The Height of UX: Interaction Design
Interaction design (or IxD), though not quite as buzzed about as some methodologies, can be seen as the umbrella of User Experience. By looking closely at the human and digital connection, interaction designers can optimize the flow of process by a user making apps and sites more user-friendly.
The parts and pieces that comprise Interaction Design are a culmination of user experience (UX) best practices. Interaction designers must approach the process from a lower-tech, more humanistic perspective as the goal is to create a system that speaks the language of the user and use familiar concepts.
Many of the processes followed by interaction designers have cross over with UX/UI design strategies but unionize the outcome and tailor toward the user.
Coming from a human perspective, an interaction designer must develop user personas much like building a marketing or branding campaign strategy. Being aware of how different people react to varying content, colors, sounds, offers and the general digital environment at hand will help to tailor the experience to the targeted audience.
Mapping how each category of user moves through a site or app will uncover areas that are working and areas that need optimization. Identifying stuck, hesitant and abandoned points then developing strategies to turn them around will increase conversion and engagement. Whiteboarding and wire framing can help this process greatly.
All time spent on interaction design could easily be allocated to usability. Optimizing a digital environment to be predictable and consistent while maintaining engagement and comprehension is a multi-faceted task. Understanding user personas and clear pathways in previous steps can helps to increase usability at a faster delivery rate. This is a IxD step that brings many concepts of UI design to the forefront.
Working to understand the digital user through interaction design, realizing that behind every screen, there is a real person – can greatly help to heighten a true connection with an audience.1