UX is no longer just a concern resigned to technical teams; it’s now a focus that transcends departments as more and more businesses are realizing the importance that good UX has on the success of their websites, products and services.
In today’s saturated online landscape, your tech-savvy users are looking for more than mere functionality; they want to be left feeling delighted with every interaction. And if they don’t get that, if they have a negative experience while engaging with your brand even just once, chances are they won’t come back. If you can’t offer the positive user experience they are looking for, you can be sure that someone else will.
Designing a good user experience hinges on the interactions within it and so, Interaction Design forms an integral part of good UX Design. But, understanding all of the concepts that contribute to successful Interaction Design and knowing where to start can be an overwhelming feat. So we’ve written a guide as an introduction to the fundamentals of IxD to give you the basis you need to design for better interactions and ultimately, a better user experience.
What is Interaction Design?
“Interaction Design (IxD) defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond. Our practices are evolving with the world.” —The Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
In a nutshell, Interaction Design is about making the connection between a device, its interface and the user; it facilitates the actions we want to take with any given system. Every time you make a choice on a digital device, interaction design is what responds; it makes a framework of text and objects useful, learnable and ultimately, intuitive. It delivers that almost human element that makes technology enjoyable and pleasant to interact with.
Good interaction design centers on human connection.
Interaction design isn’t only about how interfaces behave, it’s about how people behave, and then adapting the technology accordingly. You first must understand your users on a level where you can determine what they want and expect, and then you have to determine how to facilitate those needs within the technological constraints of your website, product or service. This is an integral part of building a positive user experience.
Why Is Interaction Design Important?
Interaction design seeks to go beyond making something merely work well, but focuses instead on creating an experience for the user that feels intuitive, exciting and ultimately leaves them feeling like they’ve encountered something great. Touchable, scrollable interfaces have created a new level of expectation; now, it’s all about how users feel while using technology. If interactions are difficult or don’t meet these user expectations, they will leave a negative experience. Interactions are the essence of all user experiences. Without good interactions, there won’t be a good user experience.
To find out more about the fundamentals of Interaction Design and how important they are to the user experience of your website, products or services, download our free ebook here