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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.



Career Resources

Folks on the Interaction Design Discussionion mailing list posted some tips and Web sites helpful in conducting a job search.

IxDA Resource Library (2005). Careers>Usability>Mailing Lists>Interaction Design


Case Study: Getting Hardboiled with CSS3 2D Transforms

In this example we’ll use CSS3 two-dimensional transforms to add realism to a row of hardboiled private detectives’ business cards.

Clarke, Andy. Typekit Blog (2011). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>CSS


Case Study: National Park Foundation Micro Site

Modernista! teamed up with FL2 to design and develop a micro site for the National Park Foundation that coincided with Modernista!’s broadcast campaign supporting the Ken Burns PBS documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The site provides a destination for users to explore the National Parks, make a personal contribution, and most importantly share it with others—reinforcing the sense of collective ownership, pride and responsibility of our National Parks System.

Brady, Tracy and Matt FaJohn. AIGA (2009). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Case Studies


Content Overlay with CSS

Here's the problem: you have a container with some content in it like an image along with some initial descriptive text. Then, when users hover their mouse over the container, a hidden container is revealed to present additional information over top of the current information but in a way that retains content from the original container.

Snook, Jonathan. Snook.ca (2008). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Interaction Design


El Control de la Interacción

La interacción en un elemento clave en la adquisición de conocimiento. Depende básicamente de dos factores: tiempo y control. En el artículo anterior hablamos del primero. En éste consideramos la importancia del control y las técnicas para llevarlo a cabo.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2003). (Spanish) Design>Web Design>Interaction Design


Review: Convergence and Emergence: 2008 IA Summit

The 2008 IA Summit was held April 10–14, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, Florida, shown in Figure 1. It had the highest attendance in the conference’s nine-year history: Over 600 people signed up for the conference run by ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science and Technology). All the signs are that information architecture (IA) is a community and a practice that is growing, and that its sister disciplines—interaction design (IxD) and experience design—are well-represented at the conference—not just in terms of attendees, but also speakers.

Kelway, James. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Reviews>Information Design>Interaction Design


The Convivio Network

the European Thematic Network for the human-centered design of interactive technologies. Convivio supports and promotes the development of "convivial technologies", ICT products, systems and services that enhance the quality of everyday life and human interaction.

Convivio. Organizations>Human Computer Interaction>Interaction Design>Regulation


Cr@p Error Messages

When writing software, *please* don't give error messages that are only meaningful to developers of the software. Microsoft used to be awful for this: "System fault at DEAD:BEEF, please contact your system administrator". Which would've been cool, except that I *was* the system administrator.

Bailey, Jeff. LiveJournal (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>User Experience


Creating Modular Interactive User Interfaces with JavaScript

Discover a technique that lets you move sections of a Web page using drag-and-drop functions. Different aspects of the interactivity are implemented separately and then composed into a unified whole, allowing for flexible customization that can make your Web users very happy.

Travis, Greg. IBM (2008). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>JavaScript


Critic to Creator: Recognizing Good Design

All too often, people in our field focus so much on pointing out the egregious interaction design mistakes that make it to market, we forget to pay attention to the good design that exists. Not only does it make our profession look bad if we are always complaining, but it also makes us less effective.

Calde, Steve. Cooper Interaction Design (2003). Articles>Usability>User Centered Design>Interaction Design


CSS Attribute Selectors: How and Why You Should Be Using Them

Today we’re going to learn about Attribute Selectors. What are they? How do I use them? What are the new CSS3 Attribute selectors? We’ll answer these questions and more.

Johnson, Joshua. Design Shack (2011). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Interaction Design


CSS Sprites: Useful Technique, or Potential Nuisance?

Ah, the ubiquitous CSS sprites — one of the few web design techniques that was able to bypass “trend” status almost instantly, planting itself firmly into the category of best practice CSS. In this article, I’m going to discuss some of the pros and cons of using CSS sprites, focusing particularly on the use of “mega” sprites, and why such use of sprites could in many cases be a waste of time.

Lazaris, Louis. Smashing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>CSS


Depth vs Breadth in the Arrangement of Web Links

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of depth and breadth of web site structure on the user response time.

Mtei, Lianaeli and Panayiotis Zaphiris. SHORE (1997). Design>Web Design>Human Computer Interaction>Usability


The Design and Display of Simple Interactions on Mobile Devices

Users visit mobile sites not only to consume content, but to get things done. Let’s take air travel as an example: tasks that users often find themselves performing on an airline company’s mobile site include checking flight status, checking in for a particular flight, and searching for and booking a flight. How does mobile user interface design support task completion? What are the optimal ways of communicating and displaying interactions on mobile sites? With the aim of discovering optimal ways of designing simple interactions on mobile devices, I examined the task of checking flight status. I’m hoping that my analysis sheds some light on this topic.

Ma, Shanshan. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Mobile


Design Decisions vs. Audience Considerations

Deep down below the layers of interface, CSS, HTML, and XML—down where only the geekiest among us roam—everything comes down to this: it’s all zeroes and ones. On or off. The digital switch Though interaction and conversion becomes a bit more complicated at the point the interface meets the visitor, though there are a few more shades of gray, in the end it comes down to the same thing: yes or no.

Ragle-Davis, Robin. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Audience Analysis


Design Essentials for Non-Designers

This tutorial is intended for practitioners who have come to interaction design from a research, psychology, information architecture, or other non-design background. It focuses on what happens after the requirements are done and before you build your first prototype. Design fields such as graphic arts, architecture, and industrial design have long-standing practices for innovative design, and these apply well to interaction design.

Schrag, John and Ian Hooper. Designing the User Experience at Autodesk (2009). Design>User Experience>Interaction Design


Design for Effective Support of User Intentions in Information-Rich Interactions   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

With the rise of Web pages providing interactive support for problem-solving or providing large amounts of information on which a person is expected to act, designers and writers need to consider how a person interacts with increasingly complex information-rich environments and how they intend to use the information. This article examines some of the theory underlying why people make errors early in the problem-solving process when they form an intention. Since these errors are cognitively-based and occur before any physical action, it is harder to analyze their cause or incorporate changes to reduce them in a design. It examines factors which contribute to user errors and which designers and writers must consider to produce documents which reduce user errors in forming intentions.

Albers, Michael J. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interaction Design>Cognitive Psychology


Design for Interaction: Ideation and Design Principles

Once you’ve come up with tons of ideas, how do you choose which ones are worth pursuing? You use a set of design principles that will not only help select the best ideas, but guide the design through refinement, prototyping, development, and beyond. But first, let’s diverge and come up with concepts.

Saffer, Dan. Johnny Holland (2009). Design>User Experience>Interaction Design


Design Is a Process, Not a Methodology

Provides an overview of a product design process, then discusses some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2010). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design>Collaboration


Designing for B2B and Enterprise Applications

It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about the poor user experience of some B2B and enterprise applications. Read through these top tips to help you design enterprise applications that offer a better user experience and increase productivity.

Baxevanis, Alexander. Webcredible (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>User Experience


Review: Designing for Interaction

Dan Saffer's Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices was an ambitious undertaking. In fewer than 300 pages, he has attempted to cover the history, current practice, and notions about the future of the rapidly evolving discipline of interaction design (IxD). Whether you are simply curious about interaction design, are entering the profession yourself, or are collaborating with an interaction designer, Designing for Interaction is a good place to start your journey down the road of interaction design.

Frishberg, Leo. UXmatters (2006). Articles>Reviews>Interaction Design


Designing for Interactivity: Role Models, Guides, and Coaches   (PDF)

This paper presents three methods of user assistance: role models (simple demonstrations), guides (structured walk-throughs), and coaches (active assistants). After a brief introduction, potential uses, available development tools, and additional information sources are discussed for each method.

DeLoach, Scott. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Documentation>Help>Interaction Design


Designing for the Unexpected: The Role of Creative Group Work for Emerging Interaction Design Paradigms   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Interaction design for new technological environments relies on the tradition of human-computer interaction (HCI). With roots in the 1980s, HCI design paradigms often reflect the setting in which the user is an office worker in front of a desktop computer. As computational power can now be embedded in almost any type of product, the desktop setting has lost much of its relevance as a starting point for interface design. In particular, interfaces for wearable computing challenge designers to look for completely new approaches to interaction design. In this article, we propose a method in which the ideas for new creative forms of interaction design are triggered through panel work. This method draws on an underpinning theoretical framework from structural semiotics that emphasizes the holistic nature of design.

Pirhonen, Antti and Emma Murphy. Visual Communication (2008). Articles>Collaboration>Interaction Design


Designs We Love To Hate!

Selections of 'least favorite' designs from graduate students of the George Mason University Department of Psychology.

Mintz, Farilee. Usability Interface (2006). Design>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design


Devilish Details: Best Practices in Web Design   (PDF)

Visual and interaction design for successful e-commerce Web sites and Web-based applications requires meticulous attention to detail. Because the smallest matters can ruin the user experience, an orderly process--such as usage-centered design--guided by robust principles is needed; iterative testing and repetitive redesign is inadequate to find and address all the diverse matters needing attention. This paper reviews basic principles and then surveys best practices in the detailed aspects of Web design in three broad areas: details of architecture or organization, details of interaction design, and details relating to commercial activity, especially shopping. Specific recommendations in each area are offered as examples of best practices based on usage-centered principles.

Constantine, Larry L. Constantine and Lockwood (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Interaction Design



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