Interaction design facilitates the interaction of the users with digital products like the websites or the apps. The interaction may sometimes involve only the design itself, while at other times it may include related elements like aesthetics, space, sound, etc. The purpose of good interaction design is to create a great User Experience by making it easy to use with simple operations.
What are the five dimensions of interaction design?
The five dimensions of interaction design remains a very useful model to understand the interaction design involvements. Gillian Crampton Smith first introduced the idea of the interaction design and he came up with four dimensions of interaction design language. Kevin Silver added the fifth dimension in the interaction design behavior later and made the model of interaction design complete.
Words: Words used in design interaction should be meaningful and simple to understand as it covers the direct communication with the users. It can happen when a clear and concise and useful message is available to the users.
Visual Presentation: The visual elements include UI Design elements like typography, images, icons, and it can very well supplement the communication with words.
Physical space or objects: The physical objects or space usually refer to the actual environment or the device that users interact with. It can be a laptop or a tablet or a smartphone and the environment may vary as it will depend on where the user is.
Time: It is adimension that measures the length of the interactions that users spent on interaction with any type of interface that may be through words or animations, etc.
Behavior: The last dimension refers to the behavior of the user interaction with the products. Programmers can create a better interaction for the users by studying the interaction of the users.
The role of an interaction designer
An interaction design engineer creates the design strategy for the interactions between the users and the product and the services. The work includes defining interactions, creation of the prototypes, and tracking of the prevailing design trends that may affect or benefit the users. The interaction designer has several key roles that you can find in the following paragraphs:
An interaction designer thinks like a philosopher: Interaction designers assume the role of a philosopher and keeps a lot of questions in mind while creating interactions for design. The categories of questions that are important to consider are defining how users can interact with the interface, giving clues to the users about behaviors before starting any interaction. Moreover, anticipating and mitigating errors, considering system feedback and the response time, strategic thinking about the elements and simplification for learnability are other important things for interaction designers.
Define design strategy: Another important role of an Interaction designer is to define the design strategy as per the agreed goals for the service or product. The interaction designer conducts user research to get the strategy right as the research can tell about the goals of the users using the product. The information gathered when combined with the listed usability can deliver a suitable interaction strategy.
Wireframes and prototypes: Prototypes and wireframes are very important concepts for developing a digital product. It is one of the most important jobs to create wireframes and prototypes for most interaction designers. Wireframes and Prototypes can help interaction designers present the strategy that can reflect the intuitive thinking even without any help of the programmers.
Principles for Interaction design
For designers those are creating very complex interactions between the users, products, and devices, the interaction design principles can be very important guidelines.
Visibility: In a good interaction design there will be visible and appropriate information for the users. The UI design description information must communicate to the users in a very easy way about the product and service and how the users can use it.
Consistency: Consistency in the ui design process means using similar operations and similar elements for all similar tasks. It can reduce the chances of mistakes of the users and the users can easily understand the design for its consistent approach.
Feedback: Feedback is the reaction of the system when a user interacts with a User Interface like a sound or an animation, etc. When there is clear feedback, it can give both the users and the products a signal that the service or the product is working.
Constraints: While feedback can inform what is happening, constraints can give users the possibilities of the interactions and their limits. It can simplify the interface and also it can guide the users to move to the next step systematically.
The methods for interaction design
Use Cases: It is a description of how users act on a website and it enables to collect data on user performance and how many different types of interactions are there.
Card Sorting: It is a method for building an information system for your product and website, and it can enable you to learn what a user wants and to what extent the user understands the design.
Prototyping: It is a part of the interaction design and through prototyping design, you can create the whole layout and structure for your product. In prototypes, you can bring the products to life that you do out of your brainstorms and can help to make a perfect product design.
Qualitative Research: The purpose of doing qualitative research is to find out the five important elements of the interaction design and these are attitudes, activities, aptitudes, skills, and motivations.
Persona: It contains the basic information of the user and analyzing the persona can help the interaction designers to learn about the users in detail. The designers can know about the specific situation related to the use of the product like the family, the living environment, the working conditions, etc. A set of three to six user roles can represent the whole real user’s group.
Scenario: The understanding of the problem scenario and the action scenario and the persona can help the interaction designers to visualize and to connect to the problems that users face during the use of the product.
Expert evaluation: An evaluation of your prototype is very essential and the heuristic evaluation is a very commonly used evaluation method. Nielsen Heuristic rules can come handy in the heuristic evaluation and the designer can calculate the points and understand the status of the design success. Once the evaluation is complete, it is important to modify the wireframe and the prototype.
User evaluation: You can find some typical users for the test of the prototypes after the expert evaluation is complete. Once the users address the special tasks assigned, it can assist to have a precise evaluation, and help to make the correct decision to make a full-proof product design.
It is no longer only visual design for designing a product; the creation of positive user experience can enable pain-free interactions. It is highly important to apply the core interaction design principles in designing modern design projects. Companies now are building success by providing the users with an excellent experience of the products and services.