Reading Response of Week 10 (XiaoqiSun)

In this reading, instead of concentrating on technology, Julie Woletz focuses on the interfaces of immersive media, and elaborate how various interfaces of spatial media create effects of immersion by addressing the body in different ways. Julie Woletz thinks that we can simply define immersion as an objective measurable effect of certain parameters of media technology depending on human perception and presented depth cues. Following such a technological approach, immersion can be divided into three distinct degrees: non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully-immersive. 

A non-immersive environment is when the device only enables a viewpoint from outside the environment and the user only looks at the artificial world. A semi-immersive environment is when the viewpoint is inside the environment like in a cave, but there are still other stimuli available. A fully-immersive environment is when they work with device like a head mounted display that shows a viewpoint inside the environment and at the same time blocks out other sensory information. 

I would like to talk about my opinion about the relationship between games in the future and fully-immersive environment. In my opinion, a good game should always creates a fully-immersive environment, because only in fully-immersive environment can players be leaded into the world of games. On the one hand, the fully-immersive environment can make players really enjoy the games. On the other hand, the fully-immersive environment also reduce the lifetime and the market of games. Because not all people will take more than one hour everyday to fully-immersive into a game. We live in a world with high diversity, so everything in our society are tended to be made like fast foods, so that people can quickly get it and move to next things. Hence, I really looking forward the fully-immersive media, but I don’t know our society can accept the fully-immersive media with slow pace.  

Reading Response of Week9

Introduction to Prototyping Tools

This reading provides list of all kinds of online tools currently available for us to create an online digital prototype. Although all of them are very useful tools for most of Interaction Designs, I don’t think they can help me design my own digital prototype.

Unlike other Interaction Design, since my design tries to solve the problems between human and dogs, dogs’ reactions are very important part in my design. Hence, it is very necessary to show dogs’ reactions in my both paper prototype and digital prototype. For my digital prototype, I need to not only design the interface of my design project, but also simulate a suitable environment which shows dogs’ reactions.

For my digital prototype, I think I could use Unity 3D to finish this job. I can create a dog model in Unity 3D, and make some programs to show how dogs’ will react to different functions in my App.


Reading Response of Week 8 (Xiaoqi Sun)

“Prototypes” In Designing Interactions

In this reading, Bill Moggridge mainly discusses “what is design”, “core skills of design”, and “why a design discipline”. Having read several articles about Interaction Design during past several weeks, I thought I have a thorough idea about what design is. However, Bill Moggridge’s article makes me rethink my own opinion about reading. Design is not a simple idea, it is more complicated than it looks like.

Bill thinks that the most satisfying definitive description of design he has encountered is the statement by Charles Eames which is “a plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose”. From his words, we can pick up three important parts in a design. The first part should be the “purpose”, “why we do the design”, it is the problem we need to figure out. The second part is the “plan”, it is about how to do the design. The third part is the “arranging elements”, which are known as solutions. Only if we have all these three parts in our design, we can make a thorough and complete design. 

Another interesting part mentioned by Bill Moggridge is the five core skills of design:To synthesize a solution from all of the relevant constraints;to frame, or reframe, the problem and objective; to create and envision alternatives; to select from those alternatives, knowing intuitively how to choose the best approach; to visualize and prototype the intended solution. For our own Interaction Designs, we are now in the process of visualizing our design. Hence, we need to learn the Design disciplines which mentioned by Bill to make a proper prototype in the next few weeks. 


Iwata Asks, Wii U Miiverse, The producers

In this discussion, Satoru Iwata asks members of the production team about the design process of the “Miiverse”. “Miiverse” was a social network for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, which based on Nintendo Network.

In this discussion, what draw my attention is that the interview showed how people in Nintendo make paper prototype to help them make designs. In my opinion, Nintendo are not only good at make games, building fantastic worlds, but also creative in making paper prototype. In their mind, a paper prototype can not only help them make games, but also can becomes games. It makes me think the creative Interaction Design which bound with Nintendo Switch, the LABO. Nintendo LABO is a series of DIY kits crafted to work with Nintendo Switch. It makes player use several paper boxes to build a AR device to play with Nintendo Switch. In my opinion, LABO is not a complete design, it is only a prototype which shows the future development which Nintendo are trying to make. 

From the paper prototype of “Miiverse” and LABO, we can clearly understand the importance of paper prototype. After watch how Nintendo makes paper prototypes, I think a good paper prototype should have three elements:

  1. Clear, our paper prototype should clearly show problems and solutions in our Interaction Design.
  2. Accessible, our paper prototype should be easily made, only need some papers, glues, and a scissor.
  3. maneuverable, our paper prototype should be easily used and made some changes. 

Reading Response of Week6

Reading 1: Personas-A Simple Introduction

In this reading, the author is mainly trying three question: What is Personas? How Personas relates to Design Thinking? How to create your Engaging Personas and Scenarios? Personas are fictional characters, which designers create based upon their research in order to represent the different user types that might use their service, product, site, or brand in a similar way. Creating personas can not only help designers figure out their user’s needs and expectations, but also help them recognize that different people have different needs so they can identify which part of their project should be fixed. 

In the Design Thinking process, Personas are created during the second phase, the Define phase. Designers synthesis their research and findings from the Empathise phase. Personas can help designers move on to the third phase, the Ideation phase. There are four kinds of personas: Goal-directed Personas, which focus on figuring out what typical users want to use their products. Role-Based Personas, which focus on behavior. Engaging Personas, which incorporate both goal and role-directed personas. Fictional Personas, which unlike other personas, will not emerge from user research. 

There are 10 steps to creating Engaging Personas and Scenarios: We need to collect data at first, then we can form some hypothesis. Then, everyone in group should make a discussion and find the best hypothesis. Then, we need to decide the final number of personas. Describing the personas is the most important step, then we can prepare situations or scenarios for our personas. At the same time, we also need to obtain acceptance from the organization and disseminate knowledge. In the end, everyone in the group prepares scenarios and makes ongoing adjustments. 


Reading 2: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 1)

In this reading, the author Shlomo, who is an Interaction Designer, mainly introduces his understanding about Personas, and why Personas are necessary and important for Interaction Design. He also presents some his own design projects as examples to explain how he creates personas and how personas help his design projects. 

Shlomo thinks a persona is a way to model, summarize and communicate research about people who have been observed or researched in some way. The Personas were informally developed by Alan Cooper as a way to empathize with and internalize the mindset of people who would eventually use the software he was designing, and then were generally used in most of design projects. 

Shlomo then describes how he create personas: he will interview and observe an adequate number of people, find patterns in the interviewees’ responses and actions, and use those to group similar people together. Then, he will create archetypical models of those groups, and draw from that understanding of users and the model of that understanding to create user-centered designs. In the end, he will share his works to people in his team and then to make some changes. 


Reading 3: A Closer Look at Personas (Part 2)

In this reading, similar to what Shlomo has said in Part 1, he introduces some more advantages of using Personas and presents more details about how to create personas by using his own experiences. 

He presents more details about how to identify users and prepare for questions. He suggests us to create a screener based on demographics and psychographics to determine who to observe and talk to and who not to. As for questions, he thinks we should ask the most advantageous questions and observe the most relevant behavior. To determine what information is most needed, they to think of the knowledge gaps. He then gives us all necessary questions which should be asked, including Overview, Domain Knowledge, Goals, Attitudes and Motivations, Processes, Environment, Pain Points, Tools and Technology, Mental Models, Relationships and Organizational Structure, Projecting into the future, Wrapping up. 

After the interview, what is more important is to analyze the data. The analysis stage is the most complicated because we must compare multiple variables of behaviors and attitudes. We need to make sense of it all by finding patterns in the data. 


Reading 4: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 1)

In this reading, Francisco, an interaction designer at Universal Mind, introduces how user experience professionals and designers are using storytelling to create compelling experiences that build human connections.

One interesting part which draw my attention is the Power of Emotion mentioned by Francisco. A good storytelling can always arouse audiences emotion to make audiences feel like they are the characters in the story. In this section, Francisco introduces the Emotional Design, presented by Donald Norman. Norman found that design affects how people experience products , which happens at three different levels, and translates into three type of design: Visceral Design, which is from a subconscious and biologically pre-wired programmed level of thinking. Behavioral Design, which is how the product functions, the look and feel, the usability, and total experience with using the product. Reflective Design, which is how it makes us feel after the initial impact and interacting with the product.

Those three types of designs make me understand how a horror movie is designed. The ghost, environment and the music of a horror movies is the Visceral Design which makes us fear and feel creepy. The Reflective Design is that we trust the horror movie is not real so we can seek the sense of exciting. 


Reading 5: Better User Experience with Storytelling (Part 2)

In Part 2, Francisco explored some of the basic structures and story patterns found in myths and religions. He also explored some of the basics of bringing storytelling into the user experience process and some places to get started. He mainly presents some interviews with Modern-Day Storytellers. 

I am really interested in the interview with Dorelle. For the question “how do you approach storytelling in UX”, Dorelle sees the storytelling as another tool we can use as a catalyst for communications during out design activities. He believes that “it’s about putting a human face on the design process and bringing people together.”

I strongly agree his idea. When I consider the storytelling, it is not only create a story which everyone can enjoy in, but also build a platform of communications. It could be a communication between the storyteller and the characters in story, which decides the basic structure of story. It could also be a communication between the designer and users, which has the similar function with personas. 

Week5:Reading Response

Shapiro, Alan N. (2018) “Gestalt-Ideas at the Interface Between Theory and Practice”:

The article talks about the relationship between Theoretical Design and Practical Design and how to transfer “academic” ideas into some wider capitalist-practical-business-society. In Shapiro’s opinion, there are three successive phases of the role of the university in transmitting ideas to society.

The first phase is called the era of the “pure idea”, which was the 20th century way of “opposing capitalism”. In this phase, academic ideas have no relationship with society. The university maintains its traditional role as an “ivory tower” or separate idealistic sphere within the modernist democratic society, carrying on abstract self-referential discourses like philosophy and history, generating and discussing ideas which have very little or no direct application in the “real world”. 

The second phase is called the era of the “specialized idea”, which was the 20th century way of “accepting capitalism”. In this phase, universities arrive at the viewpoint that they should become more relevant to business.

The third phase, an alternative to both of these idea-paradigms appears, is called the era of the “Idea-Gestalt.” Ideas from the humanities are bound together with practical design projects, in the educational venture. Then these “Ideen-Gestalten” are brought into the commercial economy as entrepreneurial design patterns. Shapiro believes that this will be the 21st century science fictional way of neither opposing nor accepting capitalism, but rather steering capitalism in a new direction. I also think the “Idea-Gestalt” could be the way which we should use in our university. After learning the “Idea-Gestalt”, I think what we make in class can be successfully transferred into “Ideen-Gastalten” and brought to the society.  


Lowgren, Jonas and Eric Stolterman(2007) “Chapter 5: Methods and Techniques”:

Before I reading this chapter, I always have a question in my mind: “I want to be a game designer, why should I learn how to design an ATM?” After I read this chapter, I get the answer. It is valuable for game designers to know about the core qualities of ATM design, not in order to apply them uncritically to their own detailed design decisions, but rather to question and push the tacit boundaries of their work. So what we need to learn is not how to build an ATM, but rather how to not build an ATM, how to build a proper Interaction design in a proper platform. 

When I consider the design of ATM, what draws my attention is that I do not see any cultural constraints in the design of ATM. People with different color, different culture, different religion use same way to get money from ATM. We put our cards in, enter the code, and get our money. Every step is very clear. Associating with our own Interaction Design, what we need to consider is to design our projects as clear as the design of ATM, which eliminated the culture constraints and can be used by everyone. 

Why the design of ATM can be a successful design is that the designer have figured out the basic purpose people using ATM—save or withdraw money. Hence, to make our project as successful as the design of ATM, we also need to figure the basic purpose and problem in our own design project, and then to figure out the most general way to solve the problem.  


Nielsen, Lynn (2018) “ 30. Personas ” The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.:

In this section, Nielsen mainly discusses what Personas are. It is easy for me to understand why Personas are important for Game Designs. Since most of games have main characters, so a vivid persona can make the main character easier be accepted by players, such as the Ezio in Assassin’s Creed, all players get touched when they saw the great assassin finally die into peace. 

However, for Interaction designs which have no characters, I do not know why Personas are also important. After reading this section, I get the answer. For Interaction design without characters, what we want to figure out is the personas of users. One of the perceived benefits of personas is that they give the design team a mental model of a particular kind of user, which allows the team to predict user behavior. The personas evoke empathy with users and prevent designers from projecting their own needs and desires onto the project. 

In my opinion, I think the personas of characters in design can be seen as third perspective personas. We see personas of other people, and find some similarities with our real life and finally get touched. Personas of users can be seen as first perspective personas. They are the personas of ourselves, which we can experience them. For designers, both the first perspective persona and the third perspective are equally important if we want to design a perfect project. The first perspective persona evoke the empathy with users and prevent designers, the third perspective persona evoke the empathy with users and characters in design.

Reading Response of Week 4

Norman, D. (2002) The Design of Everyday Things. Chapter 4: Knowing What To Do: Constraints, Discoverability, And Feedback

In Chapter 4, the author mainly focus on solving the problem that how designers can provide the critical information that allows people to know what to do, even when experiencing an unfamiliar device or situation.

The first part I am interested in is the four kinds of constraints it discussed. The four kinds of constraints are Physical, Cultural, Semantic, and Logical constraints. Physical Constraints are limitations in actual physical world, such as a peg should fit into a similar size hole. Cultural Constraints are limitations shaped by different cultures. Semantic Constraints are those that rely upon the meaning of the situation to control the set of possible actions. For some situations where there are no physical or cultural principles, but there is a logical relationship between the spatial or functional layout of components and the things that they affect or affected by, the Logical Constraints will be useful.

Among four kinds of constraints, what draw my attention is the Cultural Constraints. In America, the Science Fiction is always a popular element in games and films. Such as “Star Wars”, “Alien”, the all have lots of fans in America. However, the Science Fiction has no market in China. Even the worldly famous movie “Star Wars”, maybe most of Chinese have heard the name of “Star Wars”, but only few of them have watched this movie. In China, what popular is WuXia, which is martial art. In America, there are few markets for martial arts. Hence, I think the different favors between America and China is a perfect example for Cultural Constraints.

In the next several sections, it also discussed how to apply Affordances, Signifiers, and Constraints to everyday objects, and also introduced some failures and problems. Also comparing the activity-centered controls and device-centered controls. Activity-centered controls allow different activities to have simple controls.


Lidwell et al., (2010) Universal Principles of Design(Online):

I read the section about Affordance, Archetypes, Constraints, Consistency, Form follows Function, Flexibility-Usability Tradeoff, Hick’s Law, Ockham’s Razor, and pick two interesting topic to discuss. 

The first topic I interested is the Constraints. What different from Norman’s definition about Constraints is that Lidwell only mentioned the Physical Constraints and Psychological Constraints. The Physical Constraints limit the range of possible actions by redirecting physical motion in specific ways, which is similar to the definition of Norman. The Psychological Constraints limit the range of possible actions by leveraging the way people perceive and think about the world. Lidwell thinks that there are three kinds of psychological constraints: symbols, conventions, and mappings. Symbols influence behavior by communicating meaning through language. Conventions influence behavior based on learned traditions and practices. Mappings influence behavior based on the perceived relationships between elements. Comparing the Cultural, Semantic, Logic Constraints which mentioned by Norman and the Symbols, Conventions, Mappings which mentioned by Lidwell, Norman pays more attention to define the limitation from people’s recognition, but Lidwell focuses on how human’s behavior affected the constraints. 

The second topic I would to talk about is the Consistency. Consistency enables people to efficiently transfer knowledge to new contacts, learn new things quickly, and focus attention on the relevant aspects of a task. It reminds that no matter how many programming languages we have, no matter how different they are, the way they start a function is always similar. Hence, for people who are learning computer science, when they are familiar with one type of programming language, they can easily and smoothly learn another programming language. For our Interactive Design, we also need to pay attention to the principle of consistency, to make our design to have some similar parts to some Apps which are general used, so that customers can be familiar with your design immediately.    

Week3:Reading Response

Lowgren, Jonas and Eric Stolterman. “Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology”:

In Chapter 2, the authors present a brief overview of the scope of the design process form initial idea to final specification. Meanwhile, they discuss the design process as a thinking activity and as a social activity, and conclude with some comments on how the process can be organized and managed. 

In the first section in Chapter 2, what draw my attention is “dilemma”, which is a fundamental aspect in every design process. A dilemma is not a problem in the logical sense, but a situation when we realize that all choices in the design process lead to unsatisfactory solutions. In my opinion, I think the cause of dilemma in every design process is base on the lack of technology. If we have VR society, the interactive design which support long distance relationship could be easily designed. If we have animal language translator, the interactive design which support relationship between animal and human could also be smoothly solved. This remind me the importance of the Design Thinking. By using Design Thinking, we can easily find what kind of innovation is important for our project, so that we can pay attention to develop specific technology to solve the dilemmas. 

In second section, what I am interested in is the idealized design process presented by Donald Schon. The idealized design process starts in a situation where the actor applies common concepts, then something happens and surprises the actor. The surprise makes the actor reflect on what happened and what caused the unexpected result. The actor rethink her strategies for action and creates new interpretations. Then, new surprises happens again and actors need to do another reflection. The idealized design process reminds me the iteration design which we learned in last week. The prototyping, testing, refining loop in iteration design is the same as the loop in idealized design process. Hence, I think a perfect design process should always be a loop, so that the designer and customer can do the designs, tests, and analyses at the same time. 


Distelmeyer, Jan. “Drawing Connections How Interfaces Matter”:

In this reading, Distelmeyer presents that the graphic-user interfaces are tightly connected with human interaction in modern society. This is the result due to the rapid growth of mobile, computer, and internet technologies, which enable human to contact with all kinds of interfaces. Hence, it is necessary to recognize and analyze the importance of interfaces in today’s world. 

What I am interested in are the four types of mutually connected operations forming today’s widespread computerization:

  1. Interface operations between carious types of hardware and software inside computers forming their interior telegraphy. 
  2. Interface operations between computers, leading to further coaction of hardware and software by protocol-driven network. 
  3. Interface operations between computers and non-computer forms of interconnected materiality. 
  4. Interface operations that allow humans to use computers more or less consciously.  

Those four types of connected operations remind me the difference between users and human which we discussed last week. Because sometime, users could be computers, and the interactions between computers could be more important than the interactions between computer and human. In my opinion, the interface operations between hardware and software are basis of computer world. And the interface operations between computers are basis of internet world. Only when we figure out how the computer world and internet world work, we can move the the interface operations between computers and non-computer forms, which is the multi-communicational world. 

Reading Response

Design Thinking: New Innovative Thinking for New Problems:

In Rikke Dam and Teo Siang’s article, they pointed out that the traditional ways of thinking are no longer suitable for today’s life as the society has been rapidly changed, so we need to develop new ways of thinking in order to design better solutions for current problems. Design Thinking, a newly systematized and non-linear human-centre approach, is the way of think we should use to solve problems in modern society.

In today’s globalized world, the changes in economic and natural resources can be felt halfway around the globe, so our challenges are becoming more and more intertwined with the systems that connect us all. Hence, we need to develop a new kind of thinking, which towards innovation. Dam and Siang state that “Design Thinking is a large part of that new approach towards innovation, as it allows people, teams, and organizations to have a human-centre perspective, and yet a scientific approach, towards solving a problem.”

The main part of Design Thinking is the human-centre approach, which means that the designers should design the solutions from human’s needs and behaviors, and combine with innovations. Meanwhile, during the design thinking, the designer’s attention should oscillate between their understanding of a problematic context and their ideas for a solution. New solution ideas lead to a deeper understanding of the problematic context. For my own project, if I want to design a project which support the relationship between human and their dogs, I should also focus on human needs. What do people really want from their dogs? What kind of new innovations can support human needs? Both of these two question need to be considered deliberately before I try to design the project. In Dam and Siang’s words, this is the way to build a right mindset. After we build the mindset, we can find the proper collaborative teams and conducive environments. When we align our mindsets, skills and environments, we are able to create innovations that allow us to survive the disruptions we might face in the future.

There Is No Interface(Without A User). A Cybernetic Perspective On Interaction:

Lasse Scherffig’s article traces the development of the interaction design as well as offering an alternative to it that fundamentally understands any interface as “cybernetic interface.” From Scherffig’s article, we learn that the first feedback machine was Whirlwind, a digital computer that also tried to be a cybernetic feedback system. After the emergence of Whirlwind, designers starts to focus on machine interactive, which was the start of “the black art”. They were trying to build machine which can interact with humans.

In 1980s, the “interaction” was acknowledged as an independent area of inquiry. One of the first books carrying human-computer interaction in its title was “The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction” by Stuart Card, Thomas Moran, and Allen Newell. And the Human-Computer Interaction(HCI) was hence established. Newell believed that human should no longer be the operators in HCI, but the communicators. Card, Moran, and Newell stated that “the user is not an operator. He does not operate the computer, he communicates with it to accomplish a task.” 

Lasse Scherffig also presents the importance of the role of human in Human-Computer Interaction in the article. Instead of being an operator, users should be a communicator and try to communicator with the computers. What a designer should do is to build a platform of communication which help human and machines to communicate with each other. 

Play as Research: The Iterative Design Process:

Eric Zimmerman used three games as example to introduce the concept of iterative design in the article. The iterative design was generally used in game SiSSYFiGHT 2000, LOOP, and LEGO Junkbot. Iterative design is a design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining a work in progress. The main part of iterative design is that the process should be a cycle, so that both designers and users can play equal roles in the development which helps to not only promote the quality of the game, but also create various of patterns of the game. 

The iterative design is generally used in today’s game company. When people gather together to make a game, they will design a basic prototype of the game. For example, when I worked in the group which makes the dog simulation group, the process of our design is pretty similar with the process of design of LOOP which mentioned by Zimmerman. We build a ugly prototype at first. All dogs in our first prototype were replaced by basic rigid body. What we made in the first prototype is to design a basic process of the whole game. Then, we let players to play the game, and gave us the feedbacks of the problems of game. And we would try to solve those problems and add something new in the game later. Once the cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining was created, the process of designing a game becomes easier.  

I strongly agree with one sentence Zimmerman mentioned in his article: “in iterative design, there is a blending of designer and user, creator and player.” In today’s life, since the internet can be easily used by more and more people, there is no specific boundary between designers and users. Everybody can play an important role in the process of a design. Hence, the iterative design is one of the best way to design a project in modern society. 


My name is Xiaoqi Sun and I am a senior at UCSB. I am double major in Physics and Statistics. I am interested in Game Design and I plan to learn Game Design in the graduated school in the future. I had experience working as a game designer in a Chinese game company, and I joined the group who are making a dog simulation phone game with Unity 3D. I think Interaction Design and Game Design have a lot of similarities, so I hope things I learn from this class can be helpful for my future plans. 2.pic.jpgThis is the Pharaoh Hound which we made in our game.