When users open a website or app, they first notice the obvious design elements: logo, colors, icons, illustrations, and imagery. While these elements do contribute to the overall user experience, they are actually pieces of a larger puzzle: interaction design. This concept can be more subtle to end-users than a flashy, new homepage, but it is essential in creating an engaging, intuitive digital experience.Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design
What is interaction design?
Interaction design is about facilitating interactions between users and products (most often, those products are apps or websites). According to the Interaction Design Foundation, “the goal of interaction design is to create products that enable the user to achieve their objective(s) in the best way possible.” In other words, interaction designers are responsible for creating every element on a screen that a user might interact with, whether through clicking, swiping, tapping, or some sort of action.Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design
The five dimensions of interaction design serve as a helpful model to understand what it involves. First introduced by Gillian Crampton Smith, an interaction design academic, the model only included four dimensions. Kevin Silver, a senior interaction designer at IDEXX Laboratories added the fifth.
1D: Words should be simple to understand and should communicate the right amount of information to the user (too much detail can overwhelm, while too little information can cause confusion).
2D: Visual representations, like images, typography, and icons, should supplement the words to communicate information to the user.
3D: Physical objects or space refers to the actual hardware and objects that a user interacts with. For example, are they using a smartphone or a laptop with a mouse? And where are they, at their desk or on a crowded subway?