elements of the entry, the body, and the
exit. This could help the students to
appraise the details of the interaction in
Stefan: I would say that interactive
form is about the experiential, aesthetic
qualities of (or in) interacting. It is
then important to articulate, discuss,
and critique how these phenomena
are formed, and how a designer can
approach an understanding of them. A
jumble of questions that can be used as a
reflexive sounding board:
• Are the phenomena situated in the
experiencing subject alone?
• In what way can they be viewed as
• How are the material
manifestations of interactivity
correlated to the phenomena of the
• How are ideas about aesthetic and
experiential qualities manifested by
making new contexts, by creating new
possibilities for extending our situated
cognition, or by forming new ways of
mediating our acting in the world?
• How are the articulations formed
by conventions, expectations, and
individual and joint instrumental goals?
• How can a designer explore designs
to not only develop an understanding
of an interactive form but also extend
his/her experiences of different ways
of experiencing, understanding, and
articulating interactive form?
To me, that last point goes beyond
the ordinary understanding of the
concept of repertoire. However,
interaction gestalt [ 4] is also a related
term that we could use in this context.
Mattias: I think it relates well. It
seems that when we speak of interactive
form, it relates to the constituents and
constellation of the designed artifact,
that is the primary qualities, but also
the subjective experiences it gives rise
to, the secondary qualities. Interaction
is, however, about the relation between
the artifact and the subjects interacting
with it; hence, qualities of interaction
can be said to be tertiary qualities.
As you note, Stefan, the qualities
of interaction do not take place in a
vacuum, nor do the experiences they
give rise to. This means that interactive
form must be understood as being an
inherently cultural, historical, and
social phenomenon, not only subjective
experience or objective materiality.
Interactive form can also give rise to an
interaction gestalt, a composition that
gives rise to an expression in a unified
concept or pattern that is more than the
sum of its parts.
This will indeed prove to be an
interesting course for both the students
and teachers in graphic design and
communication. It also highlights an
important issue for the interaction
design community: What do we
actually mean when we speak of form in
1. Lim, Y-K., Lee, S-S., and Kim, D-J.
Interactivity attributes for expression-oriented interaction design. International
Journal of Design 5, 3 (2011); http://
2. Löwgren, J. Pliability as an experiential
quality: Exploring the aesthetics of
interaction design. Artifact 1, 2 (2007);
3. Clark, H.H. Arranging to do things
with others. Proc. of CHI ‘96.
M.J. Tauber, ed. ACM, New York,
1996, 165-167. DOI: http://dx.doi.
4. Lim, Y-K., Stolterman, E., Jung,
H., and Donaldson, J. Interaction
gestalt and the design of aesthetic
interactions. Proc. of the 2007 Conference
on Designing Pleasurable Products
and Interfaces. ACM, New York,
2007, 239–254. DOI: http://dx.doi.
Mattias Arvola is an associate professor of
cognitive science, especially interaction design
and user experience, at Linköping University.
Jeffrey Bardzell is a professor of
informatics, especially design theory and
emerging social computing practices, at
Indiana University Bloomington.
Stefan Holmlid is a professor of design,
especially design in service development and
service innovation, at Linköping University.
Jonas Löwgren is a professor of interaction
and information design, especially visualization
and collaborative media, at Linköping
DOI: 10.1145/3226230 COP YRIGHT HELD BY AUTHORS
INTERACTIONS.ACM.ORG JULY–AUGUST 2018 INTERACTIONS 7