How interaction design is a game changer for the user experience

Times, they are a changing – in the past a hover state on a button was pretty much the pinnacle of interaction design. Nowadays every app or website you view is jam-packed with slick transitions and beautiful animations designed to increase brand engagement.

The attention to detail that goes into the UX, UI and interaction design of your favourite brands is becoming increasingly important in the battle for consumer engagement. Consumers will no longer put up with sub-standard digital experiences and recent research has shown that they would even prioritise great digital experiences over the brand itself. 

“60 per cent (of consumers) say that if a retailer were more digitally innovative, they would be more likely to shop there.”
Business Matters

With user experience at the forefront of consumers minds, the creation of micro interactions has become more important than ever. Interactive motion design is now such a key factor for the success or failure of digital products that the best websites, apps and digital experiences are being designed like animation storyboards rather than traditional static wireframes.

Storyboarding website

 

2 reasons why your next digital product should consider interaction animation

1. Improve user navigation

So, whilst interaction design is by no means a new idea, the extent to which it’s used is. Animating elements of the design when a user interacts with the screen in front of them is key to improving their experience and helping them find what they need quickly and efficiently:

  • Guiding focus between elements
  • Inform the user of context
  • Giving a visual hierarchy of content
  • Informing the user of progress.

A great example of a brand using these interaction design techniques is Airbnb who use subtly simple animations and movements to create a better user experience; loading dots to show something is happening (and the app hasn’t frozen) or tapping the search field and it expanding to maintain context seem like small touches but they are all designed to improve the UX and place the user at the centre of the experience.

 

Lonely Planet also places a premium on interaction design by bringing elements alive and lifting them off the page to highlight the interaction of the user, giving them a perfect understanding of what their action has triggered. Basic navigation patterns like pop-ups sliding from the bottom and new pages emanating from the point the user taps are also used to improve navigation.

2. Create a more engaging user experience

When talking to people about user experience the conversation tends to veer to minimising clicks, getting people into payment funnels or debating which side of the page the burger icon should go (top right in our opinion). However, an issue that can be just as important (if not more) is to make the website or app engaging and even fun for the user.

 

Many of the best apps are created for a singular purpose but do it brilliantly and are a pleasure to use. For these apps, navigation and displaying reams of information isn’t always the priority, it’s more about the providing enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction to the user as they use it.

Interaction design is key to the success of these apps. Paving the way for innovative user experiences due to the amazing attention to detail and care taken over each and every little element without the restrictions of complex navigation. This careful consideration makes them a joy to use. Our own work on the essence and BIC Kids DrawyBook apps are great examples of user enjoyment being at the forefront of the design process.

Bic Drawy book augmented reality colouring book and app

Intuitive and logical interaction design increases brand engagement

To summarise and to paraphrase concepts from Google material design, the interaction design needs to be intuitive and logical. It should take reference from the real world to make it feel natural. This helps the user navigate or enhance their experience in ways static designs never could, turning good digital products into great digital experiences that consumers want to connect with.

To bring your brand, website or apps to life through great interaction design, get in touch with the Engine Creative team now.

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