The Principles of Interaction Design
Interaction Design and other related stuffs of different use and purposes are very much in demand nowadays. It is something that satisfies and helps us in many of our needs; the one click away technology has been a huge answer, bringing huge advantages in making an easier and more awesome life. But do you know that before an interactive design can be launch, use or transferred to the web, it undergoes series of procedures, brainstorming, researches, trial and errors, and coding?. Never did we realize that these magnificent interfaces which beautifies our lives undergone series of tests before it makes it to our eyes, we just thought that these were just an addition to the many websites out there and not by far different from those websites, another product of somebody’s clever mind with better interface that will compete to the market and will set the new standards for interaction design. For most of us who have a good foundation for html coding and conceptualization, this thingy is just a piece of cake, but are you sure that your design follows certain points to consider or the so-called “principles” to make sure that your product will make it to the market? Or better yet, are you confident enough to say that your design will pass these “principles”?
There are 5 Principles of Interaction Design, and there is this one which we all could consider the most important. In Interaction Design, we should always observe 1) Consistency, 2) Perceivability, 3) Learnability, 4) Predictability, and 5) Feedback; but with the observance of these principles, are you sure that your site is useful?
Consistency is not simply #1 because of alphabetical considerations of some sort but is first on the list because this principally aims to set the mood and more likely, the trust as well of the viewer to your site. Your interface should have a consistent flow of navigation that won’t get your viewers confused, most people notice changes easily and this attracts unwanted attention. Changes such as those in the setup of drop downs, positioning of each button, or maybe even colors and typefaces should be avoided. We can somehow relate consistency to perceivability. Perceivability deals with the interaction by perceiving through the senses such as that of visual cues, auditory, etc. This somehow involves the systems of hyperlinks and CSS; perhaps whenever you move your mouse all through the interface, there are reactions such as those that suggest or inform you that it is a button or a hyperlink, that surely makes an interaction as it suggest clicking for further information or to learn more. Consistency can highly affect Perceivability because if on the first place the developer fails to make a consistent navigation, the viewer might not perceive interactive cues. Learnability is pretty much a basic thing; it is just about making interaction simpler and easier. My professor told us that you are a good interactive designer if your grandma can understand and use your design. Predictability, on the other hand, is all about “setting accurate expectations” and can actually be inclined to consistency and learnability. Consistent outcome and process! Something we can predict because we know the systems and it has one and the same outcome. A simpler interface means easier to learn system that once we get the logic, we can actually predict the answer to every move, what to do on matters that confuses you, and what to do to achieve a certain outcome. After all these, there is this one that will validate all the efforts, Feedback. Feedback is the most crucial and definitely the most important part of an interactive project. Your project is primarily about interaction, and without feedback I don’t think you get to attain your goals. But above these 5 principles, the Usability of your product will rise and will be the downstream of your project. Usability covers how useful and how easy to use your output was. And its general law which is “Don’t make me think” I guess says it all, attaining this rule could give multiple benefits such as increase in productivity, decrease training and support costs, increase enrollment, reduce development, and reduce maintenance. Usability can also cover the flexibility of your design as people of today don’t limit themselves with the faculties of the computer, but uses numerous forms of gadgets plus its flexibility to all types of people: young or old, rich or poor, educated or not, disabled or not.
All these principles are important and useful most especially in the planning stage. These can do no wrong; it will actually make a firm stand for your technical skills and thorough understanding of the field. Its perfection and mastery will take some time but definitely is worth the ride. This surely is good foundation and a real-deal pressure to my ass.