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What does an Interaction Designer do?

Article Details
  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 27 February 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Interaction designers adjust the design of products and services for optimum ease of use by end users. Many interaction designers study users and make design decisions based on behavioral data collected. Others make decisions based on their on their own experience and knowledge.

An interaction designer will use the data collected from the behavior of end users to achieve better communication and interaction with systems and electronics. Their primary goal is to create useful technology, such as that used in ATM machines and cell phones, which is accessible to a wide array of users. Interaction designers who do not, or can not conduct behavioral studies practice genius design, which is a method by which they use their own design skills and experience to anticipate what an end user would prefer.

A typical interaction designer will often work with websites, software, and technology such as mobile devices. A smaller number of interaction designers work to improve different kinds of systems, such as the flow of traffic in a department store or the methods by which a certain kind of service is delivered. The commonality among all specialties in the profession is the quest for better functionality through accessible design.

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In addition to creating products and systems that are easy to use, an interaction designer can also create designs that prevent certain unwanted activities. They can create a product that is resistant to hacking, spam, or other illegal intrusions. Finding a balance between ease of use and protection against unwanted attacks is a common challenge for interaction designers.

Interaction designers use a wide array of skills to perform their work. In the visual arena, they are often called upon to model or draw prototypes of their ideas. They may also write scenarios or storyboard their visions. Many also work in a limited capacity with web technology. The technical, artistic, and verbal skills required by a interaction designer position can vary widely, depending on the needs of a project or particular field.

The ultimate role of an interaction designer is to finish preparing a product or process for use by the end user. They make their contributions after all primary design elements are in place. In essence, they take the concepts created and make them accessible for the general public. By making the functions of products more intuitive and streamlined, interaction designers increase user satisfaction and reduce the rate of abandonment of a particular product.

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