User interface, also known simply as UI is one of the most important considerations when designing any product. Graphic designers as well as industrial designers use and implement UI design principles but user interface design is becoming more and more important in the digital world.
By following user interface design principles, web developers can make their websites or apps easier and more pleasurable to use. Nowadays the internet is flooded with engaging websites and apps – competition is very high so if you want to make the best out of your user interface and create satisfying user experience.
For user interface design companies and web developers good UI design means starting with basic elements such as fonts and colours, and ultimately to every component present on the web page or in the app. Here is a list of UI design principles which will help you along the way to create attractive and most of all effective UI design for your projects.
Following UI Design Principles
The idea behind UI design is simple: it should be centred around the future user. Every UI designer’s number one priority is to understand the intended user and his or her expectations.
That being said, it’s a good idea to begin with an analysis of potential users and their expectation. You can begin with either informal or formal research plus a lot of brainstorming. Defining your goals for the user interface itself is paramount to your project’s success in the long run.
Here is a list of questions you should take into consideration before beginning to work on the user interface design:
- What does the user want from it?
- Is your user comfortable with technology?
- How does the user engage with the user interface?
Once the research part of the task is done, the UI designer can begin building it – afterwards real user testing is needed in order to measure results and make alterations.
UI Design Principles Prioritize Clarity
Very clear and specific features are the backbone of creating good UI design. Humans and users tend to ignore things they don’t understand – this allowed us to prioritize on things we consider important instead of wasting time on things we don’t understand.
When it comes to user interface design, the principles are the same – most users will simply ignore certain elements such as icons which they don’t immediately understand. Features without a clear purpose are also ignored. UI designers and user interface design companies need to focus on what the user wants or what the user needs from a website.
One great example of UI design clarity is Google’s decision to collapse the Gmail menu under a general grid icon. Visually speaking, it looks clean and quite appealing but this small change created many problems for certain users – they couldn’t find the features they needed and some of them didn’t even notice the new icon. When clarity is lost, user experience takes a dive!
UI Design Principles Imply Intuitive Layouts
Users need to be able to find the information they need without looking or thinking too hard. Every UI designer needs to create layouts that tells the user how to use the site’s features and how to navigate through it – by doing this you’re creating a better user experience and it also enables users to focus on getting what they need from the web page or app.
UI design companies need to consider the real life end users when building websites or apps. Sidebars, menus and other navigation tools should be easy to use and clear.
Instant Feedback is Important for UI design
Instant-feedback messages can boost your user experience. These messages are essential to keeping your users informed about their actions or what the website is doing – error messages, loading messages or icons, instant updates are essential to providing your users with feedback. Good UI design includes instant feedback for any of the user’s actions.
UI Design Defaults Should be Productive
A lot of users don’t even bother to change default features or settings on their interfaces. The iPhone default ringtone is a great example of this – the default setting is neutral. Auto-fill forms can save your users plenty of time by filling in information on their behalf.
Instead of simply leaving users to guess on how they should use a feature why not remove all the guesswork by showing them how to complete certain actions? Good UI design always leads users towards a satisfying and productive experience. Features can be emphasized through size, colour, text or even extra buttons.
UI Design & Basic Design Elements
Many user interface designers think basic design elements can’t be innovative or fresh. This is false – good UI design implies using as many basic design elements as possible – these elements have a huge impact on your user experience. Here is a list of basic design elements which you need to keep in perspective:
Text size – Text weight has a great impact on shaping your user interface. For example, static text may require your users to zoom in, which can lead to a frustrating user experience.
Screen resolution – Good UI design works with varying resolutions. Poor resolution choices can have a negative impact on usability and readability.
Distortion – User interface designers need to avoid any disruption or distortion of visuals as it can impede your user from engaging with the user interface properly.
Contrast – Contrast makes all elements easy to engage and read. UI design should be accessible for users suffering for colour blindness for example. Keep in mind that low-contrast visuals can cause people with minor vision loss to struggle before finally leaving your website.
Conclusions on UI Design Principles
We are all becoming more and more engaged in the online experience so UI design is becoming more important for our daily activities. By following these simple UI design principles, UI designers can make a positive impact on most aspects of our lives.