Course Description & Info

T284 Intro to Interactive Media Design
Indiana University, Department of Telecommunications
Spring Semester, 2012

Norbert Herber 855-1798 or nherber at indiana dot edu

Lab Sessions (TV250)

Course Description
Intro to Interactive Media Design is a practical, introductory course to the world of interactive and digital media design. The focus will be on creating interactive experiences that are both functional and engaging. This will be approached from various points-of-view: design, usability, technique, and entertainment. We will discuss not only the specifics on how to make something work, but strategies concerning how to make it work well, while making it easy to understand and fun for your audience. This is a class for beginners and assumes no previous experience or expertise. We will however move at a quick pace. It is absolutely essential that you work hard and stay on top of all the class material if you hope to succeed in this course.

Course Objectives

Role of the Student
This will be a difficult class for many of you. It will be difficult because you will be faced with technically oriented material that you may have never encountered before. Do not be alarmed. One of our goals is not only to teach you the material but to teach you to understand the material so that technical problems are seen as only that: problems.
Problems can be solved. Your best strategy to overcoming technical problems is daily practice. Spend some time every day of the week working with these materials. This does not mean reading and re-reading the chapters of our books (though that can be good...) Think about the topics we've discussed, dig through the source code of a web site you think is interesting, take the time to tweak your web site so that it works perfectly and looks great, and so on. Repeated exposure to the material is the only way that you will be able to learn, understand, and master the material we will cover in this course.

Concerning in-class examples:
Many of the examples we consider in class will be very simple and to-the-point. You may see them and think "This is stupid! I'm never going to do anything like this!" You're probably right. A lot of the examples we consider are intentionally over-simplified so that they are clear and concise. Ultimately this makes them easier for you to understand. There will be in-class examples that are there to dazzle you; others will not. Most examples will serve as the quickest and easiest way to clearly demonstrate the concepts at hand. This means that though something may not be all that inspiring at first glance, it will have a basic functionality and will allow you to do great things once you understand how it works and infuse some personal creativity. You must crawl before you can run.

Student Integrity
You are expected to conduct yourself with decorum in this class. Professionalism and integrity are essential to success in any field. If you haven't started yet, now is a great time to develop these fundamental attitudes and behaviors.

Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Both are grounds for an Academic Misconduct report and a failing grade. Any questions regarding these policies can be directed to the Code of Student Rights at

In this class it will often be appropriate to "view source" in a web browser to see how a site you admire was created. This is perfectly acceptable; after all nothing is created in a bubble. However, it is unacceptable to copy source code verbatim from a site you did not design. Use the ability to "view source" as a means of learning more about how a certain design was created. Then, use that concept as the point of departure for a unique design of your own. When in doubt where to draw the line, please contact us and we can advise you.

Specifics on acceptable design practice in T284:

The production and discussion of creative work is a large part of this class. Any work or criticism that is offensive or that constitutes harassment of a racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious nature will result in a failing grade.

Mobile phones and pagers must be turned off before entering the classroom.

Attendance is essential. Missing a class means missing important information, a quiz, a critique; and sometimes, all of the above. Be in class—on time, every week. All students are allowed 2 absences. Your grade will be reduced 2 points (1%) for every unexcused absence. Do not schedule medical appointments or interviews during class or discussion section meeting times.

Students observing religious holidays during the semester please see IU's Religious Holidays request form.

Students who have true emergencies, life-threatening illnesses, or deaths in the family may be granted excused absences. An excused absence must be supported with written documentation when you return to class. You will be responsible to get missed notes and information from a classmate.

All technical questions pertaining to the class should be referred to All students in the class will be automatically subscribed to this list. It will provide a lifeline for help when you need it most. We will discuss this in more detail during lecture.
All communication with me should be done in office hours, and after class. There are simply too many students in this class for me to offer a decent answer to questions via e-mail. If you cannot meet during my regularly scheduled office hours, send an e-mail to make an appointment. I am glad to meet with you to discuss class questions and anything else you find interesting. Communication arrangements with lab instructors is at their discretion.