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Interactive designing |Basic principles to know

What is Interaction Design?

Interaction is how users interact with systems. Designing interactive systems, product environments and services is what we call Interaction Design. Interaction Design is used to create both digital and physical products. Here, we only discuss the digital aspect of interaction design.

Designing user Interaction design focuses on creating engaging interfaces for any digital product to communicate with users. Fundamental of interaction design is to understand how users and technology communicate with each other. By understanding the fundamentals we can anticipate how someone might interact with the system. more on wiki

Dimensions of Interactive Design

In the process of interactive design different aspects of design helps designers to develop a user-oriented design. Those different aspects of the design can be represented as a dimension of interaction design.

Word in interactive designing

Words play a major role in interactive design and those are the elements that users interact with the product through. With the use of words, we can connect, establish relationships, and deliver messages to users. A copy is an example of how we can use words in our product to establish a connection with users. Different content can give a huge impact on a user’s interaction with a product.

For example whenever we enter some website we always see some attractive, meaningful text and call to action (CTA) displayed on the landing page which tells users about their product and what they do in short and sweet forms. It also helps users to navigate products with the help of CTA.   

Visual representations in interactive designing

Visualization is a process representing data, message, and process in such a way that the user can understand easily. It is an element of an interface that the user-perceived. Icon, typography, diagram, graphic, and animation are basic examples of visual representation. Visual representation is not limited, it can be represented in different forms. 

Visual representation has the ability to interpret large amounts of data in a simple and easily understandable form by providing transparent interaction methods for effective communication between the user and the data. Visual representations range from simple maps and diagrams to computer-generated 2D and 3D visualizations.

Typography in design can be used to create an impact on the user and to represent the personality of the product. Typography can be used in limitless ways. It can be different depending on culture, society, geographic location, fashion and much more.  Typography can be an entirely different topic that we can discuss. To learn more about typography you can visit Paula Scher on pentagram.com.

Icons are used to give simple notation for some functions and give users a clean interactive interface. Different types of graphic animation are used for attractive and understandable design. Sometimes users can perceive more information without any description only through simple graphics, symbols, and notation. The use of different illustrations and computer graphics are trending these days.

Physical objects or space in interactive designing

With the help of physical objects, users can interact with the product more seamlessly. In the case of digital products like laptops and other platforms, we attach physical objects like keyboard, touchpad, mouse, buttons to make it easy for users to interact with our product. 

It also deals with what kind of environment/space the user requires operates with our design product. For example, if we design our product only for desktop view and not responsive,  that means users with mobile and tablet views will feel difficult and uncomfortable to use that product which is bad interaction design. These days mobile being such a popular device which means we have to look for those sides of design while designing products. 

Time in interactive designing

It always takes some amount of time to get a response to a user’s request. In the case of digital products, it can be time to load content from a server, those animations that bring content to the viewport and it also includes the time period the user spent with the product. 

Generally, 0.1s is considered as a response time limit for a user’s experience to feel that the interaction with the system is instantaneous. If the system doesn’t feel smooth and instantaneous then designers must think about that aspect of interaction with the system. 

When the system is some message or feedback then 0.1s can be too fast to completely read and understand what feedback is the system trying to give back to users, so the time limit for the user’s flow of thought is considered as a 1.0s. In the 1.0s time period it is considered that users can perceive those short messages or feedback.

Behavior in interactive designing

Understanding the user’s behavior with a system is an important part of interaction design. To build good interaction design we must first understand how users react and behave with the system and different users may have different ways to interact with the interface and the system.  

Let’s take an example of shortcuts keys in the Windows system, there are multiple ways to complete certain tasks. You can manually do some tasks or use a shortcut keyword (to delete files you can use manual right click on files and select delete options or use delete button ). Users can choose either way to complete that action which gives the user choice of action to perform certain tasks in the system and having that option can improve the user’s experience than having only one option. 

The way we implement the previous four elements or dimensions of interaction design ( i.e word, visual representations, physical objects, or space and time ) that influence the user behaves a certain way. To understand how users behave with the system and enhance the entire user’s experience with the system all of the five dimensions of interaction design must blend beautifully. 

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Description of Author

  • Kishor Ghising is an inspiring young talent from kavrepalanchok. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology from Bhaktapur multiple campus. He loves to describe himself as a design geek. He has profound knowledge of graphics designing, UI/UX design and frontend development. This extremely introvert guy loves to explore new things and is a constant learner.

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