SXSW Interactive 2013

Design Language for Tangible & Ambient Interfa


Interaction in modern human-computer interfaces is most intuitively initiated in an image-based way. Often images on a screen are the key components of an interface. As such, a common pitfall in creating interfaces can be the technical aspect of constructing a ‘user interface’ – without considering the underlying principles of designing for context, aesthetics and experience.

We, as designers, need to create a new language to describe interactions – dealing with needs, motivations, behaviors and intuition rather than just continuing to explore physical or digital interfaces that people use on a day-to-day basis.
Starting with examples of how 'ambient interfaces' are already being used and how these emerging technologies will be pieced together – we will then talk and provide a toolkit app for people to experiment and discuss about ‘Interfaceology’ - how it could assist people understand tangible and ambient interactions based on their context and surroundings.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What are the 5 core skills interaction designers must develop to adapt to the changing interactive landscape?
  2. How can we describe these new modes of interaction – for both tangible and ambient interfaces?
  3. How can I apply this new design language, dubbed ‘Interfaceology’, on my projects today, as well as in the future?
  4. How do the cutting-edge experimental projects, in both professional and academic circles point the way to the mainstream interactions in the near-future?
  5. How can I reuse innovations from the ‘Interfaceology’ mobile app in my own projects?


  • Ricardo Aguilar, Product Design Lead, Huge
  • Kai Turner, Experience Lead, Huge


Ricardo Aguilar, Product Design Lead, Huge

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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