At the core of all computer systems is a design—the one being used by your customer. The blueprint or foundation of that design is found in the interaction design. While numerous people are involved in designing systems, products, and services, many don’t have formal design training. Human factors specialists, user researchers, usability professionals, user experience designers, developers, and others often struggle when it comes to interaction design. Even with good design instincts, it can be hard to participate in interaction design conversations and evaluations when you don’t know the principles and underlying structure. Even those with formal design training (especially other design disciplines) can have difficulty articulating and communicating interaction design decisions—particularly when working with those who have no formal design training.

When creating or evaluating designs, people often get caught up in the surface (or UI) of the design, or they try to use the latest design trends without looking at the more important structure that underlies an interaction design. Focusing on the essential core concepts, this course provides a foundation to better understand interaction design and the importance of underlying structure. The basic materials and building blocks, key design principles, and structure of interaction design are illustrated by using familiar, real-world examples. The course also introduces interaction design patterns as a method for identifying structure. By learning how to use patterns to analyze structure and reveal new information, participants also learn how to evaluate designs in a more substantive and valuable way.