Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tips for Designing Interaction Templates

Interaction models are ready-made program modules that content creators can custom-configure quickly and easily with new content. Interaction models are also known as interaction templates.

A simple interaction template for a web site could be a visitor poll. In a presentation, a drill-down pie-chart could be a useful interaction. In e-learning, a learning quiz show game can be a good interaction template, with customizable questions.

Planning your template library
Good templates result in meaningful, rather than superficial interactions. Here are some tips on designing a good interaction template library.
  1. Think of  templates that add value (not just jazz) to the content
  2. Consider where the interactions would play - a browser, a presentation or otherwise.
  3. Consider the end-use and its impact on the selection of templates
  4. Organize templates in logical categories
  5. Tag templates with meaningful keywords to enable easy search
  6. Considerations implications for systems integration - will the templates have to import / export data to other applications?

Designing individual templates
Each individual template needs careful design considerations. Here are a few.
  1. Determine customizable parameters: What will change from one interactivity to next?
  2. Clearly identify the stages of customization: Are there parameters that can be customized in a wizard pretty much using form-filling? Are there other parameters that require a graphic input while customizing?
  3. Set sensible defaults
  4. Allow import and export of content: An interactive graph can be built by importing Excel. An interactive discussion can be summarized in a PDF export.
  5. Address multiple rendering options at run time: Depending on what device the interaction will be played on.

When are templates appropriate?
When you have a repetitive use of an interaction with changing content, templates are essential. If you are building a unique interaction that you will hardly need to modify ever, there is no point bothering with templates.

No comments:

Post a Comment