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Components of interactive experiences

Components of interactive experiences
« on: August 06, 2010, 10:03:29 am »

I tried to come up with a list of the type of interesting experiences that we can have with software or interaction. I think it could be useful when analyzing experiences or thinking of what to focus a notgame on.

  • Creativity. The user can combine and arrange simple components freely, to create something more intricate.
  • Aesthetics. The user experiences artwork, animation, words, music and sounds as they are, their inherent artistic and aesthetic qualities.
  • Emotional response. The user experiences an emotion or state of mind, provoked by the experience as a whole. This could be relaxation, fear, anger, humour, excitement, awe, sadness, flow, etc.
  • Atmosphere. The user experiences a sense of place or the mood of a certain environment, provoked by environmental cues.
  • Exploration, travel. The user moves around in or travels a place of some kind to explore it and learn what's there.
  • Discovery, understanding. The user interacts with a system or mechanic to learn to use it, understand how it works and how it can help him or her achieve something.
  • Story. The user experiences a narrative, either passively or as an active, driving part of it.
  • Collecting. The user strives to collect objects or items, or more abstract things such as points or achievements.
  • Social interaction. The user interacts socially with others, either virtual characters or other players.

I think some of these may fundamentally be the same thing, for instance atmosphere might simply be a combination of exploration and emotional response. I'm not sure. And there are probably tons of experiences that cannot easily be put into any of these categories. What would you change or add?
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