“The definition of design as a whole will dilute with time. Design will be more than just graphics and interfaces.”
In a broad sense today, the field of Interaction design is not what it used to be a few years ago. India has grown socially and economically with the rapid increase in the availability and ease of the internet and smartphones. Now, everyone is well informed about the perks of the internet and uses it daily. Smartphones and related technologies are much more than a means to communicate now. They are being used for numerous tasks every day, snowballing our dependency on technology for simple chores. These changes have brought about a need to design for user experience. There is a crucial relationship between a human and his experiences, and Interaction design is the stream that facilitates specific interactions of a user and his system.
What exactly is Interaction design?
Interaction design can be understood as the design of the interaction between a user and the systems. The goal of ID is to create products or interfaces that cater to an easy exchange of information and data to maximize user satisfaction. As a practice of designing for the intangible, interaction design is a new yet very complicated discipline. It often involves elements like visuals, sound, space, engaging graphics, and much more. Interaction design broadly works with five dimensions:
- 1D – Words: The words should be simple and easy to understand, and formations should be such that they communicate the information conveniently.
- 2D – Visual Representations: A picture is worth a thousand words. All graphics or images should be relevant and catchy enough to engage a user.
- 3D – Physical objects or Space: This refers to the physical medium, be it a mobile or a computer that the user interacts with.
- 4D – Time: The length of time the user spends interacting with the systems.
- 5D – Behaviour: This was added later by Kevin Silver, and it refers to the reaction and emotions that the user has while interacting with the system.
Why is Interaction Design important?
People depend on Apps and Websites for almost everything so much that it seems impossible to imagine life without the internet. This has led to an increased demand for Interaction Designers. Interaction design has evolved from being simple graphics on the web to dominate India’s most needed design discipline. If we look at the older interfaces on the internet, we can see how far Interaction design has come over the past few decades.
Earlier, the web interfaces were simple and easy to use. But now that each application’s functions are increasing manifold, the interfaces are becoming more complicated. Here comes the need for Interaction Designers to make these complicated interfaces easy to understand and logically stable for the ease of access to a diverse audience. More awareness and apprehension of the people has led to higher expectations. Nowadays, people are not impressed by simple interactions, they expect more, and thus there is a crushing need for Interaction Designers to appease the users. Websites will stop existing as we know them today and will be entirely interactive to suit people’s changing lifestyles in India.
Designing standard and mundane interactions won’t cut it in the future, and customers will demand personal, unique, and immediate interactions. No one will have time to keep scrolling through boring content to look for information. The Interfaces will need to be self-explanatory and easy to use, not just by experienced users but by almost everyone.
Interaction Design as a discipline and its rising demand in India:
Even though Interaction Design has been around for a while now, I still think that we’re in the beginning stage of its development. It reminds me of when there was one medium for all graphic designing, and designers would spend hours on end to fit hundreds of elements in simple illustrations to make it appealing. Nowadays, we’ve learned how to remove the unnecessary parts from our designs, making them simpler, more efficient, and user friendly.
Technology will blend more seamlessly into the environment. As our country grows more comfortable with voice and connected devices, there will be less designing for form, factors, aesthetics, and more information and how to present it. While the world and our relationship with it may change, human behaviors’ building blocks stay the same as attention, trust, fear, habit, etc. With any luck, the process for understanding and designing for these driving factors will become more and more stable and successful. We need designers who can push the limits of design and keep a constant focus on design innovation and create designs that take us to the future. Similarly, we need proper education and recognition of the field to grow comfortably and at par with the increasing need for Interaction Designers in India.
Until recently, Interaction Design in India was not an extensive profession. There were limited colleges that taught ID and not many jobs for the students passing out. The number of educational institutes and offices for Interaction Design has increased manifold in the past five years. Colleges have programs that inspire students and lead them with appropriate mentorship to achieve innovation in the Industry. This is just the beginning of ID in India, and it has already created many opportunities for grassroots level design. Interaction Design is, thus, set out to be one of the most promising fields of design in India in the coming few years.
As for my future predictions, I think the demand for Interaction designers in India will continue to grow, not only in the tech industry but also in other industries. Judging from the current growth trends, I can’t see us moving away from mobile and computer screens in the near future. I think that the future holds exciting times for Interaction designers in India. Not too long after, we might see how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice commands, augmented reality, and virtual reality will develop. In the future, India will see the birth of a new profession in design, drawing its influences from various fields, and networking with people daily in the most intimate form.