Interaction design skills refer to the ability of an individual to connect the digital and the human world in a manner such that people can conveniently use as well as interact with digital devices/products such as computers, watches, phones, and even websites and games.
Interaction design skills, therefore, encompass the ability to incorporate well thought out behaviors in a system so that the interface created is engaging enough for users. This fundamentally requires the individuals involved to understand how the communication between users and technology takes place. Understanding the goals, experiences, needs and wants etc. of the users and figuring out a balance between these, the business goals, and the technological capabilities is the real task of an individual with interaction design skills.
Why is interaction design important
The significance of interaction design for businesses is very simple to understand. We are well aware of what businesses are constantly trying to achieve through their marketing efforts; creating their brand awareness by increasing visibility, retaining the customers by keeping them engaged with the brand, keeping the customer satisfied through extraordinary customer services, and the like. All of this requires us to interact with customers very frequently and through various touch points.
Interaction design plays its significant role when consumers use those various touch points to interact and engage with you. It gives you control over all such interactions to get your desired outcome. Every time they pick up their phone to get some information, log onto your website to order something, or use social media to make their opinions public, your customers are interacting with you and they are likely to let that experience affect their purchase decisions next time. Therefore, it is safe to say that with good interaction design skills you can take all this is your own hands.
How to improve interaction design skills
Following are some helpful tips for anyone who wishes to improve their interaction design skills:
- Focus on user needs. This may sound like the most obvious tip but it is a lot easier said than done. Being user centric is very important for improving your interaction design skills. For this purpose you must use the language and organize information as well as functions in a manner that is not only familiar to users but also enables them to perform the most important and frequent tasks easily. Doing so, however, requires you to understand who your audience/users really are, what challenges they face on a daily basis, and what is it that they need to learn. The better you understand their needs; the better you’ll be able to respond to them.
- Accommodate the users’ working memory. Typically, people are said to be capable of holding only 4-5 pieces of information at a time in their working memory. This fact must be kept in mind in order to refrain from creating a clutter in the name of design. The number of instructions or other elements that the users are required to keep in mind simultaneously should, thus, be limited accordingly.
- Users must be given hints. Understand that your user may not always know the right text or elements to click upon in order to begin or carry on with the interaction process. Ensure that through your design you highlight the click-able elements and help the users understand the consequence of their action.