Interaction Design and Its 5 Dimensions

Posted By : Shivam Singh Bhati | 15-Jun-2020

interaction design and its dimensions

Here we have discussed about what is interaction design and what are the 5 dimensions of interaction design. Also, we understand how the interaction between humans and products can be enhanced.

Before we talk about Interaction design we should know what interaction means and how we can use it in designs to make the designs interactive.


What is Interaction?

Interaction is a kind of action between two objects. It’s like Newton's 3rd law of physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But, we are not going to get into the physics of it and keep it simple. It is similar to the two human beings having a conversation. 

Also, Read | User Persona: Why and How to Use it


What is Interaction design (IxD)?

Interaction design also written as IxD, can be explained as the interaction of the user and product he is using. The goal of interaction design is to create products that enable users to achieve their objectives in the best possible way. The interaction design elements contain aesthetics, motion, sound, space, and more. It is the subset of user experience. Everything that is done in interaction design lies under user experience. There are five dimensions to interaction design:


1. Words

2. Visual representation

3. Physical objects and space

4. Time

5. Behavior


You might also be interested in reading: How to build a design system


These are the 5 Dimensions of Interaction Design:

1. Words

Words used should be simple, and easy to communicate with users and not overwhelm the user with a lot of unnecessary information. Before writing, consider whom you are writing for? The user or your target audience who is reading it must understand what is being conveyed through the message.

Some mobile app design services offer to develop dedicated, native, and hybrid mobile applications with optimization for micro-interactions. 

2. Visual representation

Examples of visual representation are icons, images, typography, and so on. Icons and images require users to understand them by their shape and what they are trying to communicate. That's why designers use icons that commonly represent a thing so it doesn’t confuse the user what they are looking at. This is the 2nd dimension of the Interaction design. Some of the icons go with the text and some very familiar icons don’t need the support of the text. For example, the search icon. Users are familiar with the search icon, and they don’t need a supporting text to tell what the icon is about.

3. Physical objects and space

The physical object is the object or tool like mouse, keyboard touch screen joystick, and other devices with or without buttons. By space, it means where he is using it. These two factors affect the usability of the device and hence the product is designed keeping these in mind. This is the 3rd dimension of the Interaction design. The experience of using the same applications on different devices is different. We use a keyboard & mouse with a computer whereas just the touch works well with mobile for interaction.

4. Time

It is the aspect of interaction that unfolds over time like animation, video, and audio. Animation, video, or audio plays a significant role in giving visuals and audio feedback to the user’s interaction. This is the 4th dimension of the Interaction design. For example, when sending a message on WhatsApp, the send message makes a sound that indicates that the message has been sent. Similarly, when the message is received it makes a different kind of sound. The two sounds enable a user to understand what is happening in the app. It make the app simple and intuitive to use.


5. Behavior

This is the 5th dimension of Interaction design. It has to do with the real person about how he interacts with the product and reacts to the product. All the dimensions come together in this dimension to see and feel how a user performs actions and uses the product. If all the above 4 dimensions are well designed, then the user interaction with the product will be good.


In this blog, I have written about the interaction design and explained 5 dimensions of interaction design. If all the dimensions are used correctly on a product the chances that the product is communicating well with the user are very high and hence this makes the product been used interactive.


Oodles UX design services offer wireframing and prototype designing services, web design services, and mobile app design services to build responsive digital designs for websites, mobile sites, and mobile applications.


About Author

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Shivam Singh Bhati

Shivam is an UX/UI Designer. He is an enthusiastic person, always ready to learn new technologies. He likes to play games, Listen to music, watch movies and anime.

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