The field of interaction design is very crucial to organizations that use the Internet to market their items and services.
The efficiency of a web site rests on the skills of the interaction designer because he or she is the one who can make it draw attention from users or otherwise turn them away. Any organization that uses the Internet to hunt for customers must invest in a reliable web designer. In the past few years, there has been confusion over the roles that are supposed to be played by an interaction designer, interface designer and the experience designer.
This paper will highlight the respective roles that are bestowed to the above mentioned professionals. An interaction designer is the person who is responsible for establishing a bridge between a computerized system and the user (Kendall & Kenndall 45). The title may sound little but the person who is assigned to that title is crucial to both entities because without him/her they can never communicate and understand one another. This is because they each use different languages, that is, the system uses computer language, while people use human language. Thus, the interaction designer becomes an interpreter between the two entities.
Chen explains that for any significant communication to take place the designer must address the needs of the two entities (41). For instance, the system requirements may include hardware and software specifications which must be compatible because if they are not so there will be conflict in operation. On the other hand, the needs of the users may include computer literacy which is essential in enhancing their interaction. The interaction designer is able to identify the needs of the users by first understanding the tasks that the users will be undertaking while using the system.
Without knowledge of users’ functions the designer may not meet their needs because he/she may incorporate facilities or utilities that are useless to the users. The analysis of users needs entails identifying the difficulties that they may encounter while using the system. The designer also establishes what the users are most acquainted to so that he/she can recommend the most appropriate training curriculum for the users. Furthermore, interaction designers integrate tools that enable the users to have control over the application.
For instance, remote control is an interactive tool that is used to change the channels as the user wishes. Without interactive channels users would experience many difficulties because they would have to be content with the performance of an item. The interaction designer can influence the price of items because usually customers are interested on the features that allow them to customize the item to meet their needs.
Likewise, Bell argues that in interactive design the person who comes up with controls observe the environment and figure out what the user might need to do with their product (79). For instance, vehicle manufacturers understand motorists as interested in regulating the kind of air they use in their cars and in this regard they come up with air conditioners that are capable of generating cool breeze or increasing the temperatures as required by the motorist. Organizations that emphasize on user needs and integrate those needs by employing user interaction record increased sales. For instance, mobile phones manufacturers use interactive design to incorporate features such as camera and radio which makes the demand of such items to increase. In this light, interaction designers are very reliable professionals to the manufacturers because they are the ones that integrate the various systems towards meeting user demands. However, there are some cases where interaction between a user and a system cannot take place. For instance, when someone is watching television on the Internet, that person cannot manipulate the broadcast compared to someone who is playing music from compact disc player. The interaction designer has a role in ensuring customers understand how to manipulate an item to function as they wish.
They do this by coming up with descriptive materials otherwise known as system manuals that describe how an item is to be used (Sears & Jacko 20). Similarly, an interface designer ensures that peripherals or devices are able to communicate with one another (Buxton 80). For instance, a website link has an interface that connects users to other pages.
Another good example is when we want to print our documents using a printer. In such a case the computer and the printer communicate with each other through an interface, which is the operating system. In most cases there are ports that are used to interconnect the devices but in web design we rely on the special codes that are supposed to create a connection between the two devices. Arora states that the major difference between an interface designer and an interaction designer is specified by what they do to the applications (434). As previously explained, interaction designers make it possible for users to manipulate devices and systems while interface designers make it possible for devices to work collaboratively in achieving a given task. For instance, without the universal serial bus it would be impossible to gain access to the contents of a flash disk or any other device that uses such a port.
This is where confusion comes in but then there are times when these two facilities work together according to most manufacturers. For example, a mouse can be connected to the computer through USB (universal serial bus), but then it has two buttons that enable the user to explore the computer window. This implies that although these facilities perform independently they can be combined just to appease the users. The interface designer has a bigger role creating a communication layer among the devices. At the communication layer the designer observes the information provided by the various devices and interprets them to come up with a language that blends the two devices. Interface designers resemble architects in so many ways because they are the people who collect information. Interface designers establish channels that convey information from the user to the system and vice versa. Moreover, interface designers redistribute the information in the systems.
The designers come up with processes that take place in the background before a task is accomplished (Kendall & Kendall 23). An interface is required in devices that do not function on their own such as storage media and other devices such as printers. In such a situation the user requires an interface but not interaction because that part is accomplished through the host device. For instance, a printer may have interactive features but then without an interface it would not serve its intended purpose. On the other hand, and experience designer is a professional who is contracted by manufacturers to use items that are meant for customers so that they can try to analyze the feelings that will be evoked when customers manipulate items.
Bell explains that the professionals provide feedback to the manufacturers concerning the thoughts of customers based on their own experience (79). When manufacturers receive the feedback they analyze the information and identify the areas that require amendments. In essence, experience designers strive to ensure users are conversant with the operations of an application. However, this is achieved through collaboration with interaction designers and interface designers. In conclusion, critics have been against these people because they think that different people have different tastes and thus the likes of a single individual do not represent the taste of an entire population. Interaction design has become very popular in the world today because today people place a lot of relevance on interactive design since people want things that they can manipulate.
This is because the development of interactive design has delivered people from the bondage where they had to be content with the specifications provided by manufacturers. Likewise, interface design has enhanced development because people are now able to perform tasks easily and conveniently. Customers are therefore interested in items that are able to function in collaboration with other devices to achieve the same results. In brief, customers prefer usable interfaces accompanied by intractability because of the convenience and cost reduction it comes with.
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Buxton, Bill. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2007. Print. Chen, Qiyan. (2001).Human Computer Interaction: Issues and Challenges.
London: Idea Group Inc., 2001. Print. Kendall, Kenneth and Julie Kendall. Systems Analysis and Design. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.
Sears, Andrew and Julie Jacko. Human-Computer Interaction: Designing for Diverse Users and Domains. London: CRC Press, 2009. Print.