Both as a designer and developer, I see design in different levels – graphical, functional, conceptual. The basic layer is graphical which relates to the visual interpretation.
A higher layer is forms and functionality and the highest layer is concept and information architecture.
In my opinion, a great interaction designer must also be a great interaction developer. Interaction design under a broader defination is art and technology. Someone who sees the beauty of concise and can relate both in visual and code serves the fundation to be a great interaction designer. It took my years to discover it, and years to direct my road to be a great interaction designer as a goal and a final art path from relavent area.
Moving seamlessly between graphical, functional, conceptual has been what I have always thought about and the direction and force that affects me in my contents and forms. Early experience in computer science provides me the foundation in understanding the logics in code, prior practice of animation prepares my understanding in art and narrative. It was a vague for me several years ago where the next step is, but after being extensively exposed to new media art, the idea became clear. Now when I recall my path, I found myself in an unstable concentration of interests until I found the road of my art --- to wrap them into a juxtaposition with both logic and sensation in a direct, intuitive, engaging and accessible way.
The question came to me why on the first place when I was speaking in code I see intuitive as the main element in my design. I start to trace back to my drawings and short animations I was passionate about.
Each line outlining a womans' body is how I sense it, let it be either with tenstion or loosely. The music video Spontaneous speaks to a lot of people which I think is because that's my direct feeling and touch when I first time hear that music. It is clear to me I want to put my feelling into the work and let other people sense it. The thing is the geometry, logic, math, patten are the second nature of the code but in lack of some feeling and I want to do something about it. I start to expose myself extensively to all sorts of visual programming laugages for interaction work let it be Actionscript 3.0, Openframework C++ and Processing. I engaged myself in the most cutting edge technology through conferences and blogs of the leading artist in a very short peroid of time. Truth is that I'm not a veteran in this, but definitely a faster understander in code. And once you are familiar with the tools you use. You start to see the essences instead of the shell it wears. It starts to get my ecstasy when It was maniputed in a way that transfer the feeling and people are can engage themselves intuiatively into the artwork. That's where I started out my project Gesture Series.
The central goal of this project is to create what I call a “zero-interface”, which is an exploration of bridging natural human gestures with the virtual world. The three indiviual project in Gesture series -- Kinect IO, Hand Drawing, Body Composing are all interaction works that are directly getting people's movement as intuitive input and generate correpsoding feedbacks.
Kinect IO is an interactive installation that uses the Microsoft Kinect to get movement data and allows people to see their skeleton playing with virtual balls on a big screen. Hand-drawing captures a player's real-time hand motions by camera and transforms them into a virtual painting along movement.
Body Composing uses realtime silhouette imaging from user to triggered a mapped music grip to play on a big screen. Along these artworks with other interaction work on web I did for work, I see myself on the professional path to transfer my feeling and idea into a great piece through logic. It starts out from emotional source like my animation and paint was but washes through code to illustrate my idea about interaction. I absolutely love it and will counitue it all the way down.