All posts about
Interaction design

Interaction design defines the structure and content of communication between two or more interactive “beings” to understand each other. (source: Wikipedia)

Interaction design for the internet of things

And all the other UX disciplines for the IoT as well.

“While the technological development around this area is indeed fascinating, it is from my perspective even more interesting to see where this will take interaction design over the next few years. From an interaction design perspective, it is always interesting to explore what this digital material can do for us in terms of enabling new user experiences and the development of new digital services.”

(Mikael Wiberg ~ ACM Interactions Magazine)

Managing website accounts in cross-platform contexts

Functionalities and features across touchpoints. Compare and contrast.

“So you want to extend your website’s account management features to mobile devices. Well you’re not alone; most major websites today have cross-platform accounts and profiles that make for a more engaging and cohesive user experience. And many sites enable account management features on mobile devices.”

(Will Hacker a.k.a. @willhacker ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Defining and sculpting interactions between man and technology

Design in a rollercoaster (against) due to technology disruption.

“Technology extends our grasp, making it possible for us to achieve our goals rapidly and efficiently; but it also places its own set of demands upon us. The fields of industrial design, graphic design, and software user experience design have all evolved in response to these demands – a need for a human way to relate to and interact with our new tools.”

(Jenn Webb a.k.a. @JennWebb ~ Radar O’Reilly)

First principles of interaction design (revised & expanded)

Update of a seminal post towards our new technological, social and economic reality.

“This is a huge revision. I expect I have made mistakes. Please leave corrections and suggestions in the Comments at the end. If you have better examples than I’m using, please include them as well, but give me enough information about them, including links or cites, that I can make use of them. This revision features new examples and discussion involving mobile, wearables, and Internet-connected smart devices. However, the naming and organization remains the same except for three changes: I have shortened the name of one principle to extend its reach: ‘Color Blindness’ is now simply Color and includes more than just color blindness. I’ve added one new principle, Aesthetics, and brought back two old principles, Discoverability and Simplicity. I dropped them from the list more than a decade ago when they had ceased to be a problem. Problems with Discoverability, in particular, have come roaring back. What has changed greatly is the level of detail: You will find many new sub-principles within each category, along with far more explanation, case studies, and examples.”

(Bruce Tognazzini)

We need a revolution in software interaction design

Solutions always will create new problems, wicked ones this time.

“Apple and Google will not provide it. They are too big. They are not the solution. They are the problem. This revolution will probably come from some unsuspecting source, like the Maker Movement, or an independent group of people or company that is manufacturing physical goods. (…) we need to return to natural affordances that are as intuitive as putting a spoon in a bowl or carving the bark off a stick. The more natural the affordance, the less arbitrary the design. Designers will have to be less cocky, more reverent to human nature and physical nature. When real physical things start dictating how we interact with software, the playing field will be different. And software interaction designers will have to fully understand natural affordances, and design for them. That’s a revolution I can get behind.”

(Jeffrey Ventrella ~ JJ Ventrella Thing)

Languaging reality, dialogue and interaction

Language, the most important instrument to communicate, interact and view the world.

“In his keynote, Klaus will distinguish four theories from the philosophy of language and elaborate on dialogical conceptions of how reality comes to be constructed. To him, languaging – the process of conversing in language – is a creative and fundamentally socio-cultural practice. Language does not merely describe, it creates realities in conversations and actions. Dialogical conceptions raise doubts in several common epistemological assumptions. Questioning them could open possibilities of seeing interaction design in a new way.”

(Klaus Krippendorff ~ Interaction14 videos)

Slow change interaction design

Slow food for thought for UX and interaction designers.

“This article sketches a theory of slow change interaction design as one way for designers to approach what we will call slow change problems-attitudinal and behavioral changes that are difficult to initiate and sustain. Those familiar with persuasive technology will recognize the theoretical foundation atop which slow change interaction design sits. The domains of persuasive technology and captology cast sufficiently wide nets as “the research, design, and analysis of interactive computing technologies created with the purpose of changing people’s attitudes or behaviors or both without using coercion or deception”. Slow change falls within these domains. Importantly, however, slow change offers evolved perspectives, or lenses, on the ethical, temporal, and systemic thinking that any designer should adopt in slow change interaction design practice.”

(Martin Siegel and Jordan Beck ~ ACM Interactions Magazine Jan-Feb 2014)

Advancing the practice of IxD through better education

Formal education and curriculums of design for UX, interaction or information architecture has been a neglected area for years.

“For the inaugural event, we brought together 25 people interested in education to listen to provocations from educators within different contexts and then to workshop around those same provocations. Although the outcomes were not as I had hoped, I do think it was a successful and well-timed event. I didn’t even know that the hosts of the next year’s Interaction conference were already thinking along the same lines and wanted to lead their own initiative. So we coupled our talents together to help prepare this year’s event with lessons learned from the previous year and we have prepared an amazing single-day event for people interested in the intersection of education and interaction design around the world.”

(Dave Malouf a.k.a. @daveixd ~ Core77)

How emotional design can give your website much more impact

Go Flin, go!

“While emotional design isn’t currently in scope of many (corporate) interaction design projects, it should be. Because interaction design is about how it works. You can interpret this in many ways, but we think ‘how it works’ also means what your product ‘does’ with the user, i.e. how it feels. In this article I’ll give you an idea of the potential of emotional design. We’ll be looking at copywriting and visuals but especially looking at interaction, since we’re interaction designers.”

(Flin Nortier a.k.a. @flin84 ~ The Next Web)

Opportunities and challenges for touch and gesture-based systems

“Touch. Sweet touch. You’ve given me too much to feel. Sweet touch. You’ve almost convinced me I’m real.”

“(…) getting the technology to work is hard, but the really hard part is getting the human-system interaction right, making it easy for people to use the systems. Here are the issues. Touch and sensing technology is becoming more and more popular, whether it is on mobile telephones and tablets, navigation systems, or even cooking appliances. These give great opportunities, and of course, great opportunities also pose great challenges. Some are technical, but more and more they are interaction and design challenges – how to ensure that the capabilities of the technology are well matched to the needs and capabilities of the people who use them.”

(Donald A. Norman & Bahar Wadia ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Steampunking interaction design

A kind of out-of-place and out-of-time way of designing.

“Contemporary Steampunk culture owes much to the Internet and the communities of practice that have arisen online to share techniques, post tutorials, debate principles, and generally create an ecosystem that supports and celebrates improvisation, exploration, experimentation, and bricolage.”

(Joshua Tanenbaum, Audrey Desjardins, Karen Tanenbaum ~ ACM Interactions May/June 2013)

Jack of all trades, master of none: Danger for interaction design

Wondering why it’s ‘User Experience’ but Interaction Design.

“Interaction design is a young field. At least, that’s what we as interaction designers keep telling ourselves. And of course, in comparison to many other fields we are respectfully young. But I get the feeling that we use it more as an excuse to permit ourselves to have an unclear definition of who we are – and who we aren’t.”

(Jeroen van Geel ~ Core77)

The grammar of interactivity

Like all (visual) languages, digital has its own version of morphology, syntaxis, and semantics to communicate with humans. Grammar included.

“User experience design calls for us to write words on buttons all the time – but how do we know whether we’re choosing the right ones? Linguistics may provide a clue. What follows is a simple test to check whether your calls to action ‘work’ linguistically as well as a guide to consider the grammar of your experience elements.”

(Jonathan Richards a.k.a. @jonnyrichards ~ UX Booth)

Media studies, mobile augmented reality, and interaction design

Integrating, relating, and syncing multiple important fields of practice and disciples always results into something interesting.

“McLuhan’s idea is compelling, but media aesthetics is not as simple and singular as McLuhan suggests. It is not simply that technology changes and extends our perceptual systems, because we are not passive in this process. As individuals and as a whole culture, we create new technological forms and designs that define new relationships between us and our environment. There is a feedback loop in which our view of the world changes our designs, and our use of new artifacts and designs changes how we perceive the world. If we take a historical view, we can see these feedback processes at work. Media studies can then contribute to aesthetic design, which we can define as the practice of reconfiguring the way the user perceives her environment through technology.”

(Jay Bolter, Maria Engberg, and Blair MacIntyre ~ ACM Interactions Jan/Feb 2013)

When You Shouldn’t Use Fitts’s Law To Measure User Experience

Fitts’ law is a principle for UI design; not an evaluation method for UX.

“The key statement of Fitts’s Law is that the time required to move a pointing device to a target is a function of the distance to the target and its size. In layman’s terms: the closer and larger a target, the faster it is to click on that target. This is easy to understand, not too difficult to implement and it doesn’t seem to make much sense to contradict such a simple and obvious statement.”

(Anastasios Karafillis ~ Smashing Magazine)

Collecting Payment Information Within a Single Input

Micro-design for the best payment experience.

“For years the advice for mobile designers has been to avoid text input. Screens are small, fingers are imprecise, and so errors happen. But at the same time mobile devices are always with us, always on, and always connected. So instead of trying to limit input we should be encouraging it and taking steps to ensure it’s easy to provide accurately. Enter input masks.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @LukeW)