Interaction Design Principles and Methods

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 Foundation said.”The goal of design is to build products that facilitate the user to achieve their goals in the best possible way,”

Interaction Design Principles and Concepts

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.”

Five 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.

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.

Best practices for Learning Interaction Design

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 t 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.

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 –

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