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User
Environmental

Temperature

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Temperature is the objective measure of how hot or cold something is.

Examples: A device may measure the temperature of the environment or user for a specific purpose. For instance, thermal vision allows you to see a landscape by heat. Measuring temperature could be used to activate a system. Thermostats are an example of this. Nest thermostat is celebrated for bringing elegant industrial and interaction design combined with machine learning to their thermostat product. After prolonged use, a device itself might become very warm to the touch. We know that this is the heat put off by the mechanics of the device. From prior experience, we might believe that our device needs a rest so that it doesn’t overheat. Therefore, changing our interaction.

FLIR ONE thermal vision for your smart phones to allow your devices to capture thermal information about the environment.

Informational

As a measurement, temperature provides a unit of information that can inform a user who is familiar with the metric. A digital device that measures temperature and presents that information for a user is using temperature informatively. For instance, a temperature may be measured in Fahrenheit might be very informative to one person, but not informative to a person used to Celsius.

Orientational

Temperature can be used to orient through thermal vision, giving users a temperature landscape of an area. Temperature could also be use to literally direct a [...]

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User
Visual

Color

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Color is a visual cue in design can be used to create hierarchy, mood, and continuity.

In interaction design, it can also mark importance, provide feedback, and provide directional cues.

Examples: In the United States, importance or required information might be marked in the color red Buttons might change color to provide feedback on what’s clickable, when a cursor is hovered over the button, when the button is pressed, when a button is clicked, and when a button (or, more often, a link) has been visited Color might provide a pathway to a preferred action, like having the call-to-action action being a colored button Color might also be used to separate information: Having text in boxes of color to distinguish one type of information from another, like sidebars. Symbolic

It is common knowledge that colors convey symbolic meaning for in different cultures around the world. For instance, in Western cultures black is worn ceremoniously to funerals, while in many Asian cultures white is usually worn. The repeated use of these colors creates connotations for colors. Additionally there have been many studies on the psychology of colors.

The cymbolism project builds off of the idea that there are shared cultural associations for words by asking in visitors to indicate which colors they most associate with a word:

Screenshot from the Cymbolism project.

Color in cultures [...]

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Visual

Direction

The perception of sound as coming from left/right, above/below, and front/back.

Examples:

When our phone rings while we’re in the next room, we are able to locate it by being able to perceive the direction of the sound. In the Microsoft Independence Day Project (a system for vision-impaired users to navigate using a 3D-soundscape), while it’s navigating you around the city, relevant information will sound like it’s coming from a specific direction. For example, information about a store on your left will sound like it’s coming from you left side.

 

Orientational:

Direction cues obvious have orientational implications. It’s commonly used today to create immersive experiences through things like surround sound or by having certain elements play on certain side of left/right speakers.

Direction is often related to distance.

Metaphorical:

Directional sound creates the illusion of space that might not necessarily be there. It has the potential to create an environment when there is none.

Performative:

The direction of sound might influence us to literally act in a different direction (turn to look or walk towards).

 

Doppler effect caused by direction & distance

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