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What Are the Different Types of Interactive Design Systems?

By K'Lee Banks
Updated May 16, 2024
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Interactive design systems are dynamic interfaces responsible for effective human-computer interaction (HCI). Experts in interactive design for businesses focus on how to create a highly engaging, user-friendly experience for visitors to the company’s website. Instructional designers responsible for creating learning modules for education and training modules for business frequently incorporate interactive design elements. Based on numerous studies, learners respond more favorably to, and attain higher achievement rates with, dynamic learning or training materials than static, text-only materials. Different types of interactive design systems or styles include command entry, form “fillins,” menu selection, and direct manipulation.

Two key objectives exist within interactive design (IxD). One is to understand who the users of a system are, along with their behaviors and goals regarding interacting with that system. This system is typically a device, such as a computer, or a website or computer-based learning or training module. The second objective of IxD is to create an enjoyable, dynamic, user-friendly experience for the users that incorporates their input in a variety of ways. Human-computer interaction is a key component in effective IxD, whether in business, in school, or on the job.

Several different types of interactive design systems or styles are user input actions, which create communication bridges with computers. One type is command entry or command prompt, typically used by expert computer users to dictate the desired behavior or response. Another type of IxD is the form “fillin” or “fill in the blanks” form, which allows users to enter relevant data as they would on paper forms. Menu selection offers users predefined options to choose from, often in either pull-down menus or pop-up windows. Direct manipulation allows the user to manipulate or move objects on the screen through the “drag and drop” method by holding down the button on a mouse or pressing and scrolling with a trackpad.

Participatory design directly depends on user input to improve interactive design systems. By playing an active role, a user can provide valuable insight and suggestions to interactive designers regarding which components of a system are effective and user-friendly, and which are not. Interactive designers can then incorporate user input into upgraded designs.

Individuals responsible for planning and designing business websites, or educational or training materials, should consider interactive design systems for their human-computer interaction benefits. Rather than presenting a website with only blocks of text, interactive designers can include elements that engage individuals in active participation. Users involved in dynamic activity on a website are more likely to stay, participate, and make a choice, such as a purchase. Likewise, in a learning or training module, learners engaged in highly interactive exercises are more likely to retain what they learned.

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