Design and Translation









Perception, Meaning and Transmodal Design

Mathias Nordvall, Mattias Arvola

Linköping University, Sweden

Keywords: situated cognition; transmodal design; transmodality; interaction design


Our perceptual system allows us to experience and make meaning of the world through different modalities. We can move between feeling, seeing and hearing things and still makes sense of our world. Our cognitive activities are transmodal. In interaction design this means that both our design processes and our users’ interactions are transmodal. We have gained insights into how transitions between modalities, both in the design context and in the users’ interaction context, modulate meaning and experience, by analysing three interactive systems: SimProv, VibEd, and Sightlence. We propose that a transmodal design approach facilitate designers to realize the communicative potential of different modalities, and hence present users with a transmodal perspective on their interaction space that allow for continuous rearrangement and use of modalities.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Nordvall, M and Arvola, M. (2016). Perception, Meaning and Transmodal Design. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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