Interaction + Feedback
In Class Activity —Investigating Words (investigate & document qualities of a term)
Verb: the action of linking or being connected to
- when to things come together |or| is also added to something
- Similes: link, connect, fasten, unite, affix, combine, yoke, secured, bond, meet, stick
- Movement they reference: peaceful combination, move together (not slam), extending a offer, add to, natural, intentional, reaching a compromise/peaceful answer, blended together/blending, bonded together (but not mixed)
- “join forced,” “join a club”
Noun: where the linking happens or is located
First day of Designing Communications for Interaction
Our first day of class helped me refocus my attention on some core aspects of design. Through spending time looking at wind up toys and the parts that make it up — what they reference, how there form informs its use, the correlation between how they look and move, the sound they made, etc — I continued to see how these toys actually conveyed how interaction is hugely important to the study of design. I was reminded of the importance of creating works that are enjoyable for the user and that aspects such as an element of surprise is important to keeping a user’s attention. I was also reminded of the importance of interaction and how that works into each and every design. Whether the interaction is visual or physical, almost all design offers an interaction of some sort. While we mainly looked at physical interactions today, it helped illustrate how interaction helps communicate ideas and feelings.
Work with homographs, I decided to choose the word ‘minute.’ I like that this word is both a noun and verb and that they describe very different things while being spelled exactly alike.
Minute (minit) — n.
The first meaning of minute is an amount of time equal to sixty seconds and, 1/60th of an hour. This particular meaning of the word minute is pronounced ‘minit. ‘Miniute’ as it refers to time, comes from the medieval Latin phrase ‘pars minuta prima’, which means first minute part (Oxford Dictionary). I first wanted to work with this word because of how crucial it is to our language and culture today. Almost all reference to short periods of time use this word. It would be uncommon that you wouldn’t use this word in everyday speech at least a few times each day. The word, ‘minute’ is also interesting in how it has worked its way into many phrases having to do with time. For example, ‘any minute,’ ‘by the minute,’ ‘not for a minute,’ or ‘this very minute.’ Each of these terms are hugely important to modern language and speech. This meaning of the word is also unique in that there isn’t a single simile that totally means the same thing. Words like moment, short time, instant, and little while all don’t have the same quantitative meaning as ‘minute.’ When I think of the word, ‘minute’ the movements that I believe encapsulate the word are tick (tick-tock), count up/down, and movement in uniform steps.
minute (mī’n(y)ōōt) — adj.
This version of the word, ‘Minute’ means extremely small or tiny. This word is pronounced mī’n(y)ōōt and comes from “Old French from late Latin minuta, feminine (used as a noun) of minutus ‘made small” (Oxford Dictionary). This word, though less commonly used than the other meaning of ‘minute’ is still a common descriptor word for something that is small, often smaller than you would expect or believe. Sometimes this version of the word is also used to describe a situation or thing that is so small that it is not accounted for or paid attention to. Words that are used as similes for ‘minute’ is tiny, infinitesimal, or slight. I was immediately drawn to this meaning of the word ‘minute’ because though it does mean small, it is different than that because something that is small is not always minute. Movements that might remind me of this word are shrink, diminish, squint, or decrease.
Notes on Crisp Reading
- “typographys role is to give form to content” which gives way to the message
- style is a subjective aspect that comes from the designer’s intent, education, culture, and time period.
- style and typefaces go though a cycle of becoming popular, becoming cliche, being rejected, and then revitalized (much like fashion style)
- voice is an important indicator of style and message
Using Semantic Differentials + More Brainstorming
Talking in class on Thursday helped me form a more concrete idea of how to parse these two words using different techniques such as semantic differentials and looking at the two words side by side.
Continuing to think about Minute in its two different forms, I started to use a few semantic differentials to help see the contrast between the two. For example, I thought about big/small, fast/slow, compact/bulky, calculated/random, and relaxed/tense to help me distinguish and get to know my words better. While for some of the semantic differentials, such as big/small, I could easily place Minute on the line graph, for other differentials, I felt like I was just randomly picking a point that I felt (sort of) worked in the moment. It is hard for me to see how some of these differentials can help me, when at times they only succeed in making me more confused. For example how can I say whether minute (n.) is smooth or rough? In that sense, the semantic differentials were not as helpful in my study of these words. I did, however, find it helpful to look at my words as they relate to the qualities that the project included such as time, weight, contrast, and position. These characteristics were easier for me to understand and brainstorm about. Though at times I still feel hesitant to, for example, try and identify minute (adj.) with a color.
In all I have found the brainstorming, exploration process of ‘Minute’ to be interesting, but also challenging and confusing sometimes.
When/How to Excite the Audience?
As I brainstorm about the timeline of my animation, I am struggling to see where to add excitement and intrigue. After talking about being mindful of how to intrigue your audience through either holding off, or giving information in an insightful way, I have thought a lot about the word Minute in its noun form and how I can possibly excite the reader. The main component I was interested in using, a tick-tock pacing and audio aesthetic, seems now to be too predictable to the audience. Although I think that the stable, constant ‘tick’ is an important characteristic of the word ‘Minute,’ don’t know how to create that sense of consistency without boring the user.
Thinking more on the ‘tick-tock’ sound that I am interested in incorporating in my interaction/animation, I thought also about how the more digital style I am interested in using (like the digital clock on a radio) may confuse the audience as ticking is often paired with an analog clock whereas the digital typeface is often know for it’s digital clock component. Perhaps this is just a minor detail that won’t confuse the audience, but I want to be more intentional in how I explore the idea of minute as either analog or digital.
After my first typeface exploration of the word minute in it’s adjective form, I only really looked at sans serif typefaces. The ultra thin sans serif styles seemed to work with that word. However, after revisiting the exercise I found some serif typefaces to also be successful. For example serif typefaces with ultra thin serifs such as Bodoni and Didot seemed to work well with the fragile, light, small feeling I would like to create with minute (adj.).
More Brainstorming (minute as a noun)
As I begin to formulate a more concrete plan and storyboard for my two interactive animations, I have started to become more aware of some inconstancies and areas of confusion that I want to address before I begin making anything.
For one I have realize that if I want to use a clock as inspiration for my minute (n.) video then I also need to be very intentional about what clock — analog/digital, nostalgic/modern, flip change (like old airport signs)/change. All these details are important as I form a concrete visual story of ‘Minute.’
Though I have been drawn to digital face clocks (like an alarm clock or microwave), I am also intrigued by the “old-timey” flipping clocks that were used in airports and on some old clocks. I think that there is some room to play with that design as I could possibly use hovering/clicking on each face to “flip” the clock face. What I struggle with in this idea is an element of surpise and meaningful audio as well.
On the other hand, I think it could be interesting to stick with the classic digital look and use the idea of numbers being built up by essentially one constant small segments as a leading theme. For instance, I could have the entire composition be made up of just one segment at the beginning of the animation, but as the user interacts with it, the letters are built to make the word, ‘Minute.’ (Kind of like this video below) I’m just not sure whether this idea really encapsulates the word minute.
After research and talking with Stacie, I have a good idea of what kind of feeling I want to create with my interactive animation.
Though I was very inspired by the motion and interaction of the flip-clock idea, I felt that it did not use the typeface in any interesting way. I felt that if I were to go that route, the focus would be on the flipping, and not on the actually typeface and word that it is creating. I also felt like it would not be easy to communicate the actual word minute with this interaction as the flip display is not always used to show time (its also known for its use in airports). Thus, I decided to stick with my digital clock face idea to guide my design.
More Brainstorming (minute as a adjective)
I am still struggling to find a clear story in the word minute (as an adj.), but I do know that I want to use shrinking and magnifying as a part of my interaction. I would like to try out a few different ideas in a very rough woking form, then I will narrow it down from there. If I can get it to work, I would like my cursor to act as a magnifying glass that magnifies ‘minute.’ I also want to see how it would be to use zooming in multiple times to create the word ‘minute’ would work.
Adding Excitement and being true to the word:
I have been thinking more on my two ideas and after talking to Natalie on Tuesday, I realize that the current design idea I have for ‘minute’ (n.) does not incorporate one very important aspect of the word, time. While it does has aspects of connotation that would help people think of the word minute, there is no use of timing and pacing to really show how minute is a passing of time. I want think more about how I can creating pacing and an element of time to my animation. Perhaps it will be through the audio.
In the same way, my idea for minute (adj.) is also lacking a detail that I believe is necessary in really communicating the word. That aspect is the importance of detail in the word ‘minute.’ Many people I have talked to about the word say that their first interpretation of the word is the phrase ‘minute detail.’ In that sense, I want to somehow possibly incorporate detail into my interaction to really communicate that minute is not just small, it is a part of something that is very tiny and almost unnoticeable.
I am also noticing how my current designs don’t have enough of an element of surprise in them. I would like to use motion and interaction more to excite and intrigue the user. For example, maybe making a game out of my interaction to really catch the users attention.
I am starting to think more about the audio I want to incorporate into the animation. I know that I want to use beeping of some kind in my minute (n.) interaction, but I am still lost for the minute (adj.). I don’t want to be too literal, but I also am struggling to think of any sound that would compliment the interaction I am interested in doing. I will continue thinking about ways to use audio to further communicate the words.
I have a vision in my head to use pattern to communicate the word ‘minute’ (adj.). I would like to (sort of) hide the word ‘minute’ in the pattern and once you find it, maybe with a zoom hover interaction, another interaction will ensue.
^ something like this in which the word is a “minute detail” in the pattern.
Feeling the Constraints of Axure:
As I have been working with Axure over the weekend, I have been struggling to work around the constraints of the program. Though I am finding many of the interactions to work well, the program lags, which ruins the interaction and experience. I am also finding that it is hard to work with if the interaction or graphics are too complicated. I will continue to try experimenting and working in a way that will compliment the program.
Today my goal is to get to a point where my animation, even if it is not fully functioning, has a beginning, middle, and end. Right now I just have snap shots of a few interactions an movements that I want. I think that once I actually have each part, I will begin to start seeing it come together and the areas where I might need some work.
As I worked on my axure project through the night I bumped into a quite a few issues. My hope was that I could use the tools in Axure to convey both interaction and animation, but the program seems to be too laggy for the animation portion. (see below). Moving forward with my idea to use an animated pattern for the word minute (adj.), I tried to create an interesting pattern animation, however the program could not handle it. I am now having to backtrack using After Effects. Because of this, I am farther behind than where I would like to be. I was originally working with the constraints of Axure, but now that it seems like I will need to use After Effects, I may need to change me animation/visual qualities.
After getting some feedback on Tuesday, I have some direction, but also some more questions as well. While for the most part people had good feedback for minute (n.) besides the glitchy-ness, minute (adj.) is looking like it needs a big redesign. I realized that I was using visual elements too much, using them as the focus of my video instead of the actual letter forms of the word. I want to step back and look again at the reasons and decisions behind my choice. and whether I can use my beginning explorations as a guide.
I am thinking about using scale as more of a factor and perhaps a change in typeface. I imagined an interaction that starts out with a bulky typeface that spells out minute and then ones you interact with the letters they transform and shrink into the desired typeface. I think this idea gives more room for use of audio and also uses scale, which is a big part of the word minute (adj.).
As far as the minute (n.) animation/interaction goes, I am struggling to find an “aha,” moment of surprise. Right now the animation works, but it’s not really that interesting.
More Exploration with Minute (adj.)
I decided that I will stick with my “detail” idea since I feel like it has more room for growth and audio use.
Working over the weekend I started to form a concrete idea, movement, and interaction. I decided to use the letters of ‘minute’ to form a pattern. I specifically placed the letters sporadically around the canvas to create a sense of disarray. Then as the interactive animation continues, the user must find the slight changes or motion of the letters in ‘minute.’ Finally once each letter is “found,” the animation reveals the all the letters together revealing ‘minute.’
Some things I still need to add/edit:
- add audio to every letter (currently only works on the ‘m’)
- play around with color — why those shades of blue?
- work with the flow of the motion
- work on ending — make the final scene more exciting and true to the word
Finishing it All Up
As I was adding final changes (audio, motion, and timing), I made a few changes to my interactions that I think helped add to the experience. For minute (n.) I had been always planning to use the sound of an alarm clock for my audio effects. However, as I was working, I decided that I wanted to use some kind of audio that created more of a story. Thus, I decided to use the idea of a microwave as my guide for audio qualities. After adding the audio, I feel like this creates more of a telling visual for the audience and it also adds some excitement, though I wish my interaction did have some more surprise to it.
As for Minute (adj.), I continued with my idea of “hiding” the letters in detail. I also added an ending in which the words are revealed and if you hover over minute it gets smaller and smaller until you are unable to see it. I like the audio I added for each letter, but it does get repetitive after it plays the same sequence six times. If I had more time I would add some slight variation to the audio.