Better interaction design and interface design make your product or service better.
Branding & Visual Interaction solutions for your business
Branding & Visual Interaction solutions for your business
Interaction Design is an important field within interactive products such as websites and apps. It’s actually a sub-part of User Experience Design , but because it’s a very important sub-part (just like for example Usability ) and I have a lot of passion for it, it deserves its own explanation as a service.
What is all about Interaction Design?.
Interaction Design (also abbreviated to IxD) is a sub-area of User Experience Design. User experience design is concerned with the total ‘user experience’ of a (often digital) product such as a website or app and it focuses on putting feeling in/making products more humane. Interaction design focuses specifically on the ‘interaction’ part between the user and a product. As with user experience design, the definition of this relatively new field is somewhat fluid and there is a chance that it will be broadened or narrowed the longer this branch of design exists. Also within interaction design it is not necessarily a matter (as is often the case within Usability) to design the most efficient and effective solution possible.
In interaction design, just like in user experience design, the challenge is to design something that has character. An interaction that does more than just the essentials. A good example of this is swiping in a dating app. Where in the past you would undoubtedly opt for a simple yes/no button to indicate that you are or are not interested in a person, this app has made good use of an interaction with more character. Swiping between photos is a different way of navigating and creates a different kind of interaction between the app and the user. So the door is open for an interaction designer to come up with creative and imaginative interactions within websites and apps that ensure that an interaction between the user and the product is effective, characterful,
A website or application that looks good is no longer sufficient in today’s time. After all, an application must work well, match the objectives of the target group and quickly offer the desired solution. Due to the ever-developing technology, the behaviour of these digital products has become much more complex in recent years. How do you ensure that an application remains user-friendly? This is where interaction design comes in.
An interaction design is a schematic representation of a website. This overview design shows where which information comes from, how the navigation should function. In short, an interaction design indicates how the interaction between the website and the visitor will proceed. UX therefore stands for user experience. By already thinking about user-friendliness and the purpose of the web application or website at an early stage of the development process (how do I achieve what I want users to do or how do users purchase my product or service), a lot of time is saved at a later stage. (and money) saved.
The interaction design brings structure to the design and development process. An interaction design is an interactive framework that is built on the basis of thorough research. Without interaction design it is not possible to achieve a good end product for the web. The interaction design allows graphic and technical people to work side by side on a project.
An interaction design is a design that focuses only on the function and hierarchy of the different elements of a website. An interaction design generally contains few color, image and typographic elements and is fully focused on the practicalities. The interaction design is based on the preliminary research that was conducted and the various wishes and functions that were discussed during an extensive briefing. The interaction design does not look particularly exciting to the layman, but the underlying thought and function of this is extremely important. These early iterations help the project tremendously and give you an idea of what content will be in the website.
Real value is when you understand what it does.
The added value of good interaction design is that it makes a website or app understandable and full of character. It can transform the interaction of a product from a boring A to B route, into a small ‘journey’ that a user undertakes and this can have a very positive effect on the enjoyment of using a product. It is also a means of getting people more involved with a website or app, because by using interaction elements you can encourage people to put more time or energy into the product.
LinkedIn is a good example of a website that is primarily a business social network, but also employs somewhat casual, game-like interactions to encourage people to keep their resumes up to date. For example, there are bars on your profile page that fill up the more you add to your resume. The more complete your resume, the fuller the bar. And purely from an aesthetic point of view (apart from the fact that a full resume looks more professional), many users simply want such a full bar.
By designing the application with the objectives of the users in mind, an app is created that fits within the daily life of the target group. This will give the application more value and the target group will make more use of it.
Experience shows that easy-to-understand applications are also used more often. Close attention is paid to this during the interaction design process. For example, it is checked whether all interactions in the application are self-evident and whether the main functionalities can be called up quickly. This way the user does not have to search for an unnecessarily long time.
Design adjustments are easier to make
Changes to an application during the development process can be very expensive. It is therefore important to have the design fully thought out before doing so. By devoting time to this within the interaction design phase, costly radical changes are avoided.
Process of Interaction design.
The steps an interaction designer goes through depend very much on the purpose of the assignment. In general, the following process can be assumed:
1. Mapping user and customer wishes
During the first conversations with the customer, an interaction designer finds out what the core need of the new application will be. The wishes of the customer are then compared with the needs of the target group. How does the application relate to the user’s daily life? Which needs will the new application solve? By weighing all this input against each other, it is ensured that the design matches the target group.
2. Creating target audience personas
Because user groups can often be very broad, it can help to summarize the greatest needs, wishes, frustrations and fears in one or more fictitious persons. In essence, you develop a ‘representative’ or ‘stand-in’ for a segment of your target group.
Personas make it easy to keep focus within the application. Who will eventually use the application? Moreover, they can be used as a reference to test the design during the design process.
3. Determining main and ancillary functionalities
Now that the wishes of the customer and target group have been mapped out, it is time to set up the functionality of the application. Typically, a technique called ‘user stories’ is used for this. This means that all functionalities that one would like to see in the application are written out as short sentences. The ‘stories’ are grouped as best as possible into categories. This creates an overview of the needs that the application should support.
In consultation with the customer (and the target group), the ‘stories’ are prioritized on main and secondary functionalities. This provides a clear picture of the core functionality of the application.
4. Determining the flow through the application
But what steps should the user take within the application to achieve his goal? Which functionalities help him with this? These questions are answered while drawing up the flow of the application. The interaction designer develops a flowchart for this in which main and secondary functionalities are brought together.
Together with the customer and the target group, this flowchart is refined to resolve any ambiguities or inappropriate interactions.
5. Determining the best possible usability
By setting up ‘wireframes’, the interaction designer applies the flow to concrete screens. These wireframes are sketchy representations of the final application. They are often formatted in grayscale and show the structure and functionality of the screens within the app. A simpler graphic design is often chosen to focus on the basic structure of a page before adding the visual design and content.
By testing these wireframes with the customer and the target group, uncertainties in the navigation, position and functionalities can be quickly picked up. After a number of iterations, this will ultimately guarantee the ease of use and effectiveness of the application.
What can you expect in an interaction design?
User Goals and Business Goals
The advantages of an interaction design and visual design?
Functionalities become transparent
Asked a picture of the appearance
Early (possible) problems identified
Thinking from the customer’s point of view (usability guaranteed)
Creating an interactive prototype or wireframe is often a useful visual aid.
Typical questions interaction designer would ask for:
Which steps are part of this process (workflow)?
What information is available?
When in the process is which information presented?
Is it clear to which goal I am going?
How much of the information is needed to get to the next step in the process?
Which action must be completed before…?
What can the user expect?
What information on the screen can be removed, because this is superfluous?
Branding and Visual Identity services.