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An introduction to interaction design
An introduction to interaction design

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Described image
Figure 15 The devices pictured were developed at the Mixed Reality Lab based at City University London. Each uses a different sense to communicate remotely: the device on the top left is a ring that vibrates when the receiver is being kissed by the sender; the device on the right can be connected to a smartphone to receive scent messages from a sender; the device on the bottom left enables the user to receive messages through taste.

The principle of perceivability acknowledges that our experience of any interactive product passes through our senses first. The more prominently an element of an interface engages the user’s senses, the easier it is for the user to perceive that element, which is a prerequisite to understanding what that element does and how to interact with it. For example, the louder the voice of a satnav, the stronger the vibration of a mobile phone or the bigger an icon on a screen, the easier it is for the user to perceive those stimuli.

The extent to which the elements of an interface are perceivable depends on the characteristics of a product’s interface, the characteristics of the user and those of the environment in which the interaction takes place.