Academic journal article Visible Language

Methodology for Uncovering Motion Affordance in Interactive Media

Academic journal article Visible Language

Methodology for Uncovering Motion Affordance in Interactive Media

Article excerpt

INTERACTIVE MEDIA allows the user to have control over navigation and interactivity with the information. The nature of interactive media is dynamic and changes through time. To support this dynamic change, knowledge of how to communicate information effficiently beyond static representation needs exploration. Motion is a key element in interactive environments. Motion helps the user to perceive a change of state. The characteristics and capabilities of motion demonstrate its potential benefit to interaction, but there is very little guidance available regarding when and how to use motion in interactive media.

Though Baecker and Small performed research concerning motion's utility in interface, questions still remain: "How do we design such animation so that they are clear and comprehensible, attractive and appealing? How do we prevent animation from being too complex to be effective? Such questions can be answered only through the extensive development of prototypes and through user testing" (Baecker and Small, 1990). By looking at motion systematically with regard to how users understand it, knowledge of how to use motion effectively in interactive media can be revealed. This paper examines the process of designing an experimental situation in which the meaning of motion can be revealed. Because the experiment was executed, data is analyzed, results are discussed and further developments are identified.

OVERVIEW

Motion is fundamental for survival. Humans perceive and live in motion in space and time. We are creatures with both body and mind: our perception and emotion is bio-basic. Neuroscience is uncovering the physiology of the active mind (Damasio, 1999), resulting in new theories of consciousness and emotion. Western philosophy and linguistics (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999) are reuniting mind and body into a unitary entity that interacts with and interprets the world. "Emotion, as the word indicates, is about movement, about externalized behavior, about certain orchestrations of reactions to a given cause, within a given environment. Emotions are part of the bio-regulatory devices with which we come equipped to survive. That is why Darwin was able to catalog the emotional expressions of so many species and find consistency in those expressions and that is why, in different parts of the world and across different cultures, emotions are so easily recognized. That makes crosscultural relations possible and that allows for art and literature, music and film, to cross frontiers." (Damasio, 1999) It is from these perspectives that the following work emerges. What we perceive, feel and understand about motion in the real world is emblematic of how we process and interact with information on the screen. Because our perception of motion and its affordances are bio-basic, a common set of motion meaning on screen is plausible to explore.

The focus of this research concentrates on the experimental method to uncover the meaning of motion in terms of how users perceive, feel, understand and respond to various types of motion in interactive media. Types of motion are systematically identified in a motion structure in order to develop a variable framework for creating an experiment to gather information from users. The experiment is designed to capture three types of motion meaning: interpretative meaning, emotional response and motion affordance in interaction functions. Quantitative methods are used to analyze patterns and relationships of motion and its meaning. Two measurement scales; nominal measurement scales and interval measurement scales are applied in this experiment. The nominal measurement takes the form of a checklist. The user chooses one answer from a set of multiple choices. Semantic Differential Scales (Osgood, Suci and Tannen-baum, 1957) are used to measure the emotional meanings users ascribe to a specific type of motion at the interval level. The analysis from these relationships recommends when and how to use motion effectively in interactive media. …

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