I had a lot of fun presenting our webinar last week on Understanding Modern Interaction Design. We had great attendance and collected some really good feedback afterwards. Thanks to everyone who attended!
I think it’s an important topic in design, so it was exciting to see so much interest. If you stop and think about it, this is an amazing time for design. New technologies, platforms, and capabilities, allow us to do fantastic things with software and interact in ways that were never possible before. It’s a new modern age of interaction design.
In the webinar, I outlined some of the core design principles that will help you create a modern interaction design. I’m not going to explain them all in this post, but I’d like to highlight one—All in One Place. The goal of bringing everything into one place isn’t new in interaction design, but there is a new twist if you want to make it modern. In the past, you “got” to content and functions. You clicked on a button to go to a new screen or you clicked a link to go to a new page. In the modern world, this is no longer the case. Instead, content is brought to you. Function and content to support the whole activity are brought into one space—you don’t have to go anywhere else. There’s no need to figure out how to get to another place in the system or even to figure out where you are because you haven’t gone anywhere.
The real goal here isn’t to put everything into one place though—it’s to make it feel like everything necessary for my activity is available in one place. This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it matters greatly to the user’s experience. Just take a look at Facebook’s navigation on a smartphone or Twitter’s interaction on the iPad to see what I mean.
In the end, a modern interaction design delivers a modern experience. In order to create that experience, you need to understand how the new technologies and platforms—mobile, touch screen, location-based services and social media—just to name a few—have changed the way we interact. You need to adapt to these changes with new design principles and strategies, which require deep understanding of the user and their activity. And as you already know, the best way to get that understanding is by going into the field.