A Step-by-Step Guide of the Interaction Design Process

Here are several most commonly-seen mistakes in interaction design process:

1. Immediately start to draw when the product manager put forward a need.

2. Check competitor products during the design process while there is no specific category.

3. Be obsessed with some design details too much

4. Submit a design scheme without any design process but only results.

Mistakes above may lead to consequences below:

1. Getting lost in problem solving or lingering on the surface of the problem forever.

2. Relying too much on brainstorming without theory guidance.

3.Often being challenged by others but cannot convince them with objective reasons.

4. Having trouble with assess the value and effect of the design

Designers can follow the process below to comb the needs and put forward well-founded and scientific design scheme:

Step 1: Business direction

In business direction, the most important thing is to understand the needs and specify design standards. Only when we figure out product, experience and data index can we obtain a criterion before making further design steps. Even in further interaction design processes, designers need to recheck the goal while encountering divergences. What benefits the gold worth sticking to, all the rest should be left out. Designers need to pay attention to the data index and must ask product managers for a certain index. 

Step 2: Combing the current situation.

In step2, you need to collect the current related product data including what is mentioned in step1. Yet if allowed to, you can compare the data with other similar or same product dara.

For example, once you get the competing product data, you can directly do the comparison to see the difference in the core data; if there is no competing product, you can also do the comparison between different user stories and scenarios in your own product; if you got nothing, you are still able to compare with previous data.

Step 3: Competing product analysis

To avoid the haste in the interaction design process, we need to comb and analyse the competing products in advance. I will firstly point out what most people do — making competing product analysis a game of “spotting the differences”.

In other words, most people love to put the screenshots of one competing product to see what is different. They indeed submit a competing product analysis report, which is in fact all about facts and you can not even read a word of analysis.

Even the products of the same category differ a lot. As a result, we can not simply look for differences on the interface. I highly recommended designers to get out of the design background to have a fresh look at the competing products. This will truly help you to become professional and subjective.

Theoretically, the number of these interaction solutions are exhaustible, so you can infer the trends of the current environment.(unless you want to make a bizarre and unique product.) By the way, as a designer you should be open to external resources in case that you unconsciously get trapped in a vicious circle.

Step 4: Have a comprehensive design strategy

Describing the goal in detail is a very effective design key point that is east to be neglected. We have to remind ourselves over and over gain what we are doing instead of being caught in endless details.

The key point of experience can be in this form: letting users learn to use the product easily; letting users have more customized choices; letting users use the product with higher efficiency.

The design strategy can be in this form: lowering the threshold of the product; deepening the information hierarchy; using new design languages.

The design method can be in this form: providing guidance; classifying infographics and showing the right information at the right time; using the interaction visual design that is corresponding with the whole App style.

Step 5: Make the design scheme

At last, you will just realise the design scheme is already formed in the interaction design process.

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