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Aesthetics of Interaction - B2 course

Aesthetics of Interaction

Aesthetics of Interaction

Aesthetics of Interaction

Every design has a certain experience. After this course, I realized that this experience can be enhanced by aesthetics of interaction. Depending on the goal of a project and the importance of the interaction with a design, aesthetics of interaction should be implemented into a design to some extent.

For me, the most important aspect of aesthetics of interaction is involving the whole human being. I believe focusing on pleasing different aspects of the body creates an optimal experience. Depending on the goal of a design you can influence this whole experience. For instance, with my projects I want the user to find the interaction with a design pleasing and I want them to feel like using the design again. With keeping this in mind, the different aspects of involving the whole human being can be worked out. Building this onto the papers I read gives more insurance of creating a good design.

Starting our design process, we first discussed the papers we have read again so that we could keep the different theories in mind during the design process. Since I found the paper that I read very relevant, we tried to implement some aspects from its theory. The most obvious aspect from a pragmatist’ approach to aesthetics is the element of surprise. Whilst the user explores our design, it discovers that there is a light inside the alarm clock. The light also arises when the alarm is going off. With our design we focused on creating a natural way to wake up. We did this by making the waking up experience as if a person was waking you up. One of the pragmatic design principles is that a design should have a satisfying dynamic form. Our round shape is inspired by the shape of a cooking egg. The round shape invites for touching and twisting because, building onto the socio-cultural background of the user, the user will recognize the timeline with arrows and know that he/she can turn the disks to set a time. Also, we decided to make the top disks out of wood and the bottom disk out of concrete. Because the concrete is much heavier, the user will know to twist the (lighter) wooden disks and not the concrete disk.

Another aspect that we implemented was involving the whole human being. The cognitive motor is used whilst exploring all the functions of the design. The user learns that lifting the top disks gives light, so that it functions as a lamp. The user can also rotate the alarm to a certain time, the alarm indicator the slowly moves towards the real time indicator which learns the user that the time till the alarm goes off gets shorter. When the alarm goes off you can press the top disk down, which results in no light. The user learns that this is to snooze, since the alarm will go off again after a certain time. The rotating disc with numbers learns the user that that is the current time. The perceptual motor is used by rotating, pulling and pushing the different disks of the alarm clock by using the hands and the eyes. Ears and eyes get triggered when the alarm goes off, because of the light and alarm sound. The user then needs to move towards the clock in order to shut it. The alarm time can be set by rotating the disc using the hands/muscles and eyes. Besides these motor skills, the alarm clock also includes emotional skills. The user gets woken up similar to how a real person would wake you up, which creates an emotional connection with the alarm clock. The alarm clock can be seen as social because it wakes the user up when it needs to get out of bed. The bond is similar to a real human bond, because of opening the curtains (beaming light) and talking to a person (sound from the alarm).

Looking back, we only implemented theories from two papers, whilst we were given five papers to use. At the beginning of our process we only focused on two papers. We got so focused on these, that we didn’t think about implementing the other theories in our design. If we would have used more theory, we could more easily form a group vision on Aesthetics of Interaction and implement that in our design instead of looking at our design from the vision of two papers.

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