Career Definition of an Interaction Designer
Interaction designers combine technical, design and customer service skills to do their job effectively. Their role is to help with product design. They specifically concentrate on how customers interact with a product. For example, people who buy a laptop will type on the keyboard or move the mouse so those are aspects of the product that consumers interact with. Consumers do not interact with the processors and electronics inside the computer itself, so interaction designers would not consider the design aspects of products like that.
Their ultimate objective is to identify how consumers will use a product and develop a design plan that will ensure customer are satisfied with the mechanisms they use to interact with products. They develop design plans and collaborate with engineers and others involved with producing the product to finalize the design plan. Interaction designers represent consumers during the design phase to ensure that consumer needs and interests are considered. They collaborate with marketing professionals to help develop ways to promote the product. These designers also monitor the product and assess the consumer response to the product to determine ways to correct interaction issues and improve how consumers interact with that type of product.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, computer skills, artistic skills, teamwork skills, design plans|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$76,007|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||5% (industrial designers)|
Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Interaction designers must have a bachelor's degree in a field such as business administration, market research, graphic design or engineering. It is essential that they have the ability to work with design programs such as Adobe Suite and that they have design skills. Taking courses in computer-aided design will benefit those interested in this career field. Interaction designers also benefit from taking courses that will develop their analytical skills so that they can process data and effectively assess the effectiveness of their designs.
Interaction designers work closely with engineers and other staff, such as marketing professionals, so they need to have teamwork skills. Communication skills are essential for interacting with other staff and for securing customer feedback. Interaction designers need analytical skills to review information about products and identify the strengths and weaknesses of those products. Design skills are essential since they spend a lot of time preparing product interaction design plans.
Career Outlook and Salary
PayScale reported that as of 2018, interaction designers were paid $76,007. This is the median annual salary for this profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) category that interaction designers are included in is the listing for industrial designers. Like industrial designers, interaction designers assess consumer needs and desires and develop design plans. The BLS reports that from 2016 to 2026 a 5% job growth rate is expected for industrial designers.
Since design skills are such an important part of the work that interaction designers do those considering this career field may be interested in other design careers. The links listed here lead to information about graphic artists, industrial designers, multimedia artists and design engineers.