When designing with senses, do not use vision to start out. Instead, start with another sense. Because of vision’s preference by most users, it is too easy to fall into a game of imagery and light. Hearing is a safe first option, but don’t be afraid of touch and smell. Taste may be somewhat exotic, but it is an exciting way to start with a scheme. Whichever sense you begin with, it is imperative, as it is with any type of design, to start with a plan and preferably drawings and/or sense cues. We must ask ourselves what the point of the sensory design is, and the answer should guide our choices.
As described in earlier sections, the best way to apply the senses is to start with the lack of any, then add carefully and deliberately until a desired outcome is found. Often, it is good at this point to begin to take away some of the sensory inputs to allow separation and a rhythm or pattern to emerge. We love engagement with the senses, but constant bombardment is not desired nor fulfilling. Instead, taking some of the sense stimuli away will give allow a pause and reflection before the next interaction. This is for creating inviting an soothing sensory design, if the goal is to create something that is obnoxious or undesired, it is very useful to overuse an stimulus, and it could be good to have it continuous or randomly appear, like a form of water torture. Again, it is very important to understand what the goal or intention is with the design.
So, how can we use the senses to evoke, inspire, or educate? We will look at examples and play through the possibilities. We need to understand the context or program, what the desired outcome is, and which sense or senses we will use.