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Interaction Design

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Interaction Design is a field and approach to designing interactive experiences. These could be in any medium, not only digital media. Interactive experiences, necessarily, require time as an organizing principle (though not exclusively) and Interactive Design is concerned with a user, customer, audience, or participant's experience flow through time. Interactivity should not be confused with animation in which objects may move on a screen; interactivity is concerned with being part of the action of a system or performance and not merely watching the action passively.



Using Tables and DHTML for Menus

Dynamic HTML can be used inventively in many ways. Here's a simple way in which tables and DHTML can be used together to provide a menu function. The technique may be used in a frameset, but to keep things simple, we are going to use the table to control 'targets' in an inline frame (or IFRAME).

Self, Tony. HyperWrite (2005). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>DHTML


Using Wikis to Document UI Specifications

The role of the interaction designer is to specify the interface’s behaviors and elements, so that engineers know what to build and how the product should operate. This documentation is commonly known as a UI specification or UI spec. There are several applications for authoring a UI spec, with wikis being a relatively new tool. However, designers should be aware of a wiki’s benefits and drawbacks for documentation, since UI specs uniquely reflect a project and its context. The documentation needs are often based on the size of the project, launch date, team dynamics, audience, technology, and the product development process. The development process usually plays a major role in how teams interact and how work is completed or delivered, thus, there is a direct relationship between the UI spec and the process the team is using.

Gremett, Peter. Boxes and Arrows (2009). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design>Functional Specifications


Visio - The Interaction Designer's Nail Gun

The reason why Visio is the favourite prototyping tool of many interaction designers is because of its ready-made interface objects, you can drag-and-drop onto pages and its ability to link pages together and export them as web pages. But what distinguishes Visio from other prototyping tools is its use of layered backgrounds.

Olsen, Henrik. GUUUI (2002). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Interaction Design


Visio: The Interaction Designer's Nail Gun (2nd Edition)

This is a second edition of the article on using Visio for rapid prototyping for the web. The new edition includes a new and improved version of the GUUUI Prototyping Tool for Visio 2003.

Olsen, Henrik. GUUUI (2006). Articles>Information Design>Interaction Design>Visio


Want to know what’s RED HOT? Adobe Flex

I am not going to insult your intellence and try to teach you how to use Adobe Flex because frankly, I am just learning. Over the past few months, every major project and intitiative I’ve heard about has components built using Adobe Flex. With the emergence of Flash as a usable technology and ActionScript as a top notch coding language, Adobe Flex has quickly become the hottest new tool in ubertrendy web development circles.

Robbins, Kyle. ReEncoded (2008). Articles>Web Design>Flash>Interaction Design


WAP and Accountability: Shortcomings of the Mobile Internet as an Interactional Problem   (peer-reviewed)

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is designed to allow access to the Internet on a mobile phone. Attempts to explain its limited success have focused on attitudinal and cognitive reasons for non-use, finding that although people recognize the benefits of WAP, issues like lack of content, privacy concerns, and reference group behavior account for non-use. Such explanations have also been incomplete in that they have not addressed problems related to actual use and interaction with the technology. Our article studies the use of WAP as situated action. We focus on how users make sense of WAP pages and how they disambiguate in situ the responses from the service, i.e., new pages and new menus. Our method of transcribing videos of WAP use following the conventions of conversation analysis offers a cost-effective tool for understanding user interaction with technology and provides useful implications for design.

Koskinen, Ilpo, Petteri Repo and Kaarina Hyvönen. Journal of Usability Studies (2006). Design>Web Design>Mobile>Interaction Design


We Got Sick of Hearing About Design and China, So we Got on a Plane and Went There

There has certainly been a great deal of speculation lately regarding the real or perceived rise of Chinese industrial design. We say 'perceived rise' to emphasize that their impending world domination in this field is not a foregone conclusion, despite the frequent flurries of listserve chatter and design-conference panel discussions supporting such a notion.

Tharp, Bruce M. and Stephanie Munson. uiGarden (2006). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>China


Web 2.0 - Nothing New?

Web 2.0 defines a second phase of development of websites, its architecture and its functionality.

Information Architects Japan (2006). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design


Web 2.0: A Very Short Introduction

A profound change is happening on the cutting-edge of web development: we are relinquishing control of information. No longer are sites working independently from each other; no longer is information sitting in isolation with no interaction between sites. Rather, the best web programmers are now creating sites that allow information to be reused anywhere.

Mercurytide (2005). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Social Networking


Web 2.0: Mistaking the Forest for the Trees?

Think of Web 2.0 as more of a concept than a person, place or thing and you'll find firmer ground. Even better, spend some quality time with O'Reilly's lengthy essay. Finally, keep in mind that the lion's share of Web 2.0 discussion is from a technological perspective; it hasn't yet filtered down to the information architecture, interaction design and similar discussion lists.

Rogers, David J. GotoMedia (2006). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Interaction Design


Web 3.0

To you who are toiling over an AJAX- and Ruby-powered social software product, good luck, God bless, and have fun. Remember that 20 other people are working on the same idea.

Zeldman, Jeffrey. List Apart, A (2006). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>Ajax


Web Anatomy: Introducing Interaction Design Frameworks

If we simply look at what's already working well, and why, we can give ourselves two things we desperately need: a starting point for the design, and insight into to how to create better-stronger-faster interactions that are just as easy to use as the old classics.

Hoekman, Robert, Jr. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design>Planning


Web Credibility Destroyers

When users visit your web site, their immediate impression of its credibility is based on appearance, colors, text fonts. Then, as they explore your site, other factors contribute to its credibility impact. Lose users here, and they probably will never return.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


Web Interactivity: Connecting People and Knowledge

We humans are wired to seek interaction with other people. Complex language and reasoning powers support your interactive nature. Your brain can retrieve and store unlimited amounts of information from everyday interactions and use that information to think, analyze, and solve complex problems.

Girolami, Frank. Between the Lines (2007). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>User Centered Design


Web Site Designs: Influences of Designer's Expertise and Design Constraints    (PDF)

Nowadays, much research examines both the cognitive difficulties encountered by web site users and the development of ergonomic guidelines for designers. However, few studies examine designers’ cognitive functioning while designing web sites. We defend the idea that determining the difficulties web site designers encounter is necessary to better support their design activities, especially in making web sites easier to use. We present an experimental study that demonstrates that the designers’ levels of expertise (novice and professional) as well as the design constraints that clients prescribe influences both the number and the nature of constraints designers articulate and respect in their web site designs. Based on our study findings, we suggest ways to better support web site designers.

Chevaliera, Aline and Melody Y. Ivory. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, The (2003). Design>Human Computer Interaction


Well-Behaved DHTML: A Case Study

It’s no secret that over the last few years DHTML has been used almost exclusively for evil purposes. Users associate the technology with intrusive advertisements and error-prone pages, while developers associate it with browser detection and hideous hacks.

Boodman, Aaron. SitePoint (2003). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>DHTML


What Does 'Rich' Mean?

Amid the current hype of Web 2.0, rich has become the de facto buzzword suggesting fresh, sexy digital products, often marked by glossy buttons with AJAX-driven behaviors. But what does rich mean to a UI (user interface) designer who wants to craft intelligent, compelling, and memorable interactions? Given current digital and technological trends, today's UI designers must deepen their understanding of richness. Such an effort will strengthen designers' vocabularies (adding legitimacy and weight to client discussions), and enable designers to temper judgment when it comes to applying rich capabilities.

Gajendar, Uday. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design


What is Interaction Design History?

I’m fascinated by the earlier history of punchcards and mainframes, green screen CRTs and command line interfaces, precisely because that process of shaping the machine to think and talk more like we do was more formative and more raw. And while many (if not most) of the decisions that went into the design of early computing systems were based on the memory and processor requirements of the physical machine, engineers were also making decisions aimed at making the device easier to use. Separate out the aspects that are focused purely on hardware limitations, and the history of punched cards, programming languages and mainframe operating systems is as important to the history of the discipline as the mouse, the GUI, or the touchscreen.

McGrane, Karen. Karen McGrane (2010). Articles>History>Interaction Design


What Is Social Interaction Design?

What is SxD? Design of social media. It involves all web design disciplines: User Interface, Interaction design, Experience design, and Information Architecture. Social media include networked applications that permit direct and indirect, private and public communication and interaction. Social media platforms may be computer-based or mobile, even game platforms.

Chan, Adrian. SlideShare (2006). Presentations>Social Networking>Interaction Design


What Puts the Design in Interaction Design

Interaction design lies at the junction of several design disciplines. The resulting crossover between various specialties and issues is often muddled, understandably. There is no doubt that interaction design, as a design discipline, differs from applied human-computer interaction and cognitive psychology. These distinctions are omnipresent in the current literature.

Silver, Kevin. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design


What's Wrong with (Almost) All Web Sites

The vast majority of web sites commit usability and design violations that make it hard for users to find relevant content and functions. These problems are not difficult to diagnose or remedy. How many of these "user crimes" is your web site guilty of committing?

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>User Interface>Interaction Design


Where Do Product Managers Fit?

People often ask how interaction designers should fit into their companies. If the company cannot take good advantage of it, the most brilliant interaction design in the world won't help as much as simple, workmanlike interaction design will benefit a company that uses that design well.

Korman, Jonathan. Internet Corner (2004). Design>Project Management>Interaction Design


Who Watches the Watchman?

The watchclock is another kind of interaction design, one whose function corrals the user into a single, linear, constrained sort of behavior. The night watchman has a fundamental social constraint — the desire to not get fired from their job. This constraint allows the watchclock patrol system to work so effectively (some would say insidiously) as an interaction design instrument of control.

Fahey, Christopher. Graphpaper (2009). Articles>User Experience>Management>Interaction Design


Winning Considerations for Interactive Content

User interface designers have more interactive options than ever for presenting content. So, we can make meaningful strides toward offering users the right content in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount. However, these rich options for interactively presenting content also come with a challenge.

Jones, Colleen. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design


XML in the Browser: Submitting Forms using AJAX

AJAX opens up enormous possibilities for Web applications simply by allowing HTTP requests to be made in the background asynchronously (while other scripts on the page run and other user activity continues).

Root, Chris. Dev Articles (2005). Design>Web Design>Interaction Design>Ajax



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