"Interaction is a way of framing the relationship between people and objects designed for them—and thus a way of framing the activity of design."- Hugh Dubberly in this article (Which is excellent by the way. I recommend a read) Image from article.
I'm working on a little talk for HIVE and in doing so have written many pages and found myself thinking about what really goes into designing a product. Instead of composing a 10 page essay I thought I'd just put a few thoughts out there over a few posts and see what you guys think.
1. You have to define the Interaction Model
This seems obvious, but I often get blank stares when I bring this up. For me it's the guiding light for the product design (visual, tech and otherwise) and is the result of many of the activities experience designers engage in. It can come in any number of different forms, from something that reads like a style guide, to a few pages of prose, to a set of diagrams, to a wall filled with drawings, ux documents and statements. But it has to be made and it has to be understood by everyone.
If we as a design and build team aren't on the same page about the interaction model and see the product same way in our heads how can we expect to create a product that resonates with users, works and is scalable.
So here is my attempt at a definition.
The product interaction model is made up of the product architecture, primary flow paths, set of design patterns and emotional tone; that consider how a user will understand the product in relation to what they are trying to do, how they relate it to other products both digital and physical, their mental model for it over time, the context of it’s use, and the business goals of subsequent phases of the product.
How would you add or change this? Do you have examples you would like to share?