What Is Interaction Design?

Basic, Interaction Design

Last Updated:

31 December 2021

In Simple Words:


“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like Design is how it works.” This famous quote from Steve Jobs stresses the importance of having good interaction design, which is the user’s overall experience and satisfaction with a product.

[Reference - Adobe Inc]


Interaction design is a process in which designers focus on creating engaging web interfaces with logical and thought out behaviors and actions. Successful interactive design uses technology and principles of good communication to create desired user experiences.


“ Introducing Interaction Design” breaks the field into five pieces that are still useful and relevant today:

  • Human/machine communication is the translation of conversations between the device and user.

  • Action/reaction looks at how interactions happen and unfold.

  • State ensures that users know what is happening and why in terms of the application.

  • Workflow ensures that users know who to use a tool or application and what happens next.

  • Malfunction takes into account mistakes that are bound to happen.


Further, there are certain considerations to keep in mind when creating design interactions. Usability.gov offers basic questions in six different categories that can help shape how the design comes together.

  • What can a user do with their mouse interaction, finger or stylus to directly interact with the interface?

  • What commands can a user give to interact with the interface?

  • What about the appearance gives the user a clue about how it functions?

  • What information do you provide to let a user know what will happen before they perform an action?

  • Are there constraints to help prevent errors?

  • Do error messages provide a way for the user to correct the problem?

  • What feedback does a user get when an action is performed?

  • What is the response time between an action and response?

  • Are the interface elements a reasonable size to interact with?

  • Are edges and corners strategically being used to locate interactive elements?

  • Are you following standards?

  • Is information chunked into a few items at a time?

  • Is the user end as simple as possible?

  • Are familiar formats used?


[Reference - UXBooth]



Definitions:

“Interaction Design is the creation of a dialogue between a person and a product, system, or service. This dialogue is both physical and emotional in nature and is manifested in the interplay between form, function, and technology as experienced over time.”


By John Kolko, Author of Thoughts on Interaction Design


 

"Interaction Design (IxD) is the design of interactive products and services in which a designer's focus goes beyond the item in development to include the way users will interact with it."


By The Interaction Design Association (IxDA)


 

"Interaction design focuses on creating engaging interfaces with well thought out behaviors. Understanding how users and technology communicate with each other is fundamental to this field. With this understanding, you can anticipate how someone might interact with the system, fix problems early, as well as invent new ways of doing things."


By Interaction Design Basics


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