Digital Interaction Experiments

Spring 2019
2 Weeks
This project is a collection of interaction design experiments using a single mobile input method. Through these experiments, I am learning some hard skills, but ultimately deepening my understanding of the nature of interactions and am developing a sense of how I ought to be designing them.

I had the humbling opportunity to present and discuss this project as well as my Spatial Controller project directly to Jony Ive’s Interaction Architecture team at Apple.

Problem Space

In our current technology paradigm, the input tools we use to interface with our digital spaces are largely limited to the keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. There is a problem here because sometimes, these tools don’t afford the kind of interaction appropriate for a certain function, and thus limiting the kind of experiences we build.

This project is an ongoing series of simple explorations that start to imagine what new applications, functions, or experiences could be afforded from different hybrid interactions.


This exploration was one where I take a single-axis rotation with an iPhone and map that motion to a different application in software. These interactions are designed for situations where you might not have the hardware to navigate our digital spaces, or would like an isolated input tool for specific and precise manipulation.

Navigation Tools
These are interactions that I’ve designed to supplement or reimagine the way we interface with our everyday computer OS. We currently have two primary input devices (keyboard and mouse) to navigate our digital spaces, but these projects explore how our digital experiences could be heightened, focused, or simplified through a more physical, human input interaction.

These interactions map rotational movement to linear movement. I was initially concerned that this would be an incompatible pair, but it actually felt very natural, kind of like a dial.
Mapped rotational movement to location in a video.
This interaction allows the user to easily navigate a video or movie, to relative precision. This is for environments like home movies, where we might want to interface with our videos without taking out a keyboard and mouse.
For more specific observations or studying, there may be instances where it is important to view a video in a frame by frame manner. This interaction offers that capacity, as well as triggers a haptic feedback at each frame change.
Creative Tools
The nature of the tools we use directrlt impacts the nature of the things we create with them. When we afford the input tool greater humanitiy/ human touch, we are eliminating that extra layer of abstraction and perhaps allowing the created thing to be more inherently human.
Mapped rotational movement to the brightness of a photo in Adobe Lightroom.
I started to see how it could be powerful to use a physical granularity tool as a powerful input device in creative applications. For example, there is something inherently satisfying in having haptics tell you every stop of exposure you change! 

These interactions I experimented with helped me to extend my understanding how we could possible interface with our computers in a more intuitive way. I learned about the affordances of physical objects, and how that could help/hurt my interaction design. I also started to peripherally learn the nature of rotation input.

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