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By Shira Gotshalk | Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interaction design and user experience fundamentals

Interaction design (IXD) and user experience (UX) design are increasingly recognized as essential skills for the web, mobile devices, and other digital interfaces and devices. But IXD and UX are much more than creating rollovers, knowing where to put buttons, and using attractive graphics and transitions. We need to understand what people need or want to do, what motivates them, how they interact with a device or interface, and we need to understand the technologies that are providing access to a nearly unlimited amount of information.

In this new fundamentals series David M. Hogue, Ph.D., an applied psychologist and UX designer, introduces the foundations of interaction design from a psychological perspective. Dave looks at the origins of interaction design and our basic need to record, understand, modify, communicate, share, and play with information. He also investigates key concepts in cognition, perception, learning, memory, and motivation to show how understanding the needs and behaviors of the people who will use the interface can inform and guide our design decisions.

The series is centered around five essential principles of interaction design: consistency, perceivability, predictability, learnability, and feedback. Dave uses the five principals to explore user experience and interaction design from a psychological perspective and to help explain how to craft more successful, usable, and enjoyable interfaces. His discussion covers a wide range of topics including how people develop a sense of place, cognitive friction, the Gestalt Principles, mental models, and perceived affordances.

The Interaction Design Fundamentals course is targeted at designers and developers who want to craft better, more engaging, experiences for their visitors and customers. Whether you are new to the field or are already creating interfaces for the web and devices, looking at interaction design from the perspective of human behavior, cognition, and motivation can help improve your design decisions overall.

Have other topics and techniques you wish Dave would teach, discuss, or demonstrate in this series? Leave us a comment on this post.

Interested in more? • The entire Interaction Design Fundamentals course on lynda.com • All developer courses on lynda.com • All web + interactive courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Web Site Planning and Wireframing: Hands-On TrainingFlash User Experience Best PracticesWeb Site Strategy and PlanningWeb Form Design Best Practices

By Shira Gotshalk | Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Infographics: Visualizing relationships

Knowledge is power, but visual representation of data tells a far more powerful story than flat data on a spreadsheet. Infographics—also referred to as information graphics—tell stories in interesting and unique ways through the art of illustration. The good news is, you don’t have to be an artist to engage your viewers by presenting data in a compact and creative way.

Infographic example

Our new Infographics series covers the fundamentals and provides clear examples and techniques for creating your own visually compelling, data-driven stories. In Infographics: Visualizing Relationships, author Shane Snow demonstrates how to build a multi-relationship radial diagram to depict complex relationships. He uses Photoshop and a spreadsheet to illustrate connections between relationships, and he shares expert instruction on creating legends, designing titles and source credits, and adjusting the placement of design elements. Additional courses in the Infographics series cover Planning and Wireframing and Area Bubbles.

You’ll find that infographics make for a popular alternative to plain text or other traditional posts used in social media.

The lynda.com infographics courses are targeted at designers and bloggers who want to tell data-based stories through illustration, not data scientists or programmers who want to visualize data using code. So jump in today and create your own story!

Interested in more? • The entire Infographics: Visualizing Relationships course on lynda.com • All web + interactive courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:Infographics: Planning and WireframingInfographics: Area BubblesIllustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive DesignPhotoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

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