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Interaction Design Principles and its Best Practices | Quick Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 20 Apr 2022

Interaction Design Principles and its Best Practices

What is Interaction Design?

Interaction design is a designing process which focuses on creating engaging web Interfaces with logical thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Interaction designers create a meaningful relationship between the user and the products & services they are using (Products means app or Websites here). The Interaction Design Associationdefines, IxD as 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.

UX is the most important building block in software development. Even its priority is higher than User Interface. Click to explore about, User Experience in Software Product Development

What are the Principles of Interaction Design?

The Interaction Design principles are listed below:

  • Goal-driven design - Goal-driven design focuses first and foremost on satisfying specific needs and desires of the end-user.
  • Interface as magic - You don’t even really see the best interfaces. “The best interaction designs don’t exist: they don’t take a long time to load/respond; they don’t make users think, and they don’t give user’s cause for grief.”
  • Usability - "Interfaces that facilitate the understanding and use of the underlying system state are favored."
  • Affordances - “The best designs are those that speak for themselves; in which, as the saying goes, form follows function.”
  • Learnability - "Every time a similar design challenge arises, the best interaction designers don't reinvent the wheel. They call on a set of patterns instead."
A well-executed UX Strategy delivers growth to ideas and directions while maintaining the integrity of the entire CX strategy. Click to explore about, Customer Experience vs User Experience

What are the different dimensions of Interaction Design?

The concept of dimensions of interaction design defines what interaction design involves. Initially, the idea of four aspects of an interaction design language was introduced by Gillian Crampton Smith. These dimensions are the interaction between a user and the screen. The original four dimensions are words, visual representations, physical objects or space and time. More recently, IDEXX Laboratories senior interaction designer Kevin Silver added a fifth dimension, behavior.

  • 1D (Words) - Words should be simple to understand, and written in such a way that they communicate information quickly to the end user.
  • 2D (Visual representations) - Visual representations are all graphics or images, mostly everything that is not text. They should be used in moderation, not to overwhelm.
  • 3D (Physical objects or space) - Physical objects or space refers to the physical object a user interacts with, whether it’s a mobile device, mouse, and keyboard.
  • 4D (Time) - Time is the length that the user spends interacting with the first three dimensions. It includes how the user might measure progress, as well as sound and animation.
  • 5D (Behavior) - It is the emotions and reactions that the user has when interacting with the system.

An interface design that allows users to interact with either real humans or bots using text and voice/speech. Click to explore about, Conversational User Interface

What is the role of an Interaction Designer?

An interaction designer is the person associated with design, development or marketing team that helps to create an interactive and creative design. Interaction designer performs a set of activities that are keys to interaction design. These activities include forming a design strategy, wire framing interactions, and prototyping interactions.

Design Strategy

The design strategy is concerned with what are the goals of the user and how to achieve them. In turn,  designer develops a design strategy to understand what interactions are necessary to facilitate user goals.

Wireframes of Key Interactions

Interaction designers create wireframes that lay out the product's interactions. They can begin to sketch the interfaces that will facilitate the necessary communications.


The next step for an interaction designer might involve the creation of prototypes. They create interactive prototypes that look exactly like the actual app or website.

What is interaction design process?

You will use the IxD method to create highly intuitive, familiar interfaces that give users a smooth experience and demonstrate that your brand knows them, their contexts, and the goals they want to achieve.

The IxD mechanism is usually broken down into five stages:

  • Find the users' needs/wishes - It is easy to believe that you already know what users want/need. But this step involves actually getting to know what users want/need are.
    • Pay attention to the people around you.
    • People can be interviewed.
    • Examine current options while keeping in mind that it's difficult to predict potential demands, innovations, and so on.
  • Analyze your conclusions to sort and arrange them in a order. Consider each element from a strategic standpoint. This could be accomplished by using a:
    • A story or narrative of how someone uses a system.
    • Breaking down a user's steps/sub-steps
  • Follow all the design fundamentals and guidelines to create a potential solution.  (e.g., giving appropriate feedback for users’ actions). Use the best techniques to match how users will interact with it in terms of, for example, navigation.
  • Start prototyping -  Allow consumers to get a sense of what the product will look like and try it, and/or send it to experts who will use heuristics to assess its efficacy.
  • Implement and deploy what you have built.
The designer does not begin with some preconceived idea. Rather, the idea is the result of careful study and observation, and the design a product of that idea. - Paul Rand, Famous Graphic Designer and Art Director

What are the best practices for Interaction Design?

The best practices for Interaction Design are listed below:

  • Keep it simple - The design must be as attractive and straightforward such that if a person missed reading the instructional text can still navigate to that content effectively.
  • Concise Information - The content of your website can be condensed to avoid lengthy paragraph information. Breaking up long content and combining it with animation can help you get through a lot of information in a very digestible format.
  • Give a sense of progression -  Design must include properly planned progress bar to track progress including when they are in the course and how much time more they need to complete their journey.
  • Provide proper instructions - Whether your design should be intuitive enough to follow without words. But sometimes, You need to use some guidelines, but always make sure they are clear, uncomplicated and straightforward.
  • Keep consistent - Consistency makes sense of intuitiveness into the course. Make sure your design should be consistent. For example: If you are using the green color button for submitting on the screen then you shouldn’t use green color button to indicate inactive button on the next screen.
  • Generate useful error messages - Design must have a generic and descriptive error message to show success and error or any other information in case of failure/ success and information.
  • Give feedback that feels good - Feedback should highlight both strengths and weaknesses. Feedback helps us see our inevitable blind spots, and optimize our performance.

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A Design Thinking Approach

Interaction design Comprises of several design disciplines which helps design experts in creating interactive products and services.To know more about Design we advise taking the following steps -