Disciplines & Domains of Interaction Design

An interactive designer must have a multi-faceted talent or have experts in related fields at his or her disposal. Interactive design cannot be accomplished without incorporating several related disciplines. Some companies have solved this problem by dividing their interactive designers into teams, or domains, each responsible for a specific aspect of the design. Following are the primary related disciplines used in interactive design:

  • Industrial design – Industrial designers are responsible for the physical aspects of a product’s design. These aspects include shape, form, colour and other aesthetic characteristics.

  • Ergonomics – Well-designed products are ergonomic, meaning they can be used with natural bodily movements and in-tune with perceptual requirements and psychological health.

  • Cognitive psychology – Psychology plays a role in interactive design because certain designs are more in accordance with how people perceive, assimilate and analyse data.

  • Architecture – In the modern world, computer architecture plays a large role in interactive design. This is due to many products aiming to achieve a ubiquitous computing nature.

  • User interface design – User interface designers focus on the experience of the product user. This discipline is one of the most closely related to interaction design, and many experts do not distinguish between the two.

  • Human-computer interaction – Human-computer interaction is more of an academic field dealing with researching and testing of interfaces that can be used by people to interact with computers. In contrast, interaction design is more of a practical field that implements what is learned by human-computer interaction experts.

  • Graphic design – Graphic designers are experts in conveying messages or specific information through text, images or video. Graphic design can be an important aspect of interaction design.