All about IxD —The Simplified Definition of Interaction Design(1)
“Interaction design, often abbreviated as IxD, is “the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services.” — Alan Cooper
Interaction design / IxD involves designing technical products according to the human behavior. User centered design is its core, and by following the same principles, we can create products that share the center of human interaction. However, IxD focuses on a product’s visual interface and interaction instead of the underlying functionality.
Although there are variety of concepts and beliefs about IxD, the most important one among all of these is — User satisfaction.
Given this definition, designers are expected to create meaningful and enjoyable relationship between users, products and services they use.
So, what is the process?
Text/Word & Content
The words on your product including the ones within your buttons, should be clear and simple enough to understand. While constructing the content, make sure to communicate the necessary information to the users and audiences without overwhelming them. This can be achieved by choosing the correct wording and deciding where to shift users’ attention.
The aesthetics of your product matters. Every human enjoys the pleasant and beautiful view. Pay extra attention on your choices while designing the layout, colors, images, logos and icons that users will interact with. Avoid mismatches and be consistent in patterns.
The Object & Space
This refers to how visitors to your web presence interact physically. Are they using a mouse or swiping on a smartphone? How You have the chance to understand user behavior while conducting user testing by eye tracking techniques and observations. ( Tip for junior designers: If you have any background in human psychology/science, combine your background knowledge with this specific dimension to impress your interviewer.)
The average time a user spends on a digital product is an important factor for the digital marketing success. Usually, the longer the user someone stays on a site, the better the results are because it says that the user enjoyed the interaction. However, still pay attention: Are they able to save time through the use of your web presence and is your marketing funnel is as efficient as it could be?
I personally think that understanding the user behaviors could be turned into a solid research itself. In IxD, some questions you should always keep in mind are:
- How the visitors use your product’s properties?
- What are the steps they take to achieve their needs/goals and wants?
- Are the call-to-action functions working?
- How your “high-lights” make your user feel about your product overall?