“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

Elements of Design – Is there a negative space to interaction?

It seems after doing very limited study that the manipulation of negative space (in graphic design called “white space”) is a key attribute of any designer’s craft. … Is there a negative space to interaction or behavior? What do people think?

I’m in the middle of “Elements of Graphic Design” by Alex White (amazon link). Much of the book is a constant deconstruction of the use of negative space, and how its manipulation can lead to better clarity and thus better design. When I was taking courses at Pratt in Industrial Design, I learned that negative space in 3D form was just as important an aspect of design as it is within 2D form. I can also easily extrapolate this to be meaningful to fashion, interior design, and architecture.

I have not encountered the term “negative space” or any of its derivitives when discussing interaction design, and I’m curious as to how one might define “negative space” when it comes to interaction.

Is it about time? elements on a screen and their relationship to motion, interaction, I/O, etc.? To be honest, I’m really confused by this, and as I think about foundational thoughts around Interaction Design, I’d be interested if people out there in the universe could point me towards resources that directly speak about this and other design foundational elements, similar to those for other design disciplines.

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