Mouse Events: Repetition and Variables
October 25–27, 2018
California College of Arts


This workshop takes interaction design through the lens of the rules governing user actions and the change that occurs as a result. To design a user experience, designers need to set rules for interactive elements that instigate changes. Users learn to have certain expectations about what happens when they click/hover/etc. In this workshop, we will explore various ways of creating user experience by articulating rules and variables. Repetition and variation will be a key in experimenting with this user experience.


As an extension of the previous assignment, you will use the single action that you explored in your Mouse events to create a new project by repeating this action. In this assignment, we will explore a set of variables along with the action to investigate how a designer can use repetition to create an interesting user experience. This assignment will use the web browser as a default medium.

  • Within your team, create five(or more) different interactive elements that iterates on one action.
    Form a group with other students who used the same action as yourself. By taking your outcome from the Mouse events as a starting point, you will design a method to generate various results. Analyze what you explored from the previous assignment as a set of rules, and discuss with your team what kind of variables you can bring in to create different results from the same action. In this stage, you will focus on developing ways to get a wide range of results from the same action. Consider yourself as a machine and establish your own rules that utilize variables. You should have more than 5 different results by using different variables.
  • Each element should work together to form a connecting message or narrative.
    By using the presentation template below, create a webpage that showcases the set of actions. The webpage has to present a message or a narrative with the set of actions. Think of sequences, location, scale, and time. Consider what you want to highlight through the set of actions.

    Presentation template (download)
  • Things to consider

  • What do you want to show/tell from the repetition: telling stories, making statements, showcasing certain aesthetics, visualizing relationships/networks, building functions, etc.?
  • What are subjects of the action: an object, a person, a location, space, time, etc.?
  • What has changed as a result of this action?
  • What are the variables in each action: a location, scale, space, time, etc.?
  • Should the action continue over a period of time, or does it happen instantaneously?
  • Are the previous steps/stages of actions important for any reason? (Should the viewer remember old elements/sequences?)
  • Should it happen in a single place/medium or various places/mediums?
  • If you chose to use multiple mediums, how is this action translated from one medium to another?
  • Is the result a live interactive experience, or a documentation of previous actions?
  • Is the order important?
  • References (Variables)


  • Exposure 2017 (Composition)
  • Into, Into, Into (Angles)
  • The Temporary States (Type size)
  • Panorama (Time)
  • Snoopy.gif (Image directory, the number of windows)
  • Kevin Beck (Image directory, the number of user interactions)
  • Other media

  • Sydney 1989 (Structure)
  • Clapping Music (Time)
  • Invisible Spaces Made of Moving Music (Location)
  • Resources

    Tools we will use

  • Presentation template
  • Google doc
  • Schedule

    Thursday, October 25

  • 6pm–7pm: Lecture
  • Friday, October 26

  • 10am–10:30am: Kick-off and initial brainstorm
  • 10:30am–12:30pm: Small group session
  • 12:30pm–1:30pm: Break
  • 1:30pm–3:30pm: Small group session
  • Saturday, October 27

  • 10:00am–12:30pm: Final presentation and discussion
  • Special thanks to Rachel Berger, Christopher Hamamoto, and Will Ruby