The prompt for this project asked us to choose a genre of interface and to parse that genre into a taxonomy. I chose navigation interfaces (maps, navigating devices, digital mapping systems, etc.) and created these concept maps to help organize my content.

The point of view I wanted to foreground in this interface was the feeling of being lost while traveling in a foreign culture. Some of the environmental cues make sense (or seem like they should), but the user is not completely sure what to do or where to go.

Each object in the digital space represents one item from the taxonomy: color, visual depth, placement and shape all contain particular meanings. The background image slowly shifts color over time to convey a sense of unease and movement. The user can navigate through three different modes: look,blow and flick.

Look allows the user to examine each item more closely. In blow mode the objects are covered by fog and the user is able to temporarily blow it away. Flick allows the user to bump the objects off the screen—each object has a different weight and mass which responds by rocking slightly or flying off the screen.

This project allowed for an exploration of user interaction, interface tropes, and displaying complex information. I was able to experiment with what might happen when a user’s expectations and assumptions are played upon in surprising or unusual ways.

Interface for Interfaces: Navigation Interfaces… from Liese Zahabi on Vimeo.