Would you be happy to know that users are using the interface you’ve created without difficulty? Did the interaction solutions you designed decrease the bounce rate of an application, increased the user retention rate, and consequently increased the number of your client’s registrations? Some UI actions may reflect on improvements in results. Have you designed an interface? What do you imagine during this process?
What does UI Designer do?
A UI Designer is specialized in dealing with the interaction between the interface and the user. Since the interface is the means by which the user interacts with the designed application. When dealing with interaction UI Designer is concerned with visually structure elements in the interface in a way that overrides any possible difficulties and meets the needs of users. Nowadays one of the main tasks of a UI Designer is just web interfaces. There are some common elements when designing a web interface, thinking about the interaction with users are menus, buttons, links, forms and any element in the interface that should direct the user to a goal.
10 principles of UI design for future UI designers
Now that you know that a UI Designer makes it’s time to learn some principles in a selection that are being separated so that you, acting as UI Designer, become more aware of good practices. Let’s go to them:
1. Use familiar UI patterns
Patterns are recurring solutions to common problems and so have already been implemented and tested. You do not have to invent new solutions at all times. Just adapt a solution applied in a similar environment to solve the problem in your interface. Taking the example of MENA region, when you use familiar UI patterns let’s say in UI design you make users feel at home, they gain time in creation and are close to being correct in their decision. And where to find these patterns? You’ll find interfaces where the project’s audience spends most of their time. Such as in social networks, news sites, banking sites, university websites, instant messaging applications, some specific software, etc.
2. Maintain clarity
A great UI design goes unnoticed because it has no unnecessary elements. If there is some noise that the user does not understand what it is for, it is possible that he does not want to find out and this will result in a low commitment to fulfill the established goals for this element.
One should then maintain clarity. Avoid projecting elements that do not make their function clear. Necessary elements are succinct and make sense. Always ask yourself if such an element is necessary, if the user really needs it. Also make sure it is simple for understanding. Do not add anything to the interface because only you think it’s cool.
3. Guide the user
Do not expect the user to figure out what to do on the interface by themselves. You will have more effectiveness by asking him what to do and also continue guiding you in the next steps. Note that it will probably take an action when it is requested.
4. Return with feedback
As long as you guide your users you have the possibility to leave them more confident about what they are doing and about the stage that they meet. Leaving them confident is one of their assignments as UI Designer. One way to leave them confident is to provide constant and clear feedback. The system must inform in real-time what is happening. Try to create a “conversation” between users and the system with notifications for every action that it takes. Convey the feeling that it is in control.
5. Allow yourself to tolerate user errors
Even guiding the user and conveying feedbacks, and as long as the designed design is clear, mistakes can happen, the user can perform an action in an inappropriate way. And it is at this very moment that your design should effectively support you by making your mistakes bearable and making it an opportunity for growth to show you the path to proper execution. And what to consider in this approach?
- Develop ways for the user to undo actions;
- Please Lord Future Designer Interface. Do not punish the user if he has to resume an action by having it restart from scratch after performing many steps, for example; just because it filled a form field in the wrong way;
- Ensure learning by showing the wrong actions and ensuring that it can know how to prevent the error from occurring again.
6. Speak the language of the user
As a Designer you have everything to use the concepts properly after all each shape, each pixel, each type and each color import a lot. However, the minimum of copy-writing will be necessary for the interface to “talk” with the user, be it by way of sound, video, animation and more generally using texts. And in this minimum one must guarantee the maximum of empathy speaking the language of the user.
Speaking the user’s language is to ensure that he identifies with the transmitted message, facilitating the understanding of the “conversations” with the interface. Do a lot of research on the target audience to establish the most appropriate way to guide action. You can converse with the user visually, with elements such as icons, images and videos, always taking into account the project’s target audience.
7. Maintain consistency
When it comes to user interface design talk about consistency is ensuring that when the user learns to do something in the interface he can do it again without any surprises. You, as UI Designer, can ensure consistency by repeating elements and behaviors of the interface. As a result, users have reduced the need to rethink the step-by-step actions and will be more aware of how things work.
8. Offer flexibility in tasks
Make it easy for users to perform tasks that are not painful. Facilitate handling. When, for example, we have to fill out a registration form the task becomes more arduous when it is extensive. However, you, Interface Designer, can, through the interface, pass the idea that filling out this form can be more pleasant and agile. Understand that people prefer to fulfill several smaller steps than a huge one. By designing a form that can be filled in smaller steps you lessen the feeling of something rigid and complex to execute and make the task more flexible.
9. Use the visual hierarchy
It is important for the user to focus on what is important and one way to ensure this is to work properly with the visual hierarchy. You can establish a clear path for actions by determining shapes, colors, types, contrast between elements, among other design applications that show what is a priority in the interface. Properly positioning elements will ensure that the user perceives the most important information and indicates the possible decisions that the user must choose.
10. Study about the user
You may be tempted to look at competition to imitate modern styles and features that are not yet guarantees of good practice. Then, at that time, first look at the needs of your users to identify the real goals of the project. I believe that this is the overriding principle among the 10 presented.
Take a dive into the user’s world to discover your skills, experiences, and desires. Research the interfaces they feel at will, discover how they use them, how they behave in front of them. When you focus on the user the chances of you building a friendly interface grow exponentially.
The principles outlined in this article will help you achieve great results. Of course, they are not strict rules, however you have to know exactly what you are doing to try to do something in the opposite direction. Otherwise this can result in unhappy users abandoning their client without giving satisfaction, leaving him / her also unsatisfied. User-centered design requires accurate sensitivity so that decisions favor optimal intermediation between the graphical interface and the person, which is the most important part and for which the interface was designed.