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23 Sep, 2021

Interaction Design vs UX design: How do they Differ?

“Design is not what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works” – Steve Jobs.

The statement by Steve jobs outlines the importance of Interaction design vs UX design. Let’s put our heads together and learn what these terminologies are about.

What is meant by interaction design? What does an interaction designer do? Is it part of UX? What are interaction design examples?

We are going to cover everything in this guide!

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Interaction Design vs UX

In this vast field of design, there are UX designers and interaction designers. The duties of interaction and UX designers overlap which makes things a bit complicated.

To avoid this mess, we are sharing a brief description of both Interaction design vs UX design.

The Difference Between Interaction Design vs UX?

Interaction design vs UX design: there are many common areas between the two and both involve design disciplines that contribute to the user experience. To tell you, interaction design is a subset of UX design.

Interaction design vs. UX

Read this article to fully understand Interaction design vs UX design.

UX Design: Its Definition

A UX design focuses on user interaction; a UX designer’s job is to ensure the interface is properly organized and deals with different useful functions. UX design is comprehensive and incorporates the following:

  • UI Design
  • Visual Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Information Architecture
  • and much more

UX designers mainly work on the commands of customers and build customer-specific products. Their job is to ensure that the work is done according to user demands.

How should a UX be?

  • Useful
  • Useable
  • Valuable
  • Desirable
  • Findable
  • Accessible
  • Credible
UX design: Its Definition

The Quadrants of UX Design

Interaction design vs UX design differs with a simple difference: UI is a person and UX are you interacting with a person.

But UX is a broad concept that is divided into four quadrants:

  • Experience strategy (ES)
  • Interaction Design (ID)
  • User Research (UR)
  • Information Architecture (IA)
The Quadrants of UX Design

Interaction Design: Its Definition

An interaction design says how a system behaves when a user engages with it. You can say it is a physical & emotional dialogue between a product & a person.

It includes the following:

  • Motion
  • Sound
  • Aesthetics
  • Animation
  • Other meaningful interactions

Interaction design is important because it makes interactions pleasant and meaningful.

interactrion design

What if you have a computer but you don’t know how to start it? How about you download a game app but its interface is so horrible that you find it hard to use it? To avoid users getting confused, a good interaction is added so that the system becomes useful, informative, and knowledgeable.

5 Primary Dimensions of Interaction Design (IxD)

The following five dimensions assist in understanding what interaction design involves.

  1. Words
  2. Visual Representation
  3. Physical object or space
  4. Time
  5. Behavior

Here’s a brief explanation on these:


Words convey meaningful information because it is easier to understand and encompass i.e. menu items, button labels, tags, etc.

Visual Representation

Visual Representation involves graphical elements such as typography, images, and icons that help in user interaction. When you don’t want to use words to explain something, you use visuals.

Physical Objects

Physical objects allow users to interact with a certain product or service i.e. a laptop via a mouse, or a mobile phone via fingers.


Time refers to media that includes videos, animations, visualization, and sounds. It assists users in understanding the visual changes in the UI comprehensively.


Behavior involves action as well as a reaction when the user starts to interact with the product.

Interactive design vs UX design considers how users perform different actions when they interact with a website or mobile application.

Interactive Design vs UX Design: Understanding Using Examples

Researchers say the more uncomplicated the interaction design is, the more user-friendly and attractive it is. So why isn’t the interaction design similar to UX design?

A good and productive interaction design ultimately leads to a productive user experience. Simply put, “UX design encompasses interaction design.”

UX solves problems

Examples that well elaborate the basics of Interaction design vs UX.

Suppose you want to send a message to a friend; user interaction is when you type the message and deliver it across.

UX involves the medium through which you send that message i.e. how easy it was for you to type the message and send it. Were the buttons working fine? Did the phone allow you to send the message easily, etc?

How Do Interaction and UX Design Work?

UX and Interaction design are interlinked; here is how:


Study the main objective of your business.

UX Research

Create a user-person and study your competitor too.

Build Ideas

Brainstorm ideas with your team to deliver the solutions.


Generate prototypes to know how the user will interact with the product.

Conduct Tests

Conduct a test to ensure the work is done right.


Repeat the whole process.

user experience design

Are Interaction & UX Design Good Careers?

They are indeed good careers because they are heavily in demand.

Following are the job titles that are used to get started:

  • UX Designer
  • User Researcher
  • UX Researcher
  • Usability Tester
  • Information Architect
  • Experience Designer
  • Interaction Designer
  • Information Architect
  • UX Strategist
  • UX Architect
  • UX Product Manager
  • UX Analyst
  • UX Engineer
  • UX Developer
  • Product Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Content Strategist

Do you now have a good understanding of Interaction design vs UX design?

If you want to explore more about UX design, you can read our comprehensives guides:

Move your concept one step closer.