Media that engulfs people with interactive experiences has invaded education, entertainment, business and just about every other aspect of life. Blockbuster video games lead the way in interactive development and some theaters are engaging viewers by stimulating all of their senses – This is all a reflection of the evolution of immersive media.

Sub woofers placed under chairs vibrate viewers in order to influence the way they react to sound. Experiments with the sense of smell are also becoming possible as an actor/baker performs within an expanded movie-environment that can now generate the aroma of warm apple pie to the viewers; thus pulling them further into the story through their sense of smell. These kinds of ideas are revolutionizing how people react to media as a new generation of producers begin to realize that nothing is preventing them from impacting all of the human senses.

A Paradigm Shift

The stage is being set for a whole new level of interactive media. Television shows are involving audiences, and it’s not uncommon to let viewers decide who wins on a show. Telling audiences what they want is a thing of the past and precedents are being set for immersive media in the immediate future. The success of reality shows is based on the fact that audiences want to take part in the plot. On the web, Flash is gaining more and more popularity; it enables users to merge more into the media scene and have more interactivty.

Society is capturing new thought patterns, realizing that they are in control and can dictate what they want to consume. As a result, people are no longer willing to sit around and wait to be spoon fed. Instead they prefer to pick and chose when, where and how they want to experience information.

How is this mindset infiltrating society? Consider the options: There are many sources of entertainment and information; people have options that were not previously available. Back in the day, if the news started at 6:00 one had to watch it at 6:00 or miss it altogether. Now, the consumer can see what they want, when they want and have numerous alternatives as to how. Consider the choices available: Today, one can listen on the radio, watch on the internet, keep up to day via 3G cellphone media, or possibly wait until a rerun. A new way of thinking is circulating through society, and it is becoming noticeable. Reading has already been in the backseat, and now ordinary television is starting to be pushed to the side by a new era of interactivity.

New Media

An independent research company has discovered that 57% of all American teenagers create content for the internet. Paul Saffo, director at the Institute for the Future in California, says that people no longer “consume” media; they participate in it. Using personal creativity and allowing people to write their own newspaper will definitely revolutionize the participation in media. According to The Economist website, the days of media moguls and huge coorporate media giants have begun to come to an end. The days of individual person-to-person media are quickly approaching. It will be a revolution of interactivity across the world one person at a time.

AxiomTV

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There is a vibe going around in the media world that the Internet is soon going to take over the TV. Meaning, instead of watching programming from the viewer’s satellite or cable, the viewer will download programming from Internet sources and play it on their TV. Making a head start into this new way of watching media is AxiomTV. AxiomTV is a Detroit based company that is taking family-friendly movies and DVD’s and making them available for people to download and play on their TV. The website is http://www.Axiom.tv and is currently in beta-testing. Not only does AxiomTV provide movies to watch, they are also selling channels to major networks where they can provide their own programming to AxiomTV and people can watch it all day long. For example, Will Rogers films playing all day long on a Will Rogers channel, or MTV streaming all day long off of AxiomTV. AxiomTV is created by Christians, so they are having a feature called Mother, which watches everything that is downloaded on the viewer’s computer and protects children from seeing inappropriate content. AxiomTV wants to be a family-safe website and Mother is making that possible. AxiomTV is a great new technology that allows a person, sitting at their home computer, access to just about anything they want to see whenever and wherever they want to see it.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Advanced_Interactive_Media/The_Future_For_Immersive_Media

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Interaction design (IxD) is the study of devices with which a user can interact, in particular computer users. The practice typically centers on “embedding information technology into the ambient social complexities of the physical world.” It can also apply to other types of non-electronic products and services, and even organizations. Interaction design defines the behavior (the “interaction”) of an artifact or system in response to its users. Malcolm McCullough has written, “As a consequence of pervasive computing, interaction design is poised to become one of the main liberal arts of the twenty-first century.”

– Wikipedia

Interactive media normally refers to products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user’s actions by presenting content such as text, graphics, animation, video, audio etc.

Interactive media is related to the concepts interaction design, new media, interactivity, human computer interaction, cyberculture, digital culture, and includes specific cases such as, for example, interactive television, interactive narrative, interactive advertising, algorithmic art, videogames, social media, ambient intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality.

– Wikipedia

Interaction design aims to define and facilitate interaction between human beings by means of a product or a service. It focuses on the possibilities to create and encourage behavior facilitating an exchange between people

http://www.use-design.com/eng/design/interaction_design.php

“True interactivity is not about clicking on icons or downloading files, it’s about encouraging communication. ”

– Edwin Schlossberg, 2002

1.When was the last time you visited the Zoo?

a)  3 or more years ago

b) 1 to 2 years ago

c) Within this year.

2.What are your views on the new map as compared to the old one?


a)    More detailed and informative

b)    Too much information

c)    Lacking in some area

d)    Old map is better

3.Are you aware that there are shelters (resting area) around the zo

a)    Yes

b)    No

3.5. Are there enough signs to indicate where the shelters (resting area) are?

a) Yes

b) No

c) Never take any notice


4. Do you think there are enough signs and map boards to guide visitors to their desired place?

a)    Yes

b)    No

5. How do you feel about the placements of the map boards around the zoo?

a)    Too far apart

b)    Just nice

c)    Difficult to find

What is information architecture

Information architecture is the term used to describe the structure of a system, i.e the way information is grouped, the navigation methods and terminology used within the system.

An effective information architecture enables people to step logically through a system confident they are getting closer to the information they require.

Most people only notice information architecture when it is poor and stops them from finding the information they require.

Information architecture is most commonly associated with websites and intranets, but it can be used in the context of any information structures or computer systems.

Common problems

The most common problem with information architectures is that they simply mimic a company’s organisational structure.

Although this can often appear logical and an easy solution for those involved in defining the architecture, people using systems (even intranets) often don’t know or think in terms of organisational structure when trying to find information.

How to create an effective information architecture

An effective information architecture comes from understanding business objectives and constraints, the content, and the requirements of the people that will use the site.

Information architecture is often described using the following diagram:

Information architecture as an attribute of the quality of a system

An effective information architecture is one of a number of attributes of a usable system. Other factors involving the usability of a system include:

  • visual design
  • interaction design
  • functionality
  • content writing.

Conclusion

It simply isn’t good enough for organisations to build functionality or write content, put it on their computer systems and expect people to be able to find it.

Developing an effective information architecture is an essential step in the development of all computer systems.

Effective information architectures enable people to quickly, easily and intuitively find content. This avoids frustration and increases the chance that the user will return to the system the next time they require similar information.

Remember: people can only appreciate what they can actually find.

Creating an effective information architecture in 9 steps

The following steps define a process for creating an effective information architectures.

  1. Understand the business/contextual requirements and the proposed content for the system. Read all existing documentation, interview stakeholders and conduct a content inventory.
  2. Conduct cards sorting exercises with a number of representative users.
  3. Evaluate the output of the card sorting exercises. Look for trends in grouping and labelling.
  4. Develop a draft information architecture (i.e. information groupings and hierarchy).
  5. Evaluate the draft information architecture using the card-based classification evaluation technique.
  6. Don’t expect to get the information architecture right first time. Capturing the right terminology and hierarchy may take several iterations.
  7. Document the information architecture in a site map. This is not the final site map, the site map will only be finalised after page layouts have been defined.
  8. Define a number of common user tasks, such as finding out about how to request holiday leave. On paper sketch page layouts to define how the user will step through the site. This technique is known as storyboarding.
  9. Walk other members of the project team through the storyboards and leave them in shared workspaces for comments.
  10. If possible within the constraints of the project, it is good to conduct task-based usability tests on paper prototypes as it provides valuable feedback without going to the expense of creating higher quality designs.
  11. Create detailed page layouts to support key user tasks. Page layouts should be annotated with guidance for visual designers and developers.

http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_whatisinfoarch/index.html

Breaking down information and architecture
Definitions by dictionary.com

Information

–          knowledge  communicated  or  received  concerning  a  particular  fact  or  circumstance

–          knowledge  gained  through  study,  communication,  research,  instruction,  etc.;  factual  data

–          the  act  or  fact  of  informing.

– Computers

a. important or useful facts obtained as output from a computer by means of processing input data with a program: Using the input data, we have come up with some significant new information.

b. data at any stage of processing (input, output, storage, transmission, etc.).

Architecture

–          the  profession  of  designing  buildings,  open  areas,  communities,  and  other  artificial  constructions  and  environments,  usually  with  some  regard  to  aesthetic  effect.  Architecture  often  includes  design  or  selection  of  furnishings  and  decorations,  supervision  of  construction  work,  and  the  examination,  restoration,  or  remodeling  of  existing  buildings.

–          the  character  or  style  of  building:

–          a  fundamental  underlying  design  of  computer  hardware, software,  or  both.

–          the  structure  of  anything

Information architecture = the act of informing on environments

UCD

July 5, 2010

Objective:  to provide real time updates on different parts of the zoo so that the user can have an easier time to choose and decide on the spot what to do and where to go to after using our device, and also to allow detailed information about the directions to different animals.

Reasons for using online survey (survey monkey):

-can get replies based on surveyee’s free time

– personal opinions can be gathered very quickly

– saves money and time on printing actual surveys and sending out to people for them to do

– online = easier access for people all around the world, easier to spread out to people

UCD

July 5, 2010

survey questions via survey monkey.

1. On a scale of 1-5 state your understanding of different animal shows going on at diff locations.

2. On a scale of 1 – 5 state your level of difficulty traveling around zoo.

3. Based on the number of maps around the zoo, on scale 1 – 5 how easy it is for you to find the maps? And why?

4. On a scale of 1-5, state how easy is it for you to locate yourself on the map given?

5. On a scale of 1-5, rate the efficiency of the tram rides?

6. What do you feel about the waiting time/ intervals of tram rides?

7. On the scale of 1 to 5, how do you feel about having a food rating system in the zoo so as to show you what are best recommended by the public?

8. On a scale of 1-5,what is your overall rating for the architecture of the zoo and the services they have?

9. On a scale of 1-5, rate how much you like the zoo.

UCD

July 4, 2010

survey comparisons.

UCD

July 4, 2010

photos of our survey takers.

UCD

July 4, 2010

SURVEY RESULTS IN CHARTS.