Interaction Design (IxD)

Refers to the way content is presented and accessed from any given page on your website.


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Interaction design is a very broad term that relates to the design of how a user interacts with a product. According to the Interaction Design Foundation, the goal of interaction design is to create products that enable the user to achieve their objective in the best way possible.

There are ‘four dimensions’ of interaction design, as developed by Gillian Crampton Smith, an interaction design academic, with a fifth added by Kevin Silver, a senior interaction designer.

1) Words: the text on clickable buttons should be meaningful and simple to understand. They should communicate information to users, but not too much information to overwhelm the user.

2) Visual representations: graphical elements like images, typography and icons that users interact with. These usually supplement the words used to communicate information to users.

3) Physical objects or space: through what physical objects do users interact with the product? A laptop, with a mouse or touchpad? Or a smartphone, with the user’s fingers? And within what kind of physical space does the user do so? For instance, is the user standing in a crowded train while using the app on a smartphone, or sitting on a desk in the office surfing the website? These all affect the interaction between the user and the product.

4) Time: this mostly refers to media that changes with time – animation, videos, sounds. Motion and sound play a crucial role in giving visual and audio feedback to users’ interactions. It also refers to the amount of time a user spends interacting with the product.

5) Behavior: this includes the mechanism of a product. How do users perform actions on the website? How do users operate the product? It also includes the reactions, emotional responses or feedback of people using the product.