Friday, December 14, 2007

Interaction Design

Interaction Design:This is what I am specializing in since more than a year. The course though is for a duration of 2 years I think it's not enough for anybody to get all the knowledge of interaction design in this small time span. Interaction Design brings the actual user into picture, his/her aspirations which are directly or indirectly connected with the product and his/her consequent reactions to the products. As an interaction designer you always have to keep few things in mind while designing any product

Give user the command
When a user is operating some product he/she doesn't want to feel fool. They want to master it in the minimum cycles possible. So if your product is fairly complex to understand the user will no longer remain attached to it (unless that his/her job). Giving user the required command to play around with the system and get surprises (not in terms of warning/alert boxes but as helps and wow things) will keep them engaged playing with it. And this will constructively develop the database in the mind of user.

Give the product a wow factor
Unless the product or system surprises user in some sense they are going to feel bored about it. According to Information theory proposed by Shanon, unpredictable things are interesting and vice-versa. Hence if on a website the layout changes everytime a user lands on the home page, the website becomes interesting. But then it has also to help user retain his/her prior knowledge about the system and use it. So the unpredictive part has to aid the prior knowledge to grow knowledge of user about the system.

"Design is not only how it looks, it's how it works"-Steve Jobs
Making your product visually appealing will get the half work done that is bring user to your product. But the main task of retaining him/her to user your product will be handled by how have to designed the system of your product. That is how the user is going to interact with the system and get desired output. Here the desired output should be approximately equivalent to actual output. And that's where the user experience design comes into picture. It's not just about how a user feels about the product at the surface level but how he/she will feel about it for subsequent usages. Will the experience dry up on later use or it'll grow or it'll stay as it was on first use are some of the things to be taken into mind.

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