Here are four basic activities for interaction design:
Establishing Requirement: In order to design something to support people, we must know who our target users are and what kind of support an interactive product could usefully provide. These needs form the basis of the product’s requirements and underpin subsequent design and development. This activity is fundamental to a user-centered approach, and is very important in interaction design. Understanding these needs is gleaned through data gathering and analysis.
Design alternatives: this is core activity of designing, actually suggesting ideas for meeting the requirements. This activity can be viewed as two sub-activities: conceptual design and concrete design. Conceptual design involves producing the conceptual model for the product, and a conceptual model describes an abstracting outlining what people can do with a product and what concepts are needed to understand how to interact with it. Concrete design considers the detail of the product including the colors, sounds, and images to use, menu design and icon design. Alternatives are considered at every point.
Prototyping: Interaction design involves designing interactive products. The most sensible way for users to evaluate such designs is to interact with them, and this can be achieved through prototyping. This does not necessarily mean a piece of software is required. There are different prototyping techniques, not all of which are require a working piece of software. For example, paper based prototypes are very quick and cheap to build and are very effective for identifying problems in the early stages of design, and through role-playing users can get a real sense of what it will be like to interact with the product.
Evaluating: Evaluation is the process of determining the usability and acceptability of the product or design that is measure in terms of a variety usability and user experience criteria. Interaction design requires a high level of user involvement throughout development, and this enhances the chances of an acceptable product being delivered. Evaluation does not replace the activities concerned with quality assurance and testing to make sure that the final product is fit for purpose, but it complements and enhances them.
The activities of establishing requirements, designing alternatives, building prototypes, and evaluating them are intertwined: alternatives are evaluated through the prototypes and the results are fed back into further design or might identify missing requirements. This iteration is one of the key characteristics of user-centered approach.
Above all, find the correct problems, then find the easiest way solve it, and improve the way iteratively. Position yourselves into the user’s seat, then raise up make sense solutions to help yourself solve problems based on your empirical measurement. Last thing but the most important thing - perseverance, keep going and never never never give up. The easiest thing in the world is to tease the guy who persist in doing one thing, and the hardest thing is to be that guy. Come on, youngsters!