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Application Interaction Design Services

How often do you find something that frustrates you while working in a common application? Error messages that mean nothing to you, icons that are obscure, help files that don't really show you how to use the application, hidden menus, etc.

Interaction design has been one of those neglected steps of production. Many applications that are in use today were created by project managers with their product requirements, and developers doing the best that they could to implement these ideas. The problem is (and sometimes continues to be) that the user is left out of the equation. True many product managers gather feature list and wish list of sorts but what is really missing is the visual road map for the entire project. This is where interaction design comes into play.

Creating a well designed application has many steps

  • Understanding what the users goals really are
  • Understanding daily task
  • Understanding users needs
  • Understanding personas (who are the common users?)
  • Paying attention to behaviors, patterns and natural habits
  • Identify data driven decision versus human decision
  • Reduction of clutter and unnecessary steps
  • Interface is a combination of tools and perception
  • Working with constraints and limitations (time, resources, infrastructure, talent)
  • Identifying Intuition versus a trained behavior
  • Flexibility versus immediacy

These are just some of the items that a good interaction designer will take into consideration when designing an application. A well designed applications often needs to start with the users goals, (often combined with feature list and product requirements) and then goes through a series of visual mockups. These mockups will include workflow examples, interface suggestions, messaging, and contextual (don't make the user think) methods of accomplishing their tasks.

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Return On Investment

The most amazing part of interaction design is the return in investment. Not only will you inevitably create a more user friendly application, you will end up saving many costly hours of development and QA time as a result of a well thought through design.

Case and point, I once worked on a 2.0 release of a project that produced amazing results. The 1.0 version was developed and driven by the ideas of the technology with no real focus on the user. This limited first version of the application took a year and half to develop, it was complicated, confusing, misunderstood, greatly ignored, and on the development front, it was almost impossible to expand upon.

When I was given the opportunity to design the 2.0 version of the application the result was a huge success for our customers (ease of use) and the entire project took only two weeks of development time to build.

 
Unplanned Innovation

One other exciting factor of working with an Interaction designer is that random innovation comes to light. Like in the example that I just gave, not only were we able to develop in a much shorter time, we actually stumbled on added functionality that without the ability to see the product visually and without the opportunity to simulate the interaction we would have never discovered.