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Using Interaction Design Principles in Your Graphics

May 30, 2012 IADT Seattle, Graphic Design, IADT General 0 Comments

Graphic and Interactive DesignThe general principles of interaction design can be applied to graphic design to increase usability, user engagement and overall satisfaction. Incorporating interaction design principles into your graphics makes sense from a practical standpoint because it targets the needs of the end user. Here are some of the principles you should pay close attention to.

Visibility – Make the end goal clearly visible. Do not leave viewers guessing about what they are supposed to take from the design. Be sure your design shows consistency so users can quickly learn what is expected of them, and try to avoid flashy designs when function is the primary concern.

Feedback – If an action is required of the viewer, offer appropriate feedback to let them know it has been achieved. For example, when designing for a Web contact form, give the user a clear confirmation that they have successfully sent the form or a message stating they have not.

Affordances – Make the utility of an object crystal clear. The user must be able to understand what the object they are viewing is intended for, with no ambiguity. Industry-specific information may not be appropriate with a more generalized audience.

Mapping – Let there be a clear and spatial relationship between the goal and the means to achieve that goal. If the user needs to complete an action, clearly map the way to perform the action. When possible, stick to understood patterns and placement to avoid confusion.

Constraints – The limitations should be clear in a design. Utilize physical, logical, semantic or cultural constraints to tell the viewer exactly what can and cannot be accomplished.

Habituation – Let the action be in the forefront rather than the system it operates on. People are usually not conscious of the inner workings of their cars when driving them, for example. Let the process be smooth and flow without the need to think about it.

When you create designs that focus on interaction design principles, you are creating a more positive user experience. Giving users a clear understanding of the system’s purpose and the actions required as well as direction on performing those actions and confirmation feedback will reduce frustration and lead to better design utilization. Learn more about interaction design in a graphic design degree program.

This article is presented by IADT-Seattle. Contact us today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from IADT-Seattle.

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