Research Focus

Due to my interest in Interactive Design, I hope to focus on applying concepts to that of this class. Mainly, I am interested in learning more about the design process in the creation of social media, including theories of social presence that may help me further understand the social behavior of the public in CMC. I would like to understand what design traits are currently used in social media sites, and possibly what social affordances should also be included. This then leads me to wonder what is in store for social media in the future, and if we can predict the way in which new social environments and interfaces will be created, using what we know now about user behavior and design standards.

When it comes to Interactive Design, I plan on looking for related areas within that topic. To get an idea of what this may entail, I looked toward Wikipedia to get an idea of similar ones. These interest areas may reveal keywords I could use during my search.

Industrial Design: The core principles of Industrial Design overlap with those of interaction design, and vice versa.These include Physical form of an object, Aesthetics, Human perception & desire, and usability.

Human factors & Ergonomics: Certain basic principles of Ergonomics provide grounding for interaction design. These include anthropometry, biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology and psychology as they relate to human behavior in the built environment.

Cognitive psychology: Certain basic principles of cognitive psychology provide grounding for interaction design. These include mental models, mapping, interface metaphors, and affordances. Many of these are laid out in Donald Norman’s influential book The Design of Everyday Things.

Human computer interaction: Academic research in human-computer interaction (HCI) includes methods for describing and testing the usability of interacting with an interface, such as cognitive dimensions and the cognitive walkthrough.

Design research: Interaction designers are typically informed through iterative cycles of user research. User research is used to identify the needs, motivations and behaviour of end users. They design with an emphasis on user goals and experience, and evaluate designs in terms of usability and affective influence.

User interface design: Like User Interface design and Experience design, Interaction Design is often associated with the design of system interfaces in a variety of media but concentrates on the aspects of the interface that define and present its behavior over time, with a focus on developing the system to respond to the user’s experience and not the other way around.

Below are some previous research links that may help me in my study:

  • Community in the new epoch: the social ergonomics of community design
  • Toward a More Robust Theory and Measure of Social Presence: Review and Suggested Criteria
  • Designing social presence of social actors in human computer interaction
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    One thought on “Research Focus

    1. Laura, as an overall direction, this is a great one. However, you will need to narrow it down a lot more. For example, the design of social presence in certain types of social media applications is a good example. Basically, narrowing things down to the design of one behavior or phenomenon. Then, have you thought about how you can explore this research topic using Radian 6? I think you need to read some more, think some more, and narrow your topic way more to be able to produce a research project in the time we have.

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