You have to know the SOP for interaction design in UX to make the design better A good interaction design process can be the difference between a successful product and one that just doesn’t catch on with users. but there are plenty of details to consider, including understanding how users think about your product, choosing a strong approach for interaction design, and making sure you’re being consistent with your visual design in the actual interactions you have with your users through the interface you build.
- Planning for interaction design
- Ideation of interaction design
- Prototyping for interaction design
- Validation for interaction design
The following standards of practice outline many best practices that will help guide you through an effective process. These can be incorporated into your existing UX process, or used to define and refine it if you don’t already have one in place.
SOP for interaction design in UX
Planning for interaction design
Interaction design is often a stepchild to visual and content creation. But it’s important not to underestimate how much thought goes into creating interactions. First, remember that there’s no real one-size-fits-all approach to getting from A to B — you need to understand your users, their needs, and how they behave on your website or app. You also have various tools at your disposal with which you can help users achieve their goals. If a user’s goal is straightforward (say, buying a pair of shoes), then maybe a full-screen takeover is what they need.
Sometimes, however, users’ goals are not straightforward. An example is what we at Adaptive Path refer to as trigger-action-result — or a more user-friendly way of saying multi-step tasks. One example would be checking out a product on an eCommerce site: Users need to select a size, enter shipping information and then finally go through to payment. If users have problems completing these steps along the way, it could lead to them abandoning their cart altogether and leaving your business with nothing. So make sure you keep your users’ goals front of mind when creating interactions.
Ideation of interaction design
Even if you’re an experienced designer, your clients may not know how to translate their business goals into functional requirements. To overcome those challenges, it’s important to have a go-to process for figuring out how users will interact with your product. Typically, our team goes through several rounds of brainstorming and research, with a lot of ideation sessions involved along with mock-ups of wireframes and clickable prototypes. With each round of feedback from stakeholders and customers, we adjust our approach until we nail down that sweet spot where function meets form.
As a designer, you have many tools at your disposal to tackle ideation. Although an effective UI can begin with an elaborate back-end architecture, it’s important to remember that function always trumps form. Start by identifying your target user and thinking about their goals — what do they want out of using your product? What pain points will your product alleviate?
What value will it bring to their lives? It might sound basic, but when you’re starting from scratch and don’t know what specific features or layouts will be required, getting these foundational details locked down is critical. Next, it’s time to start putting together your ideation process. You should map out how many iterations of research, mock-ups, and feedback you think will be needed until you reach a consensus on how your UI will work. Then it’s just a matter of running through that process as quickly as possible while maintaining quality and efficiency.
This can be done using an agile development methodology like SCRUM or Kanban — both are structured frameworks that support specific roles, tasks, and workflow processes within each team member’s designated area of expertise. Each is similar in format but has its own nuances; there’s no one approach that works for every business or project, so take some time to understand which method is right for you.
Prototyping for interaction design
Prototyping your product before you begin development work is essential. Even if you’re not technical, you can use a tool like Balsamiq to create mockups of what users will see on your site and how they’ll interact with it. This way, you’ll get feedback from other team members before investing resources into building out a feature that may not be right for your product. And even though we discussed usability testing earlier as a part of UI/UX research, prototyping interactions early helps test designs while they are being considered, which saves time and effort later on down the line.
The first step is to sketch out your ideas—you can do these by hand or use something like Balsamiq or Axure. When you’re finished, start thinking about how users will actually interact with your website. You may need to create a user flow diagram or sit down with someone who has experience with making prototypes and work together to get it right. Once you have a basic prototype, test it with users who match your target audience and watch them use it. This will help you see where they run into trouble and identify where changes need to be made before moving forward with development. And that’s a wrap! Good luck with your exams!!
Validation for interaction design
User experience (UX) designers often need to make a lot of decisions about how to create something users will love. However, there are no hard and fast rules; your success will largely depend on how well you can predict user behavior and emotions. By regularly conducting user validation tests, you’ll be able to determine if you’re heading down a good path. These aren’t complex or expensive procedures—in fact, they can be very simple and inexpensive.
If done right, they can even help you identify any problems before you get too far along with production. To start validating your interaction designs, follow these steps The best way to validate an interaction is through observation. For example, if you want to see how people interact with a new app that lets them order food from their favorite restaurants, watch them as they use it. You might notice that some people tap around aimlessly without actually placing an order while others quickly find what they want and complete their transaction within seconds.
The latter group is likely more likely to become repeat customers than those who don’t know what they’re doing! For more information on usability testing and other types of validation, methods check out our free e-book The Ultimate Guide To Validating Your Interaction Designs. It covers everything you need to know about validating your designs, including how to run a usability test, how to analyze your results, and how to use them to improve your future interactions.