There are many different types of interaction models, relating to all sorts of domains of human endeavor. General classes of interaction models that have significant impact on user experience include models for
business interactions—Such models represent the ways in which organizations conduct their business—internally, working in partnership with other businesses, or serving their end customers. Business interaction models may be specific to a particular business or represent standard practices in particular industry domains. They define the business context for design solutions and, thus, help ensure that they create business value.
social interactions—These models represent the ways in which people interact with one another in specific social contexts—whether in real-world, virtual, or digital environments or on social networks. Social interaction models may either represent common patterns of human interaction or define patterns for specific products or services.
user interactions—Such interaction models represent the ways in which people interact with technologies of various kinds, which are often specific to particular platforms or types of devices. However, in today’s cross-channel / omni-channel world, it is becoming evermore desirable to design solutions that are consistent across all relevant channels.
In this column, I’ll focus on interaction models for software and the impact of consistency—or the lack thereof—on users’ ability to learn and interact with software user interfaces. Read More
I often think about the principles that drive design. Not just when musing in my spare time or because another column for UXmatters is due, but in my day-to-day work as I make decisions about how to design a product or solve a problem or discuss how to make a teammate’s design better.
Although I have done so in the past, I don’t really have to make up my own design principles. The things that drive optimal design for human beings have not really changed. Plus, it doesn’t take much abstraction of design principles for fields such as industrial design from the 1950s or ’60s to make them perfectly applicable to today’s digital product design. Read More
Some of you may be reading this column while you’re seated at a woodgrain desk. Of course, you know it’s not really wood because wood might be too expensive, inconvenient, fragile, heavy, light, or simply impossible to use in the way we want to build a desk.
For centuries, there has been a tension between authenticity—which is often coupled with simplicity—and the decoration of surfaces or facades, which sometimes implies falseness. But there is no right or wrong in this. Often, a veneer is the best solution—in part because we are building for people, who might be happier sitting at a wood desk than one that is unabashedly plastic and made of MDF—that is, medium-density fiberboard or high-quality particle board. Read More