“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

“white space” of interaction?

I was reading a chapter in a graphic design book, as I was reminded of the important aspect of most presentation design disicplines–white space. What is white space? Simply put it is the empty areas of a formative design. Margins are a form of white space, but you can have the same emptiness or negative space in 3D volume as well.

First off, we have to discuss why white/negative space even exists, or what properties does adjusting the amount of empty space in both 2D and 3D means. For example the less space between 2 discreet identifyable areas can imply a concentrated relationship, or even a place of interaction between those objects being separated by the white space.

Does this same relationship somehow exist within Interaction Design? That is to say, that if behavior can be mapped as a flow, can we also find moments of negative flow, or stopage of flow?

Probably the easiest way to look at this concept is just the notion of rest, that an interface can make from moment to moment. Some of these moments are by technological constraint, and others are by design. For example, rest can be used so that the human can catch up and possibly respond in kind, or to make decisions or observations of comparison.

But just like reducing negative space between 2 objects creates a relationship between them, so does limiting the negative flow might create a greater relationship between moments of interaction, or between objects and interaction behaviors.

I’d be interested to know if others have explored white space or negative space in terms of interaction.

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