INTRODUCTION

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This project is about the study of interactive design in digital tools.

MP3 players, web pages and video games are digital media artifacts that many of us use every day. While each of these devices is designed to perform a very different task, all these artifacts bear one thing in common: They are all digital interactive tools.

Beyond these tools lay an entire galaxy of other devices that, like the artifacts listed above, also offer users the ability to perform a range of tasks packaged in a particular form. Cell phones, smart phones, digital cameras and internet-based applications are further examples of such artifacts. Again, all of these tools are very different, but they do all have a few very important similarities:

- They are digital - They have the ability to present a variety of information to the user through a pre-programmed 2D visual interface - They offer users a choice of different tasks to be performed - These choices are presented and acted upon via a set, pre-programmed interface

The nature of interactivity that these devices offer may basically be understood as a structured series of choices. These choices are presented to the user by way of a pre-programmed interface.

These devices are tools. In order for a tool to be used effectively its functions must first be learned by the user. In the present context this means the user must learn how to identify and navigate the choices offered to them, what effects those choices will have and how to actually physically implement their choice.

In order for this learning process to be as easy as possible this interface must be intuitive.

They say first impressions last a lifetime. For digitally based tool such as websites, MP3 players, games, phones or any other like tool, the interface is the first impression that literally keeps coming back again and again. It is essentially the interface that defines our relationships with these devices and how we use them.

In the realm of digital tools interface is everything.

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