What Is Interaction Design?

Interaction design is the process of thinking about how users will interact with a product and making necessary adjustments.

Written by Matthew Urwin
Published on Dec. 16, 2021
What Is Interaction Design?
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
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Trent Victor | Aug 11, 2022

Going beyond the product itself, designers must consider the needs and limitations of potential customers. A successful UX design depends on whether a product fulfills the preferences of its target audience. As a result, experienced teams will take the time to invest in a thoughtful interaction design strategy. 

What are the principles of interaction design?

Simplicity characterizes every aspect of a high-quality product, allowing customers to complete tasks with minimal effort.

Regardless of the product, the one thing all excellent products have in common is their simplified design. Users shouldn’t have to waste energy figuring out the functions of different features. A minimalist design offers a few buttons and clear directions, so people can accomplish tasks with only having to make one or two clicks. 

Companies striving for this streamlined experience will also appreciate terms like consistency and navigation. If a product is accessible on different devices, users should be able to follow the same steps for reaching certain goals. No matter the device, everyone should also know where to go to find the answers they’re looking for. Following basic interaction design principles will enable companies to deliver more satisfying experiences for customers. 

Why do we need interaction design?

By focusing on interaction design, businesses can deliver products that better support the needs of their target audiences.

A product holds little meaning if it doesn’t provide an enjoyable experience for customers, so companies should slow down and organize an interaction design plan. Interaction design compels teams to consider how potential customers benefit from their products. Conducting a heuristic analysis allows designers to locate shortcomings in their products and make improvements to cater to the needs of their users. 

When businesses emphasize interaction design, they build a strong foundation for their products moving forward. Mobile apps and other products that have undergone feedback-driven changes are likely to perform better the first time around. This approach leads to long-term success by avoiding costly mistakes and creating more happy buyers.

 

How do I become an interaction designer? 

Education gives aspiring interaction designers a clear advantage, but there are alternative paths for those looking to enter the field.

Many employers hiring for interaction design positions will prefer a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, but individuals have other options for gaining experience and skills. Bootcamps and LinkedIn courses serve as excellent pathways for those just starting out in interaction design. Once beginners have a well-rounded background, they can pursue internships and other entry-level opportunities.

To supplement experience with expertise, aspiring professionals can dive further in with relevant UX design podcasts. In a similar vein, keeping up with industry trends enables people to know what skills are most relevant to companies hiring for interaction designers. With an eye pointed toward the future, rising interaction designers can make smarter choices to attain essential skills and experiences for their careers.

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