Touched by an interface

Designing expressive tactile technologies
Igor Kovtun, 2019 Thesis

This thesis aims to contribute to the interaction design practice by exploring how passive touch can be utilised in the design of technological interfaces. To fulfil this aim, both, the practice of designing for touch, and the qualities of touch itself as a medium are investigated.

As a result of this investigation, several challenges with the current design practice are problematised, namely the techno-centricity, the difficulties in articulating the experience of touch, and a lack of means to share tactile experiences with others.

To address these challenges, an experience-centric design process is proposed. The process consists of manifesting tactile experiences through simple means, articulating and scrutinising them from first and second person perspectives, and analysing the resulting articulations to identify the qualities of the different touches. The proposed process is illustrated through an in-depth look at four artefacts, each of which exemplifies particular qualities of passive touch as a medium.

See Igor’s portfolio

Touch concepts. From left to right: Slider (spatiality), Tapper (temporality), Twister (intensity), Wiggler (obtrusiveness)

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