Teaching Timeless Theory in Interactive Design through a Multidisciplinary Approach

James Pannafino
Associate Professor
Interactive and Graphic Design
Art and Design Department
Millersville University
Undeniably interactive design is becoming a growing part of design educators curriculum each year. While technology persuades us to think differently about design education, how can we balance theory and the tools that allow designers to solve problems. Is it possible to teach timeless approaches to design thinking in this new dynamic of interactive design education?
Interactive design has many dimensions to it. It addresses how people deal with words, read images, explore physical space, think about time and motion, and how actions and responses affect human behavior. Various disciplines make up interactive design, such as industrial design, cognitive psychology, user interface design and many others.
This presentation will give the audience a starting point for creating a visual language to enhance the understanding of multidisciplinary theories within the interactive design field. It will use concise descriptions, visual metaphors and comparative diagrams to explain each term’s meaning, such as Affordances, Cognitive Load Theory, Signal and Cue and others.
What You’ll Learn:
  • That there is more to learning how to teach interactive design than simply mastering technology.
  • Various terminology from different disciplines, with a cross-comparison to interactive design processes.
  • How to use this new terminology to enhance their interactive design point of view.
  • How to learn more about this topic (as there’s much more to explore).
This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.4: CAA Conference 2016, Washington, DC on Wednesday, February 3, 2016.