User Experience (UX) is not a new term in the digital world. It is something that has been important for a long time, even though many businesses are only just beginning to realize how important it really is.
Indeed UX should be one of the main things you consider when building a brand new mobile app or web site. Why? Well, in today’s tech-savvy world, users are looking for more than nifty functionality. They want to be left with a feeling of gratification after every interaction. When your users do not get what they are looking for, or have a bad experience while interacting with your brand, they click away and possibly never come back again. Most likely, they will choose another that offers a more satisfying user experience. Good for your competitors and bad for you.
Interaction Design, also known as IxD, is a crucial element of a great UX design. In other words, User Interaction Design needs to go hand in hand with User Experience. However, knowing where to start and understanding the concept associated with IxD can be really overwhelming if you are not familiar with it. It is best to pursue a well-rounded approach, an approach that includes a thoughtful look at your business’s mobile app and/or web site. In this guide, we highlight crucial factors that you need to consider at the onset of your app or website design project – to ensure better user experience and interaction design.
What is Interaction Design?
According to the Interaction Design Association, Interaction Design or IxD is about creating a meaningful experience between users and the products they interact with. It is about building systems that further interaction between a product and its user. These meaningful relationships between humans and the products they use, such as computers, mobile devices, appliances, etc. are something that shape our daily life and make the products we use enjoyable. Interaction design makes the complex concepts of a digital device useful and intuitive to its user.
However, it is worth bearing in mind, that interactivity goes beyond digital artifacts because human beings experience interactivity on a daily basis, whether it is through playing games, conversing with one another or even using a vacuum cleaner. All these everyday activities are classic examples of interactivity in our everyday life.
Why is Interactive Design important for businesses?
Businesses regularly interact with customers across multiple touchpoints. It is not just important for when your customers use your app or web site to order something, but, it is important for creating a positive experience for customers that will make them want to come back again. The customer’s decision to buy or not to buy your product or service depends on the quality of that interaction. Without good interaction design, you won’t necessarily get the outcome that you desire. Taking the time to review and craft positive interactions can pay huge dividends in terms of customer retention and loyalty. If you look at brands that have strong customer loyalty, such as Apple, and you can see that IxD has something to do with the strength of that loyalty they are able to enjoy.
Interaction Design should focus on human connection
Interaction Design is not only about how digital devices behave, it is also about how users behave. The designer must develop an understanding of the user, not just his or her needs, but of their behavior and practices. Research users to identify their underlying needs, these needs are usually not instantly apparent through questioning alone. The goal is to improve the consumer’s user experience by tailoring the product to their explicit needs. This concept is vital to creating a positive image among your users or customers.
Keep it simple
It is difficult to design a simple interactive user interface but it is important to keep everything simple. The benefits of simple design are numerous. A simple design is easy to use, easy to demo, and easy to learn. A simple design eliminates training costs. A simple design promotes your brand, builds user confidence, and is more likely to make your app or website a success. You may not get it right the first time, but it is important to build a simple interaction design. You can improve the design on a regular basis until users find the interaction design intuitive, simple and easy to use.
Lead the user towards the next step
One of the gravest mistakes your app or website can make is to fail to take the user along smoothly from one step to the next. You won’t get much attention if users are left lost soon after opening the app. The app or web site must be intuitive and carefully lead the user toward the next step. Use visual cues to point the user in the direction of what he or she wants, bold typography to explain things when words are necessary.
Eliminate unnecessary features
Mobile devices have quickly become the most frequently used piece of technology, but they have small screens that cannot display as much information as laptop computer screens. They also have difficulty with some computing tasks, such as multitasking. Therefore, as you design your app or mobile site, you need to keep these limitations in mind. The best way to do away with such issues is by getting rid of as many unnecessary features as possible. Include only a few features that are truly needed to get the job done. If the feature does not add anything important to the app, take it out. Removing confusing elements will add simplicity to your app, hence making it easy to use.
Making something difficult look simple is not easy. It takes effort, thought, testing, and patience to make your app or website smooth and easy to use. Every element of your app should feel like it is in the right place. In the end, your app or website will seem like they were just meant to be.