The main goal of the interaction design is to optimize the Human – Computer Interaction, improve the usability, simplify the information visualization, to build products that are intuitive and easy to use, to reach the full understanding of the relationship between the human mind and technology. While interaction design has an interest in form, its main area of focus rests on behavior. While disciplines such as software engineering have a heavy focus on designing for technical stakeholders, interaction design is geared toward satisfying the majority of users.
Interaction design projects are sorted by the word “magic” on kickstarter. There you can see a lot of projects that are correlated with this topic: flowers to speak, greeting cards, Periscope Kit, A Multimedia Mushroom Experience, and a lot more different experimental ideas that can be called “Interaction design”.
One of the biggest challenges for the designer is to make a design seem intuitive, so the user walks up to interface and feel how to interact with it in a short time.
Understanding this term is essential for anyone who wants to get a deeper appreciation of what it means for a product to be “intuitive.” Design is intuitive when users can focus on a task at hand without stopping even for a second.
Successful interactive designs have simple, clearly defined goals, a strong purpose and intuitive screen interface. In order to achieve the intuitive design, we must appreciate how users perceive the world and how experience, context, culture, constraints and other factors affect our ability to detect the possibilities of actions on offer.
The appearance (colour, shape, size, etc.) gives the user a clue about how it may function. We had to pay attention on what feedback does a user get once an action is performed, include the formats that are not too complicated for the users understanding.
We know the concept of five dimensions of an interaction design language created by Gillian Crampton Smith, an interaction design academic, and Kevin Silver, senior interaction designer at IDEXX Laboratories: Words, Visual representations, Physical objects or space, Time and Behavior. In context of our project, words played role as we were working with the achieve information, but from the point of intuitive user interface design, “Wonder Around” was built with the help of a lot of icons and graphical elements like images that users interact with. The physical interaction was oriented only on desktop mode, but possible with touchscreens. The Behavior of the viewers better to analyze in context of the topic of the project, we tried to make the information connected with this sensitive topic by keeping the archive mood based on beautiful panorama’s photography.
“Wonder Around is a joint effort of the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design’s TechLab to make a long forgotten, hidden gem available to the greater public all around the world. The virtual tour lets the visitor peak into this enchanted world, the old Jewish cemetery of Budapest. It is not merely interesting because of the many prominent figures of the early 20th century buried here, but because of the unique architectural values of the tombs. The Salgotarjani Street Jewish Cemetery is one of the finest example of the Hungarian Cemetery Art.”
First our step was to realize what the goals of a user are, and in turn what interactions are necessary to achieve these goals. We had to create two variants of the project. One of them had to be exhibit in museum, another placed to the website.
It appeared that the difference between these two variants would be the dimensions of the rendered project and the weight of it. We had to build an outside preloader in flash for the website that it will not take so much time to load the project online.
Interaction design is all about pushing the boundaries of technology. We made a huge research what kind of software can fit our goals for this project and Easypano Tourviewer was chosen in the end. For collecting the panoramas was also used PTGui program. Tourviewer didn’t have an option of galleries creation, so we had to program them with Action Script and implement like an .swf elements to represent the achieve information better. This way was shown the photographs of the tombs from the past and present, published the family portraits.
The multimedia elements in virtual tour provide real-time vocal, video and textual presentation. Through Thumbnail, we got a preview of each switchable scene in virtual tour. Popup window are able to pop up detailed explanation and instruction when necessary, in the tour, we could popup windows, images, texts and links and other necessary contents. Adding Hotspot and Button in virtual tour not only made scenes interactive, it can easily control virtual tour and present diverse contents and effects. In our case Hotspots were leading the user from scene to scene, zoom the tomb’s elements and open the archive information.
The first main part of the project was made in about half a year. But we were improving it by content and design for about two years with big breaks in work.
For panoramas were made about 1000 photos, which then were collected in four spherical panoramas. To shoot and collect them took about a week. But to make panoramas work, to make the tour took much more time. About few months we were testing the software, choosing the best, recollect and reprogram the interactivity.
When we designed the interface with objects we planned that the users can rely on their experience with the physical environment to understand the properties of the objects in the interface. When we used icons and text, the user relies on experience from the cultural environment to understand them.
Also was created the website where the project was embered with project description, documentation and instruction which helps users to understand the meaning of the buttons and the way to check the information and move through the tour. For the website were chosen the colors that are symbolic in Jewish culture.
The Salgotarjani Street Jewish Cemetery is one of the finest examples of the Hungarian Cemetery Art. We hope that Interactive way to access archived information will help people who are not able to travel to Budapest, Hungary, make a virtual trip to their relative’s graves or see the beautiful work of greatest Hungarian architectures who were working on the cemetery elements in the past.
Project was presented in Museum of Ethnography, Budapest.
Virtual tour based on interactive spherical panoramas
Programming, design: Maria Gyarmati
photography: Maria Gyarmati & László Gyarmati
content: Réka Majsai & Zsolt Sárközi & Szvetlana D. Juhász
consultants: Zsuzsa Toronyi & Rudolf Klein
concept: Zsófi Ruttkay