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Design and Interaction Research Group

The DAI group has research interests in these areas:

  • Visual literacy and visualization
  • Service design
  • Graphic design
  • Human computer interaction
  • Game culture
  • e-Learning

The Design and Interaction research group was formed in 1994 to explore the use of interactive technologies as instructional and informational tools. Its research has expanded to include visual literacy, human-computer interaction, game culture, graphic design and service design. The group comprises researchers and post-graduate students within the School of Communications and Arts.

Research interest areas

Visual literacy

Visual literacy is the foundation for successful visual communication. In the DAI group we conduct research from psychological, historical and social perspectives into communicating with pictures. This research has resulted in the book, The Picture In Design. Outputs have also included the diagrams for the book, Doing Research in Design (Crouch & Pearce, 2012).

Human-computer interaction

The group is currently involved in an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant with WA Government Department Landgate, in collaboration with researchers in Communications at ECU' School of Communications and Arts, to redesign the public interface of the bushfire information system, Firewatch. The project (in its second year) aims to redesign the public site for the use of non-technical users from the wider community, with the help of users from a regional community.


E-learning explores the use of technology to facilitate teaching and learning in higher education and industry. The research continues to explore issues associated with learner motivation and engagement, distributed cognition and learning designs associated with emerging information and communication technologies. The research has a strong applied focus through links with industry and associated partners.

Game culture

Game culture research areas include 2-D and 3-D games design, as well as the creation, exploration and interrogation of non-linear narrative structures. These approaches feed into a growing research emphasis on online gaming practices and cyberculture studies.

Graphic Design and Service Design

Undergraduate students at ECU are being introduced to practice-based and practice-led research. This is a response to the rapid changes in the international design profession that requires designers to conduct rigorous research. An online journal, Design Process Investigation, that publishes design students’ essays (both textual and visual) about design methods and processes is funded by an ECU grant.

Through research our staff aim towards communicating with the community while expanding their own knowledge.

Our staff

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