Interaction Design

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Published Oct 28, 2023
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Interaction design (IxD) is a design discipline that focuses on designing products that users can successfully interact with.

When using digital products, there is a back-and-forth pattern that mirrors a conversation — the user takes an action, and the interface responds. Interaction design is like planning a conversation between the user and the interface.

IxD vs. UXD

UX design encompasses all aspects of a user-centered design process, from conducting user research to creating wireframes and prototypes to facilitating usability tests.

Interaction design is a subsection of UX design. IxD focuses on the interactions between the user and the product, such as typing, scrolling, swiping, tapping, pinching, double-clicking, hovering, and more. Interaction designers plan and prototype the interactions that allow the user to achieve their goals.

The roles of UX designer and interaction designer can overlap. UX designers may be responsible for interaction design and other aspects of the design process. In some contexts, specialized interaction designer roles focus solely on planning and creating interactions.

An illustration showing the difference between UXD and IxD. A circle graph with one wedge separated from the rest of the circle. The larger portion of the circle is labeled UXD and includes images of different outputs of the UX Design process, such as research and sketches. The small wedge is labeled IxD and shows an image of hands interacting with a mobile app.

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