As part of Information Architecture, Interaction Design is in charge of defining the user experience, or how the user should navigate throughout the site to find and use all the site contents and services. In other words, Interaction Design helps to explain why a person, having two sites with the same kind of information tends to use a service (i.e. “Send to a Friend” or subscriptions) in one site more than the other. The reason is usually that even when sites offer the same contents and services it’s easier to find and use them on the site with better Interaction Design.
There are several rules, methods and techniques involved in this practice and it’s very simple to produce them depending on how deep you want to go in your design. There are some common formats to show in an Interaction Design Set:
And there are useful tools to create these designs:
- Paper, scissors and a pencil (sometimes works better)
- Sticky Notes
- Magnetic Sheets and markers
- Vector and image applications (Illustrator, Photoshop, Fireworks)
- Web Development tools
- Prototyping tools (Visio, Omnigraffle, Axure)
And finally, the first and the last thing you have to keep in mind for Interaction Design: The end user. Interaction Design ensures that the end user will find all he needs in a logical and simple way. This means that all you design must be relevant in terms of how useful the contents are to the site and how easy the end user will get access to them. A well designed Interaction Set is reflected in the amount of visits to your site, the comments from users and anything they buy and share.
And here’s a good site with some cool examples of Interaction Design techniques 🙂