What is Interaction/Experience Design and Why is it Important?


As I have mentioned in my previous posts – I am a huge fan of interaction design ever since working at R/GA (which has the cats pajamas of ID teams). I believe that good ID can make or break a project – especially as sites become more complex and require more synergy with the user. The beauty of the medium is that incorporates so many different disciplines together like usability, IA, visual design etc. One of the optimal results of using Interaction Designers (as an example) is that you ultimately produce sites where the user is able to navigate and get desired actions completed quickly, easily and fluently and there are clear calls to action.

What is ID:

  • ID “elicits a certain behavior”.
  • “UX folks create the underlying framework and skeleton and logic of a site, and work very closely with the designers, to make it not only beautiful, but usable, too.”
  • “Interaction design (IxD) is a professional discipline that illuminates the relationship between people and the interactive products they use. While interaction design has a firm foundation in the theory, practice, and methodology of traditional design, its focus is on defining the complex dialogues that occur between people and interactive devices of many types—from computers to mobile communications devices to appliances.”
  • “Interaction designers strive to create useful and usable products and services. Following the fundamental tenets of user-centered design, the practice of interaction design is grounded in an understanding of real users—their goals, tasks, experiences, needs, and wants. Approaching design from a user-centered perspective, while endeavoring to balance users’ needs with business goals and technological capabilities, interaction designers provide solutions to complex design challenges, and define new and evolving interactive products and services.”

What is Experience Design:

It is most often described as the umbrealla of ID, Usability, IA, Design, etc.

“(XD) is the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments with a focus placed on the quality of the user experience and culturally relevant solutions, with less emphasis placed on increasing and improving functionality of the design.[1] An emerging discipline, experience design attempts to draw from many sources including cognitive psychology and perceptual psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, architecture and environmental design, haptics, hazard analysis, product design, information design, information architecture, ethnography, brand management, interaction design, service design, storytelling, heuristics, and design thinking.”

For more information on this discipline, please visit the Interaction Design Association: http://www.ixda.org/


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