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Fluency and the aesthetics of digital materials

By Jonas Löwgren


— Do not copy, quote or cite. The digital design materials are unique in the sense that they are equally spatial and temporal. This implies that they have particular aesthetic qualities, something that the interaction design community has not addressed to a significant extent. I argue that interaction design would benefit from attempts to articulate experiential/aesthetic qualities of digital products and services, and illustrate the approach by presenting the concept of fluency. It refers to the degree of gracefulness with which the user deals with multiple demands for her attention and action, particularly in mobile settings where the user moves through shifting ecologies of people and objects. I develop the concept of fluency by analyzing a range of digital artifacts in use situations, addressing the themes of social breakdowns, peripheral interaction and calm technology, and materialization and explicit interaction. Categories and subject descriptors: H.5.2 [User Interfaces]: Interaction styles

Topics: fluency, aesthetics, experiential qualities, interaction design. 1
Year: 2007
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