How To Become An Interaction Designer: Step-By-Step Guide
Are you wondering how to become an interaction designer?
Interaction Design is the ideal job for many people.
This is because it has the right mix of interacting with people while working with technology.
Although most of the time, Interaction Design is mixed with UX design, we can say that these two are not the same.
When we think about UX design, it encompasses many fields, among them Interaction Design as well.
So, if you’re a UX designer, you’ll know about Interaction design as well.
If you’re an Interaction Designer, you’ll need more skills to become a UX Designer.
However, both fields’ focus is to design an experience for the user.
It should be onethat will be rewarding and will make the customers want to come back.
In this article, we’ll look at how to become an interaction designer and the courses you can enroll for that purpose.
Table of Contents
What Does an Interaction Designer Do?
Interaction Design is a quite new field .
It doesn’t have a precise definition, and it doesn’t have a specific field at colleges and universities.
Bill Mogridi founded interaction Design in the 1980s, was IDEO’s founder.
The name of Interaction Design used to be Softface, and it changed after a couple of years.
The main idea of Interaction design is to focus on the process between the user and a product.
The goal of Interaction Design is to make the use of products:
- More convenient
- Increase the loyalty of the customer for that product
So, let’s assume that you’re looking to buy a product online and you go to the product’s website.
What if you can easily find your product, and there are no design features that annoy you, and you get to the payment easily?
Then, we can say that this was a rewarding user experience.
However, what if you encounter so many difficulties while trying to get a product, such as:
- Many ads
- The shopping cart keeps popping out
- You can hardly move to the payment phase
Then, we know that you had a negative user experience.
Well, for all of these, the Interaction Designer is the responsible person.
Facilitates User Experience
Interaction Designer is the one who:
- Works to ease your process of getting a product you want
- Make it rewarding so that you’ll come back
They work to make purchasing a product online or physically in a store easier.
Moreover, they deal with questions such as: How can we make it more convenient?
What kind of feelings does the user have when using this product?
As you may notice, a lot of fields mix to create Interaction Design.
Interaction Designers have to conduct market research to understand the market mechanisms.
Furthermore, they participate in the development of the product to make it convenient and easy to use for the users.
Ultimately, they make the experience of the user rewarding.
What Skills Do You Need to Become an Interaction Designer?
Interaction Design requires skills for researching the market and user base you’re targeting.
User and market research means that you’re going to look for different sources.
Sources that provide information about a specific user base or market needs.
You can take online courses for market research purposes, such as the one below.
User Research for DesignLearn More!
This course has a rating of 4.5/5.
A number of reviews stated that the course helped them develop a deep understanding of their user base.
The course focuses on Persona creation and Scenario creations.
Particularly, where simulations of different situations require you to develop skills to understand and deal with users.
User Experience Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX DesignLearn More!
What’s another skill that you’ll need for UX Design in Interaction Design or IxD?
It’s a skill that focuses on creating a pleasant user experience when those users decide to purchase a product.
This skill’s main goal is to give a rewarding user experience.
Your customers should want to come back due to the ease and convenience they experienced.
Learn this skill is by enrolling in the course “User Experience Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX Design” on Udemy.com.
This has a rating of 4.6/5.
It has almost 30,000 people enrolled in it.
The reviews claim that this is an essential course for all of those who want to become an Interaction Designer.
People could create product prototypes and do different designs while learning various design techniques.
These make this the absolute best foundation course for any Interaction Designer.
Information Architecture (IA) FundamentalsLearn More!
Another important component of Interaction Design is Information Architecture (IA).
This helps you develop website design, website navigation tools, and design content in an appealing way.
You can learn this skill by enrolling in this course: “Information Architecture (IA) Fundamentals” on Udemy.com.
This course will give you a strong foundation of IA knowledge.
It has a high rating of 4.4/5.
People claim that they learned to design a website that eases the user experience, which will help them in an Interaction Design career.
First Steps to Becoming an Interaction Designer: Explore
Although you might have heard of Interaction Designers and how they work, it is better to start conducting deeper research about it.
As you’ve seen, Interaction Design is not a specific field only.
But it encompasses a variety of fields such as Psychology, User Experience, Technology, and Design.
This is the main reason why schools do not offer a specific field or college degree, but you can get that in separate components.
Before you decide to get into the field of Interaction Design, you have to look at the different components it consists of.
Also, see if you’re still interested in it.
As a beginning point, you can buy books and magazines that talk about Interaction design and how designers work, and what they do.
If you don’t like reading books or magazines, you can subscribe to YouTube channels, podcasts, or any other media.
Especially, those that talk about Interaction Design basics.
Check Online Foundation Courses About Interaction Design
Another way is to check online foundation courses about Interaction design,.
Focus on which can help you see whether you’re interested in it or not.
By going through the courses you’ve enrolled in, you will see each specific step in theory and practice.
Moreover, you will realize whether this field is suitable for you or not.
You might be reluctant to change fields since interaction design sounds difficult and might not be for you if you’re from another field.
Amazingly, you can become an interaction designer, no matter your prior experience or qualifications.
With all the available resources nowadays, you can become an interaction designer without sacrificing much of your time.
If spending time on social media is an activity you love, you can also follow pages that give information about interaction design.
After all of these, you’ll know what interaction design consists of and understand whether you want to immerse yourself in this field.
Study: Principles of Interaction Design
After you’ve decided that Interaction Design is the field you want to practice, you’ll have to learn the key rules and principles.
One of the key principles of Interaction Design is that you have the user at the center of everything you do.
Although you’ll be a bridge between a company and the user, you have to create something based on its needs.
It should not be based on what you want to achieve.
It can be hard to get rid of assumptions .
This is because designers make the mistake of designing a product without conducting proper user research.
Then, they end up with a product that isn’t user-friendly.
In this case, revenues decline, you won’t profit, and you’ll stagnate as a designer.
To be a good designer, always put the user at the center of your actions.
Your job will be to:
- Listen to your user base
- Understand their needs
- Understand the untold words as well since sometimes, the solution lies in there
If you develop excellent user research skills, even if the users themselves don’t know the real problem, you’ll get there by:
- Talking to them
- Observing them
- Listening to the ways they want the job done
Excellent user research will lead you to develop a product that will answer your users’ needs and wishes.
There are several ways you can learn the principles of interaction design.
You can enroll in online courses offered on sites such as Udemy.com, but you can also make use of popular boot camps that teach you skills quickly.
Additionally, you can also find books, websites, and podcasts that go through a theoretical way through a user research process.
In online courses, you’ll have the opportunity to go through simulations to talk to users and understand their needs.
Study the Interaction Design Process
After you’ve understood and mastered the idea of putting the user first, you should look at the different stages of Interaction Design and learn their characteristics.
Although there are many design process divisions, the three most important stages are researching, designing, prototyping, and implementing.
Let’s look at them separately.
The first stage, the research, is among the most important ones since if you conduct thorough research, you’ll lay a strong foundation for your design process.
There’s no such thing as too much research since the more you research, the more benefits you’ll get for your design process.
In the first stage, you’ll research to understand who your target user base is, what are their needs and wishes, and what you as a company want to achieve.
This stage will help you understand your users, set the goals for your project, and see the project’s overall requirements.
The next stage, namely the design, requires you to design alternative solutions based on the previous stages’ experience and goals.
At this stage, it’s unnecessary to expect to arrive at the best possible solution immediately.
The more you experiment, the better since, with only one design, you might be leaving out important details.
The designing stage is a transitional phase between the theoretical solutions and realizing them practically.
This last stage means that you have the alternative solutions, and you put them to practice and see their cons and pros.
At this stage, you’re still developing lots of prototypes and simply testing them so that you can see the way they work in practice.
The last stage, the implementation, is where you’ll arrive at the final solution and turn that into a product that will solve the user base’s needs.
Each of these stages requires different skills to learn from different sources and then apply in practice.
Find the Right Resource and Learn
After you acquired the basic knowledge regarding the principles and stages of Interaction Design, you’ll have to find a course that gives you the right skill set for the job market.
Countless online courses provide certificates for completing the course, which you can use when you look for jobs.
It’s important to remember that developing excellent skills is more important than having a diploma in Interaction Design.
You’ll have to look at a couple of things when you’re deciding which course to take, and this is important since you’re going to invest your money and time in it.
One of the most important components you have to look out for is a more practical course than theoretical.
This is because by now, you’ve already gained enough theoretical knowledge, and you need excellent practical knowledge to get into the job market.
Find an online course with practical projects that requires you to complete them as if you were doing them in the actual job market.
Another important element is that you’ll have a portfolio that you can show to potential employers when applying for jobs by the end of the course.
This is important since you’ll be entering the job market without prior experience, and you’ll need to show something for the employers to choose you.
Another factor to consider is the support you’ll need from an instructor or mentor, especially if you’re new to the field.
Even if you’re good at learning by yourself, having an instructor to help you if you’re stuck somewhere will help you save time, finish the course earlier, and enter the job market.
So, look for courses that provide instructor help when needed or look for a mentor outside of the course.
Next Steps: Practice, Get in the Market, and Build Portfolio
If you did all the previous steps well, you’ll develop excellent skills and be an ideal job-seeker in the job market.
After finishing a course, it is best to start putting all your knowledge into practice and gain some experience.
You shouldn’t expect to find a job at this point since it might be difficult to do so right away, so you can search for activities where you can apply your skills and learn new ones along the way.
One such way might be to volunteer somewhere and see where you stand with your skills while learning from senior designers at the place.
Another option might be to take jobs for lower payments so you can build your skills while building your resume and portfolio as well.
An additional option might be to apply the skills you learned in the job you’re currently working on so that you can practice and put your skills to practice.
While you go out there and put everything into practice, you have to learn and master the popular tools that Interaction designers use.
Tools To Use
There are different tools for each design process stage, such as ReFramer for user research or InVision for prototyping.
These tools are popular, and employers usually require the use of a specific tool.
Of course, hundreds of designer tools you can use, but the more you research and learn about them, the better.
While you’re working in practice, you might incorporate these tools into your activities so that you’ll master them through practice.
The most important part of your designer journey is establishing a portfolio that will showcase all your work.
This is not for simply showing the final stage of the product, but you’ll show your work’s whole process since even the tiniest details will tell a lot about you.
Make sure to add details and context to your work so that a potential employer can go through the whole designing process with you.
Tell them the challenges you’ve encountered and the way you overcame them.
A final point to remember is that networking is a great source of knowledge and references in the designer community.
So, make sure to connect with other designers and learn from their experiences since that can benefit you in your journey.
It’s such good news that you can consider switching to Interaction Design regardless of your previous diploma or experience.
You can find many online courses that you can enroll in that will teach you the basic skills needed for Interaction Design.
After you’ve learned the skills, you can go ahead and apply them in practice while continuing to develop your portfolio.
The portfolio will be the most important part of your experience as an interaction designer.
We hope that we have answered your question that is how to become an interaction designer.
For more helpful readings, do check our articles below.
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