Digital Interaction

Deanna Perl
Apr 18, 2017 · 4 min read
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When talking to someone new the same questions always gets asked? What is your job, or what degree are/did you go into? Whenever I’m asked this question my answer is, Digital Media — Interaction & Design. In response, I usually get the same blank look and immediately get asked, ‘what does that mean?’ Oh, can that a complicated question and simplifying it for those not consumed in the digital world can create a longer conversation then what most people want. To help give you a better understanding of this degree is explaining what ‘interaction’ means can help.


True interaction is being engaged

If you look into the dictionary for the word ‘Interaction,’ you’ll get this definition:

Interaction: (of two people or things) influencing or having an effect on each other.

While this definition makes sense when two people are involved, in the digital world, the primary interaction is between one person and a digital device. So if an interaction is generally between two people, how is it possible to have interaction with a with something that doesn’t have a mind of its own? The answer to this question is within dictionary definition; you just have to ask a different question. What do people get out of interacting with other people? When you ask this question to multiple different people you’ll get different answers, but one thing is for sure, when interacting with someone you have to think of ways to respond. Which helps people become engaged with what they are doing.

So to make interaction possible in the digital world, the designer needs to find a why to create a design that is engaging to interact with while at the same time giving them meaningful feedback. This way a conversation is created between the viewer and the digital platform. You might have seen this type of interaction commonly on websites when clicking on a link or filling out a form, but this kind of interaction is stagnate and unengaging. This is one of the problems that we learn to solve in DGM — Interaction & Design. At UVU we tackle this problem in multiple class, but the best class to show it visually is in our Digital Effects class.

Prototype — Camera Purchasing Process

In Digital Effects the students first find out a problem that needs to solved. Then they brainstorm by sketching up their ideas to figure out the best way to solve the problem, and see if the problem can be solved through some form of interaction. These sketches take place usually in storyboard frames and include notes of how the interaction will take place through taps and swipes. The students also keep in mind any feedback the viewer will need to help guide them throughout the animation. Once the student has found a solution, they take their sketches and produce their design. Within Digital Effects the student uses and learn a software called Hype3 to produce their solutions.

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Tools of Creation

Hype3 helps with the creation of animations similar to Adobe After Effects. The difference is when exported it creates the animation through HTML5, CSS, and Javascript; which makes it possible for those viewing the animation to interacted with them. These animations can be created to be simple or complicated, and this becomes possible through a combination of multiple timelines and scenes.

Any creation from Hype3 can be inputted into anything that excepts HTML coding. Some of the different softwares DGM students will use Hype3 in is iBooks Author and Mag+.

To see some of these interactive animations in action created by UVU students click/tap on the links below to give them a try.

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The Canon Bundle Interaction is prototype animation of a possible buying experience when buying Canon products.

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Understanding and knowing different attributes in multiple typefaces can be difficult. Steven Minert has put together an Interactive animation to help you understand a bit more about the popular typeface, ‘Didot.’

Digital Media UVU

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