Mobile Interaction Design Beyond 2017

Mobile apps at the present time are more than pleasant pictures and fonts. In the mobile app development, we also deal with swipes and taps following users all the time – this is the journey we make within an app product. All of the smartphone gestures create a separate design realm, which we know now as “interaction design”.

Our task for today is to learn the basic principles of this sphere and find terrific design examples, illustrating how far we’ve gone in the year of 2017 and how app owners can make better the overall appearance of their product.


The 4 Methodologies of Mobile Interaction Design
#1 Goal-Driven Design
#2 Usability
#3 Four Dimensions (And One More)
#4 Knowledge from Cognitive Psychology
Interaction Design in Practice: Great App Examples

Read also: Mobile App Design for Beginners: The Basics of Your Work

The 4 Methodologies of Mobile Interaction Design

Interactions are the key to user experience no matter what product is being developed. But even the most complex project is based on some primary rules that specialists have to keep in mind. Let’s have a look at them.

#1 Goal-Driven Design

Goal-Driven Design

The concept of goal-driven design first appeared in 1999 thanks to Alan Cooper. Such design has one main purpose – to satisfy people’s needs. The thing is design earlier was about implementing the latest technological innovations, so the focus shifted considerably.

To always remember about the end user, the designer should constantly answer the row of questions using the app: who the user is, where he is, what goals he has to achieve with the app. On the stage of development, designers become the closest persons to the customer.

Read also: 10 Up-to-Date Mobile App Design Trends

#2 Usability


The app design may be beautiful and goal-oriented but not that easy to use. Is the way to the final goal pleasant enough to use this road again and again? As usability seems to be a wide term, lots of researchers tried to explain it. In our case, we use materials from the book Human Computer Interactions and three terms the authors suggest us:

  • Learnability is about how fast users learn the app’s interface. The best result is when the consumer doesn’t have to waste extra time to find a certain feature or to choose the needed screen.
  • Flexibility shows the number of ways customers may interact with a mobile product.
  • Robustness is the level of support when users see error windows or other unclear messages.

Simply put, usability is making a mobile application understandable for your target audience.

Read also: 5 Best Ways to Prototype Your Mobile Project

#3 Four Dimensions (And One More)

Four Dimensions (And One More)

With four dimensions, we may explain interactional design in layers – from the simplest elements to the whole impression. One more dimension was presented later, and it complements the overall layer structure.

1st dimension (words): each word separately and completed phrases and sentences should be written in a simple style, creating an impression of communication between the app and user.

2nd dimension (visual content): it is everything we see on the screen except for words: color scheme, graphic elements, and images.

3rd dimension (physical object): in our case, it is a smartphone in the person’s hands.

4th dimension (time): these are time periods the user usually spends with the three dimensions from above.

5th dimension (behavior): this is all about feelings: whether the customer is satisfied or not and what is his final reaction.

Read also: How Much Does It Take to Create a Virtual Reality App

#4 Knowledge from Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is the key branch of the whole psychology science helping to answer many questions the designer has in his work. It is also applicable to some aspects of the interaction design as the cognitive area deals with attention, perceptions, and problem-solving.

Knowledge from Cognitive Psychology

So, which terms can we use in the mobile interaction design? These are some of them:

  • Mental model is an expectation that a user has in his mind about a certain interaction. This concept is used to create the intuitive design.
  • Interface metaphor allows people to gain new experience on the basis of the older one. When you see an icon with an image of a trash can, you certainly know how you can use it.
  • Affordance is somehow similar to interface metaphors. In this case, an object doesn’t show what it is exactly but gives you a hint so you could guess. If a button looks like a real physical button, it would be natural to tap on it.

This theoretical part is essential to understand the basic philosophy of the interaction design. But as time flies, creators all over the world find new ways to put the main rules into practice. Let’s see how they do this.

Interaction Design in Practice: Great App Examples

Feeling comfortable when using the app is a sine qua non for the modern mobile user. In this article section, we’ll see how designers manage the rules of interaction design in 2017. These are examples that app owners can look up to considering renovations in their products.

Filter transitions for the flight booking app

These transitions were created by Vitaly Rubtsov for the app “Flyer”. When working with filters, the customer gets positive impressions with soft colors of the color scheme and a logically built process of planning a flight trip.

Filter transitions for the flight booking app

All needed filters are gathered on one screen and can be changed with a few efforts. Some of the options are shown as mobile settings (tapping “yes” or “no”), so it’s clear for the user how to navigate through them. When all the filters have been checked, the final result appears on the next screen. The details are displayed on the white background with a font easy to read.

Read also: Mobile Technology in Flight Search and Hotel Booking Industry

Color palettes for UI designers (and not only for them)

Choosing the right color requires much inspiration from the product creator. But what can they do when the muse goes away for a while? The solution suggested by Vijay Verma simplifies color searching a lot.

Choosing the right color

At first, the user finds the main color, in which he imagines his new creation. He taps on that color and sees the full shade range of one particular color. The “thing” about this design is how the shades appear on the screen – they trickle up or down depending on whether you open the screen or want to leave it. And finally, all of the shades can be saved to favorites or shared with friends and colleagues.

Natural interactions when reading a book

The creators of this app are preparing a new solution for those who really appreciate their paper reading (check the project on Behance).

Interaction design when reading a book

The point is lots of people like “the real” feelings when they hold a book in their hands and can turn over the pages. In this instance, when the customer chooses the book, all his library appears to be on the virtual shelves. Then, the person picks one book, taps on it, and the app shows the cover closer. After that, the book opens as if it was a physical one.

Completing tasks easily

Omelo is a new task tracker appearing on Behance. To faster navigate this app with a smartphone, it’s filled with convenient in-app gestures.

Completing tasks easily

With this example, we see how easily it would be to move the task from one date to another. And the movement itself is made beautifully. When the user heads to a certain date, he sees all of the deadlines on the way. And the life of the project is presented as a line, where the green part is those stages which have been already completed. It’s possible to create as many projects as the user wants – and each of them will have this simple structure.

Read also: How to Build a Team Task Management App

Interaction Design Brings You Closer to the Users

In reality, even the brightest mobile idea can crash on the stone without a proper visual embodiment. Making beautiful static solutions is a case from the past days – now the app workflow is at the top of the agenda. Caring about user gestures and simple navigation is the interaction design’s concern.

Web designers have to pay attention to the app’s learnability and flexibility, always remember about the goal of the project, and consider people’s psychology where necessary. TecSynt’s specialists are already a part of the interaction movement, and they’re ready to discuss how to improve user experience in your app the best possible way.


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