Buttons and switches

Reading time: 1-2 minutes

The way the Myst video game series inspired me to write and take the time to clear my mind, there is another aspect that impacted me as a kid: the interaction of the worlds, leading me to become an interactive designer.

To begin with, the original game was developed using the Hypercard software. It allowed compiling a set of 'cards' to link between which is the basis of the entire game; you click on a certain part of an image and it goes to another image/card or plays an audio or video clip. I remember using Hypercard in school, fascinated by the possibility of what you could do with that simple way to interact. That model would later be used for the web we know today; you click on a link or a button or an image and it goes to another page or plays an audio or video clip.

But there was more to the interaction in Myst that lead me towards interaction design. Each button, switch, lever, handle, crank, etc, had a purpose and when you interacted with each of them, they made you think about what that purpose was. The way the buttons and switches affected these virtual worlds, made me look at my interactions with objects of the real world differently, or, more carefully. I distinctly remember as a kid taking a moment to think about the door knob of my bedroom door and how I would make it different.

And that thinking about interaction is what lead me to web design and eventually app design. If you think about how you use your touchscreen phone, you'll see that most of it is just buttons and switches (or swipes).