What is Interaction Design?

Lecture pod 1 introduces interaction design and explores the basics of interaction and interactivity. This pod defines the term interaction and covers aspects of interaction design from what designers need to consider when designing interactions and how important interaction design is. The pod explores some of these aspects with interviews from well known designers, Bill Verplank and Gillian Crampton Smith.

What is Interaction and Interaction Design?

Interaction design crosses over with a wide range of disciplines including graphic design therefore as designers it is important to gain a good understanding on the role interaction design plays and what interaction design is. To completely understand what interaction design is, it is important to first understand what interaction is. Interaction is anything that we engage with, this can include people, books, technology and basically any form of media. Essentially interaction design is the design of interactive products that support people in their everyday lives. According to Gillian Crampton Smith interview in Bill Moggridge’s ‘Designing Interactions’ (2007) “Interaction design involves designing the behaviour and quality of something that is interactive”.

What to consider when designing interactions

According to Bill Verplank you should always ask three questions when you are designing interactions:

  • How do you feel?
  • How do you do?
  • How do you know?

These questions allow the designer to step into the users position and therefore gain a better understanding of how to design for the user e.g. how does the user do a certain action? Do they need to press a particular button? Do they need to tap somewhere on the screen? Concluding from Bill Verplank’s interview and the lecture pod as a whole, to design interactions a designer must focus on designing for people and design interactions for the experience of others.

Image right – S, C. (n.d.). [Bill draws as he talks for his interview in 2001. Photo Craig Syverson]. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from  http://www.designinginteractions.com/interviews/BillVerplank

Image left – [Bill Verplank’s explanation of interaction design]. (2015, March 4). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/03/03/the-5-pillars-of-interaction-design/#.tnw_QQnlQQny

Most important idea from this pod

Interaction design is infused into our everyday lives so it is important for designers to understand interaction design as a whole and most importantly a designer must understand people and their experiences to create effective designs.