Topics in ITP: Multisensory Design

Lauren Race

Our users have senses which they use to perceive information in different ways. Some perceive best through sight, some through hearing, others through touch. Designers often prioritize visual information, excluding participants who would benefit from auditory and tactile feedback.

In this class, we’ll take a multi-sensory approach to design that makes interfaces more inclusive and accessible to everyone. Students will learn how to design for the senses (think tactile controls combined with atmospheric sounds and olfactory or taste experiences), while gaining an understanding of the assumptions we make about our users’ sensory preferences. Students should come with prior experience with physical computing and fabrication techniques and can expect to learn the processes for the user research, usability testing, and iterative design of physical multisensory interfaces.