Exceptions are often made for user interface design as it is well known that successful software and website creation is a process of evolution rather than formula creation. There is no specific manual to tell you how to create user interface design. However, the art of developing effective interface design involves incorporating the right technique in at the right moment. As such, there are some general tips and techniques which will help to steer you in the right direction.
1. Ensure pleasant viewer experience through UI design
When it comes to user interface design, there are a few basic rules that should be followed to ensure a pleasant viewer experience. Some of the most common mistakes can be avoided if you just follow a few simple guidelines for web and mobile design.
Looking at the best examples of mobile app and website design is always a good source of inspiration, but sometimes it’s important to understand exactly why something works as well as it does. That’s why we’ve broken down these tips for effective user interface design into four simple rules that every designer should remember when creating an interface or app.
Every application is going to have its own unique set of goals, so it’s important to know what you want your users to accomplish before you get started. The objectives will dictate how the app is designed and what elements are included. It’s also important to keep in mind that goals may change during the design process, so be prepared to adapt with them.
2. Keep users at the centre of user interface design
Before you begin the design process, you need to understand what your users want and expect from your site.
If you’re lucky, you already have a pretty good idea of what your users want and need. If not, it’s time to do some research: put yourself in their shoes and try to see how they perceive the world.
Ask questions like:
- what do they know about the topic? Do they like or dislike it? What are their expectations?
- how much time do they want to spend on the site? Are they willing to invest a lot of time? Are they looking for quick answers?
- where do they come from? Are they using your site at work, at home, or both? And with which devices – PCs, smartphones or tablets?
- how often will they use the site? Once a month, daily or multiple times during each day?
- what are their goals when visiting the site (e.g., buy something, find out about a topic)?
3. Analyse what others are doing right now
The best approach to achieve this is by seeing what others are doing currently. Luckily, there are thousands of websites to look at. Start by focusing on websites that are in the same genre as yours. For example, if you’re designing an eCommerce website, look only at other eCommerce websites. If you’re designing an informational site, then look only at informational sites.
Next, break them down into even smaller subcategories. If you’re designing a store that sells shoes, look only at shoe stores! If you’re designing a website for a church, then look only at church websites. The more similar the site is to yours, the better your chances of finding good inspiration.
4. Compatibility of your design with smart devices
A good user interface design can make all the difference to your website. For example, if a site is difficult to navigate, people will get frustrated and leave without completing any of your calls to action.
When creating a user interface, you need to consider how it looks visually, as well as what messages it sends to the visitor and how easy it is for them to use. For example:
Make sure your design will work on all devices that people use to access the Internet. This includes smartphones and tablets, as well as desktops. If your design doesn’t work on mobile devices, you’re likely to suffer higher bounce rates.
Make sure your design matches the tone of voice you want to convey. For example, if you’re selling luxury items or expensive services, then you may want an elegant and sophisticated design that reflects this. On the other hand, if you’re selling low-cost products or services aimed at children, then a fun and informal style might be more appropriate.
Make sure your design has some elements in common with other sites owned by your company (such as sister sites or social media pages). This helps create a consistent brand identity across all of your online channels.
5. Consistent approach will help you deliver the best user experience (UX)
UI design focuses on the user experience or UX. The best UX is achieved by creating a connection between users and your product or service. You want to communicate what you do and how your product can help the user in an intuitive way.
The key to great interface design is to ensure that the most important information is accessible to the user at all times and in a way that makes sense. This is done by sticking with a consistent layout, which helps users feel comfortable as they navigate your website or app.
Staying consistent across all channels for the best user experience (UX). With Vistaprint, you can create a consistent brand look and feel with custom marketing materials like business cards, signs, stationery and more. Consistency in color, tone, typography and imagery are key for creating a professional brand identity that will impress your customers.
6. Hierarchy of visual elements matters UI designs
The visual hierarchy of a user interface design refers to the arrangement or presentation of screen elements in order of importance. The aim is to lead the eye to the most relevant parts of a user interface, creating an intuitive experience that makes sense for your visitors.
The goal of visual hierarchy is to enable users to focus on what’s important and what they need to do next, while still presenting other information. It’s one of the main components of web design, along with color and layout.
Visual hierarchy through sizing
The easiest way to arrange elements in a visual hierarchy is by size. Bigger items are more prominent and usually seen as more important than smaller ones. For example, important keywords may appear in bold font, or the product title could be shown in a larger font size than the product description.
There are lots of ways you can use sizing as a visual cue:
Bold text draws attention to important keywords or phrases that you want people to notice quickly. This can help them navigate the page more easily and find information more quickly.
Larger buttons are easier for your visitors to click with their mouse or tap with their fingertip on mobile devices. If you have multiple calls-to-action on any given page, make sure they’re all clearly visible at
7. Don’t over do the stuff
Good user interface design is a complex topic. It’s not just about aesthetics — it’s how the design of a system can make it easier to use, or more efficient.
But don’t confuse that with complicated. The core principles are simple, and they’re as follows:
Follow your user’s thinking. Too many controls, too many options in menus, and too many buttons can be intimidating. Make it easy for users to find the information they need without being led down any particular path.
Avoid distractions. A cluttered screen is a cluttered screen. If you’re working on an iPad, for instance, make sure your app has the least amount of visual complexity possible — if all you have is a bunch of buttons and links, people are going to get frustrated real fast. On the other hand, if your app has little or no visual clutter and uses simple text labels for most elements, you’ll make people feel more comfortable using it.
Use white space smartly. White space is your friend when designing user interfaces because it helps draw people’s attention to the content above the fold — that area of the screen that’s visible at any given moment. It also makes things easier to read because text and images stand out against a background of white space nearly as
8. Accessibility is crucial element of UI design
Accessibility is becoming a more critical part of UI design. It ensures that users can use and understand your interface, even if they can’t see all the colors or read all the text.
For example, the colors you choose to highlight certain parts of your UI must be strong enough that users with color blindness can still distinguish them. Or, if you have an icon-based navigation system, each icon should have a tooltip so that users who don’t recognize it can still use it.
This is especially important when building mobile apps; iOS, for example, has VoiceOver and Switch Control features that allow people who are blind or have motor difficulties to use their device without needing to see or touch it.
Words of wisdom
You’ve created a killer website or app, but without a great user interface, it’s functionally useless. As a designer, you should understand that effective user interface design begins long before the visual design phase of your project. It starts with research, planning and testing, so make sure you remember these steps as you move through your projects.
Featured image source: vecteezy.com