Animation and Continuity: Prerequisites for Intuitive Interaction

Autor: Hartmut Ginnow-Merkert

Designers and developers of digital products readily accept menus, buttons, and displays as standard devices for their interaction with a human user. Industrial designers are often reduced to visual decorators, conspiring to dazzle the user with constant visual diversification. However, we all know that much of the functionality of these products often remains unused, and that such products regularly provide their users with countless micro-events of frustration. Buttons, menus, and displays have been absent for the better part of human evolution and thus cannot to be relied upon at least for the genetically-founded aspects of intuition. If we put the human being in the center of our activity, it is essential for designers and developers to understand human interaction with the physical world. This paper intends to highlight some of the discrepancies between the design of conventional digital products on one side, and human interaction with the physical world on the other. It will illustrate the concepts of Animation and Continuity as essential ingredients of emotional and intuitive HCI, and it will show several design examples in support of this claim.


intuitive interaction, design, physical world