Design for New Media

Lon Barfield  
Total pages
October 2003
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Design for New Media
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New media is like a giant jigsaw puzzle; a combination of different skills and media.  We know all about the pieces, but the biggest problem is putting them all together to get the ‘big picture' of new media design.  Design for New Media gives a unified approach to looking at the area, covering both the separate elements, and putting them in the context of new media design as a whole. The book is divided into four sections; the first section considers some of the issues that arise from designing with new and developing technology. The author then moves on to look at the ‘building blocks' of new media (sound, colour and animation), and their role in the design of a new media product is explained.  The third section covers interaction design and   those elements of new media that are connected with the use and understanding of the product.  Finally, the process of design itself is considered in a practical way;  how do you take that first step in designing a new media product?


  • Takes a unified look at the subject of new media design.
  • Exercises support each chapter, both to test knowledge and also to stimulate group design projects.
  • Case studies illustrate key points in the text.
  • ‘Golden rules' for new media design are included in a comprehensive appendix.

Table of Contents


Part 1 Setting the Scene

  1. New Media and Interaction Design
  2. Design and Technology

    Part 2 The Elements

  3. Text
  4. Layout
  5. Icons
  6. Sound
  7. Color
  8. Video and Animation

    Part 3 Interaction

  9. Goals, Audience and Scope (GAS)
  10. Contexts
  11. User Models
  12. Feedback
  13. Structure
  14. Navigation
  15. Narrative

    Part 4 Designing It

  16. Generating Ideas
  17. Top-down Design
  18. The Underlying System Model
  19. Metaphors
  20. Interaction Specifications
  21. Prototypes and Demos

Back Cover

New media is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. We know all about the separate pieces; sound, animation, text, video... but the challenge is putting the pieces together to give us the big picture of new media design. In this book Lon Barfield takes the reader on a journey through the fundamentals of interaction design for the web and CD-ROM, dealing with these key ingredients and the ways in which they are brought together into an interactive whole.


  • Four sections cover the elements of media design, showing the part they play in new media design as a whole. Starting from an examination of new and developing technology, the book moves on to look at the building blocks of new media. Interaction design follows bringing these building blocks together, and the book concludes with a discussion of the process of design itself.
  • Throughout the book, design is seen as an active process. To support this, exercises are included in each chapter, both to test knowledge and also to stimulate group design projects.
  • Extensive use is made of real-world illustrations of interaction design to clarify and illustrate the concepts in an accessible and amusing manner.
  • A web site accompanies the book, providing support for both students and lecturers

Design for New Media

will be essential reading for students examining design and interaction design principles in their studies. It is suitable for courses and course-modules in multimedia design, interaction design, web design and any design discipline that involves design for use.

Lon Barfield is a new media designer and consultant. He is the author of The User Interface; Concepts and Design published in 1993 by Addison Wesley and the real world design column in the SIGCHI Bulletin (now online at


Lon Barfield is a new media designer and consultant.  He is the author of The User Interface, published in 1993 by Addison Wesley.

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