5 User Interface Design Fundamentals
Last week we learned why it’s important to have good user interface and now we’re here to help you get there. These five fundamentals will help you enhance your user interface design and make you feel more knowledgeable about the process.
1. Be Clear
The first priority for any interface is clarity. Everything, from the design to the content, should be easy to understand. However, clarity should also go beyond the content and design. If you’re creating a website or application, users should be able to interpret its importance, easily interact with the interface, and predict the outcome once they use it.
Focus On Users
People get uncomfortable when they feel like they can’t control their environment. Poor interface with unpredictable outcomes and confusing directions make users feel out of control. Every action should have a clear understanding of what happens next before a user takes an action. The key thing to remember is that users should never be confused about how anything operates.
2. Design Simple
The best interfaces go unnoticed and a simple, clean design plays a huge part. For a simple design, use only a few colors and no more than two different fonts. Any decorative elements should be kept at a minimum and should be used to represent your brand. Include only necessary elements and information, as any added content will most likely confuse the user. In order to figure out what’s essential, consider the needs of your audience. When organizing content, put the most important information first.
Create a Visual Language
Any graphic elements that communicate a message are considered visual language. These elements ensure that actions are achieved with the least amount of cues. Determine the capabilities of your user and the images that they will recognize. Make use of these graphical elements to make sure users get what they want in the most convenient way.
3. Give Direction
Let the user know where to direct their attention by creating a visual hierarchy between content. Sometimes users need help knowing where to look first. However, make sure that the steps follow a flow that is intuitive. You never want your users first interaction to be their last. Giving them steps for what to do next will keep users engaged, creating more opportunities for conversion. Fortunately, there are many ways you can draw users’ attention.
Each page should support one primary action because users will be able to learn and use the interface without confusion. Where content and items are placed on a page can also help direct action. Important information and actions should be placed first on the page followed by any supporting information.
Color and Typography
Another way to create visual hierarchy is to use different colors and type. Remember that clean design should only include a few different elements. If you need an alternative way to create variation, consider using light or texture.
4. Stay Consistent
Just like clarity makes the user feel comfortable, consistency will make the components of your site easier to follow. Elements that behave in similar ways should follow the same pattern. For example, any icon or image that you use to communicate a message should always communicate the same message. It is also just as important for dissimilar elements to constantly appear different than other elements.
5. Provide Feedback
Now that you’ve worked so hard to create a clear, consistent user interface, your audience will expect the design and actions to stay the same every time they enter your site. To keep your users trust, it’s important to notify them if any changes or additions have been made. Communicating with users will not only keep users informed of changes, but also let you know their thoughts about your interface.
As long as you stay clear, keep elements consistent, and provide users with their next steps, you can improve your UI design.
Need some help improving your UI? Contact us for more help.