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
Touch and multi-touch technologies are everywhere, with Apple and its i-devices leading the way. Legions of designers battle everyday to create user interfaces for POI (point of interest) and POS (point of sale) installations that are unique, provide stylish graphics, and still remain easy to use. At the same time, users are becoming increasingly impatient with touch technology. If the device in front of them does not react to their input as they expect, they will quickly abandon it to find something else. Thus, it is essential to create a user interface that is intuitive and easy to use—for anyone. At Ventuz, we have struggled with this same issue for years and have come up with some best practices for creating effective, engaging, interactive POI and POS installations. Read More
Many people now use different mobile devices—including smartphones, digital cameras, MP3 players, eReaders, and GPSs (Global Positioning System)—in particular contexts. How are users interacting with these devices when they are away from their computers? How does the design of a device—including the controls its hardware provides, its interaction models, and its form factor—determine the design and usability of the software applications that run on it? How can we understand user experience on the move? My new column Mobility will answer these questions and more—questions about mobile user experience, user interface design, and usability for small, handheld, mobile devices.
“The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.”—Victor Papanek
As companies progressively introduce more advanced technology in their consumer electronics products, handheld devices are taking up more and more of people’s time in their everyday lives. Are users interacting with handheld devices in the same way they interact with Web sites on their computers? What kinds of challenges are users facing when using such a wide range of handheld devices on a day-to-day basis? What should usability professionals take into consideration when studying usability for these different platforms? Read More