Is Interaction Design an art or a science? We think it’s both. Interaction designers are software developers who focus on how humans interact with their creations. IxD, or Interaction Design, is a process of developing digitally interactive programs including games or web platforms or even a website shopping cart. But the “interactive” in Interaction Designer is all about people and how they will behave with a particular product. An interactive designer’s job is to make sure digital applications work well in the hands of the people using them.
Interaction Designer Skills Needed
Interaction Designers are technical and scientific, as well as graphic and CAD-savvy. They are as comfortable with a schematic as they are a jpeg as they create computer environments designed to engage the end user. The discipline is methodical yet curiously instinctive; because the truth is that the best interaction designs are seamlessly interactive, so the user doesn’t feel manipulated into performing a particular action on the screen.
The best Interaction Designers live life in front of the screen and they’ve been exposed to every interactive program known to human kind. They’re on top of the latest consumer and software trends and should be considered the earliest of early technology adopters.
They have great reading comprehension and are methodical and systematic in their thought, writing and design process. They also understand people and are able to communicate content concisely and with clarity. Of course they are computer-centric and able to leap tall buildings with their Mac or PC!
Interaction Designers are as comfortable with consumer research and behavior as they are the web, apps and computer language. The can bridge communication gap between human and machine by creating the code that guides our behavior on a computer screen.
Suggested Software Proficiency
The Interactive Designer’s job is to be proficient in the creative tools needed to create interactive apps for consumers. This could include proficiency in:
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection for design
- Axure RP for prototypes
- Balsamiq Mockups for wireframing
- Dreamweaver for website design
- InVision for mobile and web prototyping
- Macromedia Flash for video
- Omingraffle a digital illustrator
- Patternry creates web interfaces
- Sketch design tool for the Mac
- Visio a digital idea organizer
- UXPin for wireframing and prototyping
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