Interaction design (IxD) refers to the practice of designing interactive digital products, systems, and services that focus on enhancing the user's experience and facilitating effective interactions between users and technology. It encompasses the design of both physical and digital interfaces, including websites, mobile applications, software, appliances, and other interactive devices.

The goal of IxD is to create intuitive, user-friendly, and meaningful interactions that meet the needs and expectations of users. It involves understanding users' behaviors, goals, and contexts in order to design interfaces that are easy to use, efficient, and enjoyable. Interaction designers consider various factors such as usability, accessibility, visual aesthetics, and the overall user experience.

IxD involves several key principles and activities, including:

User Needs Analysis

IxD and user need analysis form a symbiotic relationship, with user need analysis providing critical insights to guide the IxD process. By designing with the user's needs and expectations in mind, interaction designers can create products and services that are intuitive, enjoyable, and effective for the target users.

Example of packaging analysis

(Source: (2011))

Wireframing and Prototyping

IxD works hand-in-hand with wireframing and prototyping to transform abstract ideas into tangible and testable user experiences. Wireframes lay the groundwork for the user interface's structure, while prototypes enable designers to simulate and validate interactions, leading to a more refined and user-centered product.

Monica Galvan shows the transition from low-fidelity wireframe to high-fidelity

wireframe, right through to the final user interface

(Source: (2023))

Visual Design

IxD and visual design work together to create a user interface that not only meets user needs and goals but also delights users with a visually appealing and intuitive experience. The seamless integration of interaction and visual design elements contributes to the overall success of the product and enhances user satisfaction.

Example of NOVA’s website achieves great visual impact with collection of

relatively small images coupled with colored backgrounds and text

(Source: (2017))


By integrating accessibility considerations into the IxD process, designers create products that are usable and enjoyable for all users, regardless of their abilities. This commitment to accessibility not only enhances the user experience but also ensures compliance with accessibility laws and regulations, promoting inclusivity and equal access to digital products and services.

Karwai Pun created these dos and don’ts posters as a way of

approaching accessibility from a design perspective

(Source: (2016))


Emotional Design

IxD and emotional design work together to create products that go beyond functional usability and evoke positive emotional responses from users. By understanding user emotions and crafting emotionally engaging interactions, designers can create products that leave a lasting and memorable impression on users, fostering a stronger connection between users and the product or brand. Emotional design enhances user satisfaction and loyalty, contributing to the overall success of the product.

T-Cup emotional packaging design created by Jaeyoung Ha

(Source: (2011))

IxD is a multidisciplinary field that draws from various disciplines, such as user experience design, visual design, cognitive psychology, human-computer interaction, and usability engineering. By applying a user-centered approach and considering the needs and goals of the users, interaction designers strive to create interfaces that are intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable to use.

Ts. Shahrul Azman Shahbudin

Pensyarah Kanan
Fakulti Rekabentuk dan Senibina,
Universiti Putra Malaysia


Date of Input: 30/08/2023 | Updated: 04/09/2023 | uswahhasanah


Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan