Human meets computer

Interaction design guidelines

Guide the user

Interaction design takes users through a set of actions, gives reward and guides them to next steps.

A pointed finger with circles illuminating as if something was touched A pointed finger with circles illuminating as if something was touched

Principles

Inform and delight

Help users feel smart. Engage them in moments of inspiration and curiosity. Design for enlightening experiences that encourage critical thinking and creative confidence. Be mindful of what users need by providing them the right tools at the right time.

Be contextually aware

Users move between environments (office, car, home, soccer game) and activities (walking, waiting in line, sitting, meeting) many times a day. Their changing circumstances create new contexts designers must assess and design for on a moment-to-moment basis. Design for the most desirable outcomes while keeping the shifting factors of users’ working lives in mind.

Make it obvious

Build on people’s existing mental models to inform interactions. Familiarity and clear, distinct choices minimize the cognitive load and enable people to concentrate on their goals. Design the “next most important action” to be inherently identifiable and easily understood based on its context with the immediate task at hand.

For our users

Interaction Designer Kelly Bailey talks about how the IBM Design Language gives her the freedom to focus on the big picture and the needs of her users.

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