While web designers might be a dime a dozen these days, finding one which knows their UI design inside out can still be something of a challenge. Spending time and money on trendy web design is all very well, but UI has the power to make or break a website or app. There are many considerations which need to be taken into account when designing a top-notch interface, but there are also a few hard and fast rules that can be applied to every web design project.
Here are the five golden rules of good UI design as we see it:
1. Know thy audience
All the efforts that go into designing a quality interface must be based around the intended audience. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the audience is crucial to getting the UI right. Think about the needs of your visitors and how the design of your site can deliver an experience which will hook their attention and reel them in deeper. Research is a must at this stage, and don’t forget to keep a weather eye out on what the competition are doing – exploring their sites can be a great place to start.
2. Keep it simple
It’s all too easy to get carried away with the idea of a website boasting all manner of bells and whistles, but in terms of UI, keeping it simple is usually the best policy. After all, UI is all about the user and we can’t think of anyone who would prefer a complex site to interact with and understand than one which is easy to get to grips with. The hallmark of good interface design is that it gently guides the user to where they need to go, and ensures they don’t need a degree in orienteering to get there.
3. Consider the visual hierarchy
When it comes to steering users in the direction of your choice, it’s vital to implement a visual hierarchy. Highlighting certain elements of a site can be achieved through different button or font sizes, the clever use of white space or breaking up an otherwise consistent design with something eye-catching. Essentially, every element of your site needs to be carefully considered and planned in order to grab the user’s attention at the appropriate time.
4. Keep forms short and sweet
If you don’t get your forms right, you could well rub users up the wrong way. Whether it’s down to fear of getting spammed, the sheer effort involved in painstakingly filling out the fields or the fact that it isn’t clear why you need the information required, people have an innate dislike of forms. That’s why it’s key to ask yourself the following questions: is a form really necessary here? Is all the information required relevant? And is it as simple and quick to fill in as possible?
5. Offer feedback messages
There’s nothing more frustrating to users than not understanding why something is or isn’t happening when they are performing an action on your website. Feedback messages can lessen the blow of a slow-loading page or an incorrect field filled in on a form, keeping users informed whilst teaching them how to get the results they are going for in the best way.
With our wealth of experience in website development, we like to think we know a thing or two about good UI. To find out how we can help your next project become a success, contact us today.