Do You Know the 4 Major Goals of Interaction Design?


The ultimate goal of interaction design is to change and affect user behavior. Although products are different, product goals and user goals will also be different, but the goals of product interaction design are the same, that is, less, faster, better, and saving;

1. What is the goal of interaction design?

As interaction designers, the ultimate goal of our design is to change and influence the user's behavior, to give him what the user wants in a way that the user is familiar with, and to give what the user does not want but the product wants in a way that the user is willing to accept. 

Different products have different user goals and product goals, so design strategies and design solutions are also different. But as interaction designers, our design thinking and experience are the same, and our work results will not be affected by changing of a business. Why?

Different businesses have different ultimate design objectives, but the process objectives to be followed in the process of interaction design are universal, it can be said that they can be applied everywhere. I summarize these more general process objectives as a four words: less, faster, better and saving.

How to understand these four words?

The so-called less means that the information feature should be refined and clear at a glance, and unnecessary features and information should be reduced as much as possible.

The so-called faster, both performance and efficiency, refers to responding to user actions as quickly as possible and helping users achieve their goals as quickly as possible.

The so-called better is that the design of the product must meet the industry-leading design standards, so that users feel easy to use, and like to use.

The so-called saving means saving time, effort, and energy, helping user reduce action and cognitive costs.

2. Why | Why are these four process indicators?

So why are these four process indicators? What is it based on? Let's take a look at them one by one. 

1. Less

Less evidence comes from human physiological characteristics.

As humans, we have 86 billion sensory neurons, and about 40 billion sensory information inputs per second, but the human consciousness can only notice 40 of them at a time, while the human short-term memory can really process only 4±1.


This cognitive limitation determines the upper limit of the information we can process at the same time, so we cannot present too much information to the user at once.

You can view the video "Whodunnit?" on the Internet to experience the limitations of visual attention.

When many people watch the video for the first time, because of the language and plot, they do not notice a change. After repeated observation, they realize that there are so many changes. This is actually the same reason that users can’t find functions that they think are obvious. The more information, the less factors users can notice.

Therefore, we should do the subtraction as much as possible in the interaction design, and use the four strategies of interaction design: reasonable deletion, hierarchical organization, timely hiding, and clever transfer, so as to reduce the complexity of interface information as much as possible.

2. Faster


It can be seen that the shortest time of visual stimulation that can affect us is 5ms, so the real-time motion of the dots following the fingers can not be feel the lag until it is less than 5ms.

You can observe that you can perceive the lag of 10ms.

As humans, our time frame for perception of causality is 0.14s.

What do you mean? If you make an input and the system gives you an output within 0.14s, you will think that the output is caused by your input. For example, if you click a button and it makes your expected response within 0.14s, you will feel very smooth (or insensitive, it should be), but if it has no feedback after 0.14s, you may frown and feel a little stuck. If it doesn't give feedback for more than 1 second, I'm afraid you can't help clicking again.

For interaction design, the user's sense of control is very important, so we must make our product as fast as possible to meet the user's need for a sense of control.

You can feel the impact of feedback lag on the user's sense of control through this case.

In addition to the physical time of a single step, we also need to be as fast as possible in terms of processes and specific steps.

3. Better

The basis principle is from the exposure effect.

People like the feeling of familiarity, and the evolutionary explanation for this is simple, if you recognize a recurring thing, it is safe, because it has not killed you, so the familiar will give people a natural sense of security and Favorite, people will like familiar actions and familiar elements.

Therefore, when we conduct interaction design, we must conduct competitive product analysis and study the design habits of the industry, because the design habits of the industry will shape the cognition and usage habits of users.

When we design our products, we will try our best to abide by the principle of consistency to ensure that users' cognition and action habits within our products can be continued.

4. Saving

The last general indicator is saving.

The evolutionary mechanism of organisms is developing in the direction of energy saving. After all, in the long course of human beings, the crisis of survival has always dominated. If you have seen the animated film Crazy Primitives, you should understand the importance of energy saving to human beings.

In this short film, the Gollum family often stays in the cave day after day, year after year, and does not come out without looking for food, because the outside is full of danger, and because going out is very energy-intensive. Therefore, during that long period of time, foraging for food and saving energy were the goals throughout the life of primitive people.

This makes our body mechanisms prefer energy-efficient products and designs. In the final analysis, it is the design of lazy people. For example, when many people stay at home on weekends, their nature is revealed. Basically, they don't sit down when they can lie down That's why smart furniture, smart appliances, and smart cameras are so popular.

3. Summary

Well, the four process indicators of interaction design are explained here, let's briefly review them.

The theoretical basis for less is because the upper limit of human short-term memory is 4±1, so we have to comply with this upper limit and not give users too much cognitive load at once.

There are two theoretical basis of faster. One is that the duration of the shortest visual stimulus that people can perceive is 0.005 seconds, and the other is that the time limit for human perception of causality is 0.14s. Both of these times are very short. Without feeling lag, we have to be as fast as possible.

The theoretical basis of better is the exposure effect. Familiar things will bring us a natural sense of intimacy and security, so we should use the language familiar to users to design as much as possible.

The theoretical basis of the saving is energy efficient. Because living organisms prefer energy-efficient designs, energy-efficient designs can make users feel more relaxed and happier.

Precisely because less, faster, better and saving are all based on human physiology and evolutionary mechanisms, it is universal among all users. When users use any product, they hope that the product can comply with these indicators, so We should try our best to abide by it when doing product design.

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