Why interaction design should not replace visual communication

Visual design and interaction design are strictly connected disciplines. A professional user interface designer should be able to deal with both confidently.

Last update: September 2013. Posted by Luca Benazzi.

I would like to mention some brilliant examples from Bred Victor’s site that show how a well structured information graphics can help reduce the interaction to a minimum:

Magik Ink – Information software and the graphical interfaceHow many households

Interaction can easily turn into a burden for the users, restricting the potential of visual design, rather than supporting and empowering it. Interactivity cannot replace poor visual design. In my professional experience, I met plenty of graphic designers who were super-creative Adobe CS experts but had little awareness of what the principles of visual design and information visualization are. As a designer, it’s important to know what visual variables are, how they can be used to balance the layout, create subsets of information, make key elements stand out, and much more.

Design implies crafting the most elegant answers to people’s problems and needs – not just sub-optimal solutions that could work. Interaction should be reduced at a minimum and it should combine with visual elements in an elegant, intuitive, seamless stream of information, with no cognitive overload.

For those who want to deepen their knowledge on visual design, I’d refer to this excellent list of book recommendations by Jakob Nielsen:

Recommended books about visual design