Advanced Topics in Interactivity

YSDN 4003

10% Of The Semester

Assignment 1 - Design Strategy

Evaluation Criteria

In the context of this class, students are invited to explore a topic of their choosing and their personal modes of visual expression through the creation of a screen-based interface. The interface can be developed for any device/medium, as long as it is relevant to the context of the student’s project. The medium can be traditional or speculative.

As such, interfaces could be created for items as diversified as mobile, tablet, desktop, watch, wall installation, glasses, fridge, windows, museum screens, clothing, etc., provided that the chosen medium is imagined as being interactive for the purpose of the project. Every students should think outside the box.

Pyramid Dream - John Maeda

Students are encouraged to think beyond the notion of “problem solving” and to either overlap or blur the boundaries between multiple approaches to interactive design such as exploratory, utilitarian and speculative approaches. The application developed will be an expression of the student’s personal exploration of interactive design and of the chosen topic, but it must have a precise goal/use, be engaging, provide users with a satisfying user experience, wonder, surprise and ultimately promote recurring usage.




Stage 1 - Research

First, students need to narrow down topics they are interested in.

Attention: It is important to note that the chosen topic will follow you throughout the semester. Students need to make sure that they are comfortable with and highly interested in this topic from the start.

Remember, looking at other interfaces is not the only way to find inspiration when working on an digital project or when developing an interface. Go beyond the screen. As mentioned by Golden Krishna, The Best Interface is No Interface. Do an inspiration and research session outside of the digital spectrum—go to the library, open a magazine, visit some art exhibition, etc.


The outcome of your initial research should be a one pager (either HTML or pdf format) including your possible topics and a one sentence summary of what the goal of the project would be for each selected topic.


Each of the area of interests listed should be complemented by a project analysis and references of either digital or physical artefacts that inspire you in relation to this topic.



This analysis should include:



Make sure that your research is well prepared, that your idea is clearly defined and that your descriptive sentence communicates your intent clearly.


On week 2, each student will take the podium for 5min to explain their research during a collaborative class workshop and efficient communication is key for this exercise to be productive/useful.


Remember, if an existing application does something similar to what you were hoping to create it doesn't mean that you can’t do so.

It is definitely possible to leverage an idea that is already being exploited and to appropriate it for your own project… as long as you truly treat it differently/in an original way.


Due September 18 - Beginning of the class

Stage 1 - Research (Topics research, project analysis)