Defining Interaction Design

Interaction Design(IxD) is the invaluable practice of developing your user interface (UI) as an effective way to introduce your product to your potential customers. Through the use of various elements and tools, it allows users to have a pleasant experience of interacting with your products, which could be used through the development of programs, apps, and websites. 


How Implementing Interaction Design Can Help You

Implementing IxD to your brand is an integral step that you need to implement in introducing your product to potential customers. Here are the nine steps that you should take to create a budding relationship with your clients through the use of IxD.


C#1. Know Your Design’s Mood

Triangles, Polygon, Color, Pink, Violet, Lilac, Orange

Your design’s mood will dictate whether it’s serious or fun, quirky or professional, playful or sincere. It’s no secret that various international brands make use of color theory in their promotional materials to heighten the mission and vision of their brands. They know that their use of visual elements can make it easier for their potential customers to digest the tone and mood of their service. 

Fast food franchises such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s make use of warm colors such as reds and yellows to invoke passion and hunger, while social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter use cool colors that invoke security and peace such as blues and violets. Taking advantage of color theory will simplify your color palette choices with regard to your design.


C#2. Clarify Your Intentions

Apps, Social Media, Networks, Internet, Network

In relation to your design’s mood, you should also connect it with your service’s intentions. Is your service meant to inform? Is your platform meant to entertain? Or is your service meant to provide an avenue for eCommerce? Once you’ve clarified what your client’s goal is for the interface, you’ll be able to limit your potential user inputs from a list of interaction design templates that you can use as a guide to improving your work.


C#3. Design With Your Customer In Mind

Agreement, Business, Businessman, Businesswoman, Client

Humans are emotional beings, and what they look for in any advertisement is where the narrative is placed. Your users will be looking for the flow of how you introduce your product, from what your service is, to how it was made, and how they can avail of it.  The preferred order of your narrative can tell a lot about who your customers are. If you’re designing an eCommerce site, then their primary concern is knowing how to buy right from the first page they see. If you’re offering a specialized service, then they would want to have a background of who you are and what makes you different from other service providers. Identifying what your customers want will make it simpler to design the flow of your interface. 


C#4. Use The 5 Dimensions Of Interactive Design As Guide

Internet, Planets, Drinks, Computers, Web, Pattern

Interactive design (IxD) follows a comprehensive guide on the do’s and dont’s that’s rooted in the 5 dimensions of IxD.

1D. Words – This pertains to your use of language and emphasis. How you word your intentions and how they visually appear to the user, in terms of what’s important through headlines or subheaders, can make or break your interface especially if its primary intention is to inform the user. 

2D. Images – The visual aspect of your design not only makes use of images and videos but also typography. ExactTarget, for example, made use of using relevant images to boost their conversion rate to up to 40.18%. Aside from using images, formatting your text can also be a powerful tool to increase the effectivity of relaying your message to your customers.

3D. Space – Space pertains to how well you can make use of space efficiently and effectively. The tricky aspect about space is that modern times have called for it to be as fluid and versatile both in mobile and desktop versions of the interface.

This also refers to the space in which users interact with your product. Do they use a touchscreen, a trackpad, or a keyboard? Space can also refer to the physical space in which they use the product? Is it while they’re at work, while driving, or while in a queue? Being aware of this ensures that you’re able to tailor your product’s IxD accordingly. 

4D. Time – Time pertains to not just the amount of time that your user will spend using your interface, but also the amount of waiting that they have to endure.  Make sure that you minimize wait time in-between key steps in your design so that you won’t lose your users’ attention and interest. You’re also going to provide a visualization of progress as what happens when you’re downloading a file.  

5D. Action – As the culmination of the previous four elements, you should be able to have a goal in mind with regards to what type of action you want your users to do.  Do you want them to be informed and subscribed to your service? Or do you want to entice and to allow them to buy your products? Using your design’s mood as a springboard can help you develop your call to action to fit within your goal as a service provider.

Being familiar with these five principles will allow you to reassess the effectivity of your interface on what works and what needs more improvement.


C#5. Draft, Test, And Review The Interface – Rinse & Repeat

Code, Html, Digital, Coding, Web, Programming, Computer

You might think that you should wait until everything is said and done before you test your design, the quick answer is: you shouldn’t. Think of every aspect about your interface and separate them into individual building blocks. These blocks should run individually for debugging and for quick fixes before you integrate them all into one compiled interface. It’ll be easier for you to look for errors and changes as you make prototypes throughout the process instead of waiting for every piece to be made before you review it completely.  

C#6. Allow Your Users To Make Mistakes

Eraser, Abrasion, Stationery, Office, School, Efface

When it comes to eCommerce websites, for example, user input is one of the most crucial elements of the design. Giving users the option to review or to redo their input makes them feel safe and secure when ordering or selling products online as one small mistake could be a costly mishap. As a double feature that allows you to debug easier, you should also ensure that your interface makes it accessible for your users to go back and redo their inputs. Another solution could be notifying your users through dialog boxes on what items they’ve missed so that they wouldn’t have to make a do-ever of the forms that they have to fill-up from the start.

C#7. Simplify All The Elements

Mobile Devices, Website, Mockup, Web, Web Design

The most effective user interfaces are less heavy on text and more intuitive to use through visually-effective iconography to convey their messages. One of the easiest ways to check if your interface is informative, aesthetically-pleasing, and user-friendly, is by seeing how effective your design would appear in mobile. The limited space forces you to make the most of using less while also stopping you from having long-winded monologues. Keep minimalism in mind whenever you’re making a design choice. Remember that the most convenient path to navigating your design is your customer’s primary option.

C#8. Learn From Your Competitors

Checkmate, Chess, Resignation, Conflict, Board Game

Modern times call for modern methods of strategizing. Though research can get you ahead, the best advice is learned from your fellow competitors. Keep an eye on your close competitors, whether they be international brands or local neighbors. Know how effective, or ineffective, their methods and practices are and you will grow to learn from their mistakes without the need of making them yourself.


C#9. Always Allow Your Users To Give Feedback

Board, Chalk, Feedback, Review, Study, School

Just like your product, your user interface should also evolve as it caters to your customers’ needs. Even though you’re done with the testing phase of your interface, improving it is a constant struggle that you must learn to come to terms with. After every transaction or at the end of your landing pages, have a small survey to give to your users with regards to their level of satisfaction in using the interface through quantitative (which could be through stars or through a number rating) and qualitative (short messages, questions, etc.) means so that you can address these concerns in the future.

Takeaway

As with any design involving user interface, you should always produce, execute, then revise. The trick to evolving your interface is listening to your customers. Keeping constant and effective communication between the service provider and your demographic is the best way to develop your design to achieve its most efficient form.

What do you think of our list? Comment on the post below If you have any design tips to add or share.


Aaron Chichioco

Aaron Chichioco is the chief content officer (CCO) and one of the web designers of Design Doxa. His expertise includes not only limited to Web/mobile design and development, but digital marketing, branding, eCommerce strategy and business management tactics as well. For more information about Aaron, visit our about us page.

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