Interaction Architecture

A week late in posting about our app architecture masterclass, but it has really helped me to get to this stage so I should talk about it.

On Monday we sat down to plan out the structure of an already existing app and then our very own. The act of taking apart an app screen by screen was really beneficial in detailing the finer points that we can sometimes miss, help us determine the over all flow of the app and generally clarify in our mind what the app needs to do.

I had always wanted the app part of my project to be simple and too the point. I had a bit of a moment a few weeks back when I wanted to add more and commercialise the experience, but thankfully have decided against that.

Below is the result of the architecture masterclass, which is my app planned out in full:


As you can see, my app only consists of 4 main screens, one of which is Twitter. I think this is important because I’m trying to encourage the user to spend as little time as possible on the app.

Since then I’ve managed to start putting together the finer points of my intended design on photoshop. So far so good..

Physical vs Digital/Waterstones Kindle Deal

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, talks about the collaboration with Amazon to sell Kindles and e-books. I particularly like the part near the end when he addresses the issue people might have with digital vs physical book.
I’ve been focussing my research on the idea that traditional books are becoming redundant and e-books are slowly taking over and I find it really interesting to see that large book companies like Waterstones have accepted selling e books.

Magic Hinges


The quote I used for this board was perfect for the tone that I was trying to put across. I went looking for something that emphasised the magic and intrigue that books have. It’s important that people remember the lovely simply quality of books and how they can make people feel and that’s what I was trying to convey.

I started to make them in a different style which was more sketchy and illustrative by referring to old books like ‘Peter Rabbit’, ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ and ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘, but I wasn’t comfortable with the style and decided to make them in my own personal style. I think it tied in well and conveyed a playful side.

The Infinite Adventure

Another project that I love the style of. This app is part of the ‘Future of Writing’ project by Microsoft research. I like this idea because it’s encouraging you to use your imagination and produce your own stories.

The Infinite Adventure Machine (prototype 01) from David Benqué on Vimeo.


My fellow DiXD-er Virginia Vila has directed me towards a project called ARART.

ARART from ARART on Vimeo.

ARART from ARART on Vimeo.
This concept is pretty much my first idea. I really do love it though and think it’s exactly the type of vibe I would want to create. It has a great visual language.

Bookstore Observations


I went into Waterstones today with the intention of people watching.

I found myself wandering over to my favourite genre of book (horror) meandering passed the fairytales (also a favourite) and ending up finally in front of the classics (Jane Austin fan over here!).

Finally, with my personal interests out the way, I grabbed a hot chocolate with cream and a lemon poppy muffin and perched myself on the balcony overlooking the book maze.

I took down quite a few notes regarding the way people traveled around the store. I begain noticing that people who were by themselves would often shoot off towards their favourite section. However some would end up aimlessly wandering around the shop glancing at other titles on the shelves.

There were also a lot of mothers with children, scoping out educational books and classic stories for their kids. The more matured children would often have something they wanted to buy themselves.

The elderly are very fond of books stores and I noticed a great few of them lingering about the crime and mystery sections, reading the prologues. There was one paticular couple that arrived and picked up a large book on country landscapes. The wife then sat in the only chair and began to flick through the pages, whilst the gentleman stood with his hands in his pockets rocking back and forth on his heels. He didn’t look bored, just patient.

Couples were another big theme in the bookshop. Quite often you would see them both meandering through the aisles picking up something, discussing it and putting it back. One such couple held hands as they walked through the store.

There were many other types of groups of people that came in and out the store, but these were the few that were most common. Maybe I didn’t sit long enough to get a proper taste of the day.

I went in the intent of observing peoples habits, however what I came to notice more was the environment as a whole. The shop itself was quiet. Main highstreet stores usually have music playing, they’re crowded and people are asking you if you need any help. You can be in and out of a clothes shop within minutes if nothing catches your eye.

With the book shop, I’ve noticed it’s lack of ambition. Like a library, people would automatically hush their voice. The large open spaces encouraged people to simply stroll and take their time. It’s like time slows down in a book shop. Most of the people would spend more than mere minutes meandering through the aisles. They would quite often pick up a book and sit down to flick though it’s pages.

Being in the shop made me relax. I sat on the balcony and felt no self conscious voice in my head telling me that I had spent too much time in the shop. In fact, it seemed normal to re visit the same shelves a few times.

The shop itself was nothing special. The shelves were all the same similar black and the signs that told you which genre you were looking at the simple and to the point. The shop smelt like a book shop should smell, which is coffee and paper, and the carpet was plain. The only noises were those clinks of coffee cups and soft whispers of the customers.

I think that’s entirely what a bookshop is. My experience is not all the information I need though and I’m hoping to find a library in town soon. The student library won’t have the same atmosphere I’m looking for because it’s a studious environment.

What I gained from today will be very important in the direction my project will take. I’m leaning more towards something deliberately slow, that embodies that bookshop atmosphere.