Whenever we hear the term interaction design we think of it as some far off possibility that does not really find its way into our everyday browsing for instance. It is only a matter of time before it becomes more and more common and it starts to affect the way we look up information for example. Many experts and tech-wizards believe that in earlier years digital design was still immature and that in 2013 we will be able to enjoy it in its advanced form. This applies to applications (both web apps and those for mobile phones), websites, and other forms of media that is at all interactive in nature.
The ways in which interactive media is slowly but surely creeping into our lives are as follows:-
- Platforms are made to create interactive websites that really appeal to users all over the world and especially if they have special affinity for the genre or the topic being discussed.
- Content is now accessible widely on mobiles and formats have been adjusted to accommodate the needs of standard smartphones. Streamlining the content you need is now much easier than before.
- Many web designers believe that interactive media is fast becoming an absolute necessity and that it is no longer an add-on on various websites. It is not an accessory anymore but is very much present now.
- Greater development in this regard is taking place and now web developers and web designers are working together to create better and improved interactive media.
- Devices are now coming out every day and newer models of everything are being created at break-neck speed. To cope with this massive influx of new devices, development is also going through a surge.
- Even touch technology may soon be replaced with something else, so users and touch screen enthusiasts need to watch out for that.
The new trend that is following interactive media and web design is making material look as legibly and easily readable as possible. Previously, navigation was not as easy as this and often some time would be wasted before the user got what he or she was looking for. Now it is all about accessibility and ease of use for the website visitors. Headings and sub-headings are used and content is neatly divided according to relevancy so that there is no needless scrolling around for no reason.
However there may be a few drawbacks for designers when these sorts of things are being designed. It is undesirable that the webpage should look like it’s retarded or that it’s a page out a baby book. Content needs to be easily found but within reason obviously. Touch sensitivity is very important and it also directly translates into ease for the user. It is an element that designers are now using to the best of their advantage.
Since so much development has already taken place, most web designers are sort of apprehensive about the next big thing. They don’t want to create anything that is similar or that may turn out to be unpopular in the long run. Users do tend to be temperamental in such matters.
Uncertainty will perhaps always exist in this field to a certain extent. Content still takes the centre stage and many users are after just that and not some technological slideshow that will open their minds. Designers need to think a lot about this and need to know that an overuse of technology is not the answer. The content may work even if it is not rich in media items, colorful displays and visually impressive images.
Sarah McPherson is a member of the webste design newcastle team at Eureka SEM. Sarah loves to blog about all things online marketing and recently has begun to learn about conversion rate optimisation.