Interaction Design

 

What are the elements of good interaction design?

In order to create a good website, it’s important to understand interaction design. Providing your visitors with an intuitive, user-friendly experience is a must. Your site should be more than just a generic online catalog of your services and/or products. Real users are visiting your site for a purpose, and you must figure out what that purpose is and address it with the design. In order to accomplish this, you must consider the user’s perspective when creating the design.

Some of the fundamentals of a good, interactive website include:

Usability

A user-friendly design is an absolute must for any type of web design. No matter how interactive your site is, nobody is going to stick around to use it if the usability is poor. This means that your site loads quickly on any screen, from a smartphone display to a large PC monitor or HDTV with internet support.

Defining what the user can do

HOW exactly is the user going to interact with the site’s interface? In order to create the site, you will need to answer this question. Define what they can do with their fingers on a touchscreen, stylus, mouse, clickpad on a laptop, etc.

Learnability

You don’t want to make the website too complicated for the average internet user to understand. Make the user’s end simplified. Decision time is affected by how easily and familiar a format is for users to follow. Too much information should not be chunked together in one spot. If visitors are not able to figure your site out quickly, they won’t stick around.

Personas

Creating user personas for a website helps to motivate users into taking certain actions. A persona is basically a fictional character/archetype that represents a certain type of consumer. In order to create these archetypes, you should start with a list of the various segments that your business deals with: volunteers, budget shoppers, activists, talkative Twitter followers, etc. Give them each a name and come up with a short background story for them.

Providing clues for actions

Some people might be reluctant to click on something if they are unsure of what will happen if they do. Let them know what will happen if they make the decision to go forward with a specific action. You can do this by adding a button or label as well as providing confirmation before they finalize an order or make a submission.

Experience maps

Experience maps are becoming more popular, as they allow for the capturing of complex customer interactions and help to build a seamless user experience. All of the conditions surrounding each interaction are chronicled.

Mitigating problems

There should be some constraints put in place to help prevent malfunctions. A good UX designer will think about potential errors and how to best mitigate them. What type of errors might a user experience while trying to perform an action on your site? What should you do to deal with these errors? Creating error messages as a way to explain why an error occurred and what (if anything) can be done to correct the error is ideal.

Keep these ideas in mind when developing interaction design, and you should be able to provide visitors with a good user experience. 

 

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