projects include mobile application and desktop software design based on datasets, interactive educational experiences designed to accessibly include new audiences, and design for facilitating creativity with AI support.

Typical Schedule

  • Session 1: Course Intro, Wireframing
  • Session 2: Interaction Design + Computation
  • Session 3: Information Architecture
  • Session 4: Content and User Modeling
  • Session 5: Serial, Parallel, and Modal Experiences
  • Session 6: Tangible Interactions
  • Session 7: Designing for Accessibility
  • Session 8: Data Collection and Actuation
  • Session 9: User Testing
  • Session 10: Computational Intelligence
  • Session 11: Computational Creativity
  • Session 12: Designing for Voice and Gesture
  • Session 13: Cross-Medium Continuity
  • Session 14: Final Review