So what does the future hold for interaction design?
With the emergence of a genuinely interoperable metaverse, Apple and Google announcing their augmented reality glasses, and even breakthroughs with AR contact lenses, we live at the dawn of a new age of immersive digital experiences. Soon our digital experiences will move beyond the confines of a flat screen and appear to be situations in actual or virtual 3D space.
As we move beyond the screen and into the world of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the way we interact with technology is changing. We believe that the future of interaction design may borrow heavily from video game mechanics.
When the first iPhone was released, Apple used skeuomorphic (closely resembling real objects) design principles, to bring their interface and apps to life. The alarm apps looked like a real life alarm clock, a recording app looked like a microphone recorder, and even the e-book reader looked like a bookshelf.
Of course the world of design has moved a lot from then.
Users have learnt the affordances of new 2D flat interfaces and have acquired conceptual models for how these interactions work. But as we move into the new age of ubiquitous 3D interfaces, there is a good chance that we will look again to the real world of turning knobs, switches and buttons with a sense of physicality to them, before we move to and learn more abstract gesture based interactions.
So what makes good interaction design? And how can we apply it effectively in the world of 3D?
The idea of ‘Juicy Interactions’ originally comes from the world of game design. It describes interactions that go beyond the mundane, making something fun, playful and addictive. In gamification, you combine goals with rewards, motivations, rules and interactions that give you feedback. This feedback, is central to what makes an interaction so ‘juicy’.
There are many aspects to juicy interaction design, that need to be considered to support and provide an engaging user experience.
Interact with our Juicy Interactions:
Tactile - They feel physical, mechanical or natural. Think of what makes a fidget cube so satisfying. It is the tactility of the interactions in of themselves.<iframe src='https://my.spline.design/3dinteractionswitch-807f273908024d8fd94a3897a8ff8999/' frameborder='0' width='100%' height='100%'></iframe>
Inviting - An interaction is inviting when it beckons you to interact with it some more. A button may be inviting purely from its visual design, but then when you combine it with an interesting hover state, then it begs you to click it, just to see what’s on the other side. A tactic not to be overlooked in the purchasing journey.<iframe src='https://my.spline.design/untitled-9366b4aa987efd93fe7d80a6837ea6ca/' frameborder='0' width='100%' height='100%'></iframe>
Repeatable - This may seem obvious, but if you want your users to repeatedly play with an interaction, then its feedback and effects should be repeatable.<iframe src='https://my.spline.design/keyboardmicrointeraction-1d5eb1fe3d46faa8bf9c1f6ed870767b/' frameborder='0' width='100%' height='100%'></iframe>
Coherent - You also want to create interactions that fit with the design of the rest of the interface, a consistent design language. If your interface is all 2D, don’t just throw in a single 3D interaction in there, unless it makes sense in the system as a whole.
Continuous - Feedback should appear at the moment the users expects it, without a delay that would make it feel unnatural, and should feel continuous with the point of interaction.
Emergent - Similar the previous point, the interaction should not break the user’s flow, but instead appear where it makes sense, whilst not being distracting.
Balanced - There needs to be a balance in feedback frequency. Both too much or too little feedback could leave the user confused. In most situations, it is best not to overdo it with direct feedback such as notifications
Fresh - Finally, interactions need to feel fresh rather than stale. They need to be different enough from the norm to pique one’s interest. Boring interactions aren’t juicy
These interactions are central to experience design, because they sit at the nexus of every decision your user makes on your site or digital product. Whether they convert or not, sometimes comes down to details of the interaction itself, and how fluid their experience has been up to that point. Will the checkout experience feel effortless? Yes? Then I may be more likely to be swayed to buy this product rather than leave it in checkout. Does the subscription button feel warm and inviting? Yes? Then why not.
Good interaction design can benefit your business enormously, helping you to grow your sales, optimize your customer’s experience, and differentiate your brand allowing you to stick out from the competition.
The next time you’re thinking of levelling up your interaction design, whether 3D or 2D, get in touch with us. And we can help you create digital experiences that really pop, utilizing juicy interaction design to supercharge your conversions through our behavioural expertise.